This is a traditional washed single-cultivar Java coffee from Caranavi, Bolivia, produced by the Rodriguez Family and their firm AGRICAFE on their farm called Finca la Linda.
The flavor profile is anchored by a chocolaty body, caramel sweetness, and syrupy mouthfeel, with a mild tamarind-like acidity and hints of citrus blossom and passionfruit.
Our roasters found the coffee’s low density didn’t impede roast progress but caution a gentler approach at least through Maillard development might be best practice.
When brewed the coffee performed admirably as espresso with copious body, nuanced florality, and tropical flavors at a slightly longer shot time. Also, a little longer in time when brewed as pour-over, the coffee was subtler in fruit notes, with pronounced caramel sweetness and a pleasant herbal note.
Taste Analysis by Sandra Loofbourow
We are so lucky to be featuring another Bolivian coffee! This one is promptly moving onto the Tasting Room’s espresso bar, where the Rodriguez Family’s coffee becomes a chocolate bomb with a syrupy mouthfeel, tempered by tamarind acidity and the sweetness of red fruits. On pour over it leans more towards caramel and white grape. It’s a surprisingly delicate and incredibly sweet coffee; an excellent example of the origin’s true potential.
Source Analysis by Charlie Habegger
Specialty groups like AGRICAFE deserve a lot of credit for their dedication to Bolivia’s coffee potential, despite the odds. AGRICAFE was established in 1986 and is a family business that manages 12 of its own farms as well as smallholder coffee from across Caranavi and Samaipata. Their smallholder program, “Sol de Mañana”, began in 2013 with 10 small producers and a curriculum focused on nursery and farm management, and specialty harvesting. It currently has 100 contributing farms and average production has increased from 3 bags per hectare to more than 20, with qualities better each year.
La Linda is AGRICAFE’s first farm, established in 2012. Up to that point, AGRICAFE had been exclusively buying and processing coffee from surrounding small farms. La Linda became a point of innovation and best practices for the Caranavi coffee community, and its techniques are where the “Sol de Mañana” program originated. The farm is 10 hectares, 30% of which remains a natural reserve. “Java”, so-named for the original heirloom variety brought to the Americas from the Indonesian island of Java, was the inaugural variety used to populate the farm and remains dominant at La Linda. The Rodriguez family, founders of AGRICAFE, believed the specific climate of Caranavi was perfect for this variety. To process La Linda’s coffee, 150 pickers are employed. Cherry is depulped and fermented for 60 hours, and then dried in slow-rotating mechanical drums.
Bolivia is South America’s only landlocked coffee producing country and is the smallest exporter of coffee on the continent. The quality of that coffee, however, is hardly lacking in diversity or beauty. Bolivia’s terrain and geography is gifted for arabica production, particularly throughout its greater Yungas region (Yungas is Aymara for “warm lands”), whose mountain ranges connect the low and humid Amazonian basin to the dry Andean altiplano above.
The most productive municipality in the Yungas is by far Caranavi, where 85-90% of Bolivia’s specialty coffee has continued to thrive over the decades. Caranavi‘s landscape is steep, cloudy, rugged, and remote, with natural forest making up more than 90% of the territory. Coffee farms in this high and tropical climate tend to be well-managed but small, challenged by isolation and lacking in long-term industry support. Bolivian growers still often don’t have processing equipment or transportation of their own, a massive hurdle in such territory.
Biodiversity, soil health, elevation, and progressive leadership in AGRICAFE all work undeniably in coffee’s favor. Yet, facing each and every Bolivian coffee, especially the best ones, is one of the most strenuous overland transits in the coffee world, passing elevations of 4000 meters over the top of the Andes and west to the port of Arica on Chile’s coast. The country’s low production, select few producer groups in the specialty game, and formidable logistical challenges, means every arrival is something to be cherished.
Green Analysis by Chris Kornman
What an odd bird we have here. My expectation of Bolivian coffees tends to be that it is of high density, yet here we have a remarkably low density reading both from our manual free settled method and from the digital Sinar extrapolation. I’m not sure I can fully explain this data, and while the long, narrow seed shape usually reads lower via free settling data, I don’t think it accounts for the dramatically low numbers we uncovered this week. Otherwise, the coffee is on the dry side (as expected) and is moderately large in screen size (also expected) with pretty nice, tight distribution at 90% in screens 16-18.
The Java cultivar is a fun one which we don’t see all that often these days but has an established reputation for quality. The coffee tree stems from a selection of a few Ethiopian “mother” trees by the Dutch coffee researcher P.J.S. Cramer in 1928. He sent seeds to Java where the plants flourished and showed resistance to leaf rust where other arabica varieties had faltered. To this day, in Indonesia the cultivar is referred to as Abyssinia (or as cognates Adsenia or Abissinie), the name of Ethiopia at the time. The Abyssinia–Java cultivar was eventually taken from Indonesia to Cameroon, and introduced to Central America as well. It bears morphological resemblance to Typica, but in fact its direct ties to Ethiopia make its origin story similar to that of Gesha. In good circumstances (such as we have here!) cuppers will note the echoes of florality that hint at the coffee’s original home.
Diedrich IR:5 Analysis by Candice Madison
Never roasted Bolivian coffee before last week – and here we are again. I’m extremely happy about that! Kudos to our Andes buying team, that includes our Crownie, Sandra Loofbourow, for doing us proud. This coffee is simply lovely!
As usual, the metrics is where we start – the green coffee ones. Looking at the beans first, it was not a surprise, but still fairly new to me, to see the well sorted Java cultivar seeds. They almost look like long boats, they’re so pointy and narrow. But the rest was less fun, and more, thought-provoking; although narrow, it was still a wider spread of screen sizes than I would have liked, given the shape of the bean. Both of those variables can significantly impact how evenly the coffee roasts. These factors, plus the low density and moisture content of the coffee led me to start the roast at 30% gas and a lower charge temperature of 370F – about 10 degrees lower than my new normal.
With the little challenges that the green metrics threw up in my mind, I was nervous to roast what I knew from the selection table to be a uniquely delicious coffee. What a wasted effort – I had worried for nothing. My roast notes begin with the languid phrase, ‘Uneventful, even roast…’. What a joy for us roasters! It is possible to start with a slightly higher charge temperature, or gas application. Perhaps don’t go full throttle, as you might do with CJ1416, this week’s offering from Kenya, but if you’re less cautious than me, you’ll move through stage one more quickly, encouraging those fruit and floral notes to be expressed in the roast.
Step on the gas after the turning point, but I found that if I wanted to make the most of stage 2 with this lower density coffee, I had to set myself up beforehand. I lowered the gas to 30% at around 270F, as the low-density variable was knocking at the back of my brain. The roast slowed down, but, as I knew that things were only going to get hard to control (I was wrong, not the first time!), I opened up the air baffle to 100% air flow through the drum, slowing the rate of change even more. And from there I didn’t need to touch it again, the only adjustment made to the roast, was lowering the gas to the minimum on our machine as first crack started to roll.
Be aware that this coffee cracks sort of undercover! I have included the exhaust probe read out on this particular roast curve. As the crack starts, it is sparse and very soft. My only indication that things had started to happen, was my notice of the rise in the exhaust probe read out and the flatten of the downward slope of the bean pile RoR.
An unusual experience for me in the cup. On 24 hours rest, this subtle coffee was almost faint, not dilute, just… quiet. On 3 days rest, this coffee was intriguing and delicious. Subtle still, yes, but not faint. Much like silk is delicate and has much less of an in-your-face impact than, say, crushed velvet, it is still distinct and desired. This coffee is elegant, with flavors of mild raspberries, milk chocolate and rose. It was like drinking milk chocolate lightly flavored with Turkish delight/lokum, which is fairly wonderful, in my book!
Quest M3s Analysis by Evan Gilman
Unless otherwise noted, I follow a set standard of operations for all my Quest roasts. Generally, I’ll allow the machine to warm up for 15 minutes until my environmental temperature reading is at least 250F, weigh out 200g batch size, and begin roasting when I’ve reached my desired charge temperature. Read my initial post here and my updated post here.
Only the second Bolivian coffee I have roasted on the Quest M3s (the first being CJ1414), this pointy-beaned lot did not disappoint. The Java cultivar always stands out for its shape, but also for its flavor. I tend to find Java to be very thick and sweet. What I wasn’t expecting was the green metrics that Chris brought to light above. Very low density made me think that a gentle approach would be a good idea, as did a fairly narrow distribution of screen sizes. On top of this, moisture content for this coffee is at the low end of the spectrum. All of these things point me towards lower charge temperatures and softer heat application.
In order to really dampen down the heat of this roast, I increased my batch size to 225g and used a charge temperature of 390F. I wanted to get this coffee quickly through the drying stage, but not at the risk of it chugging through Maillard too quickly.
Starting with full fan and 10A heat application, I allowed this coffee to dip to turning point, where I turned off airflow. In order to get this coffee through the first stage I delayed introducing airflow until 275F / 3:15, then reduced heat application to 7.5A at 310F / 4:15. What moisture was in the barrel was carried away swiftly, and the late application of airflow actually sustained the rate of rise a touch. Trickier yet was that this coffee’s rate of rise jumped at 315F / 4:20, something I usually don’t expect to see until right before first crack. At 340F / 5:08 I increased fan speed to full after seeing that this jump in RoR was temporary, and I waited for first crack to roll in. First crack occurred at a fairly low temperature, 380F, and I waited 20 seconds before cutting heat application entirely at 385F / 7:05.
While I would have liked to see a bit more time in Maillard, I couldn’t argue with the fascinating flavors I got from this coffee.
In the cup, this coffee was super interesting. It did have some of the viscous (what I think of as ‘waxy’ and honeylike in a very good way) mouthfeel that I associate with the Java cultivar, but also some intriguing incense-like aromatic wood notes that were quickly subsumed by black cherry sweetness, ginger candy flavor, and a ruby red grapefruit finish. Maybe I’m alone in this, but this is probably the most interesting coffee I’ve tasted since the pandemic began.
Ikawa Pro V3 Analysis by Nate Lumpkin
As of September 2020 we are running all Crown Jewel Analysis roasts on an Ikawa Pro V3, using the most recent app and firmware version on “closed loop” setting.
I put this coffee through the paces on our Ikawa Pro V3 using our three standard profiles, just to see how it behaved under different circumstances. I found a tropical, sweet, and clean cup, with some pleasant dark chocolate and dried fruit notes to round it out.
Our standard hot and fast profile produced a bright and light-bodied cup, with notes of raspberry, dragonfruit, pineapple, caramel, honey, and a light chamomile florality. It was fairly quick and clean, and just a touch simple overall. Our cooler, low airflow profile produced a slightly more mellow cup, with notes of blueberry, apple juice, date, chocolate, and tropical fruits. Like the previous roast, this one was also a little simple.
This coffee really shined on the longer Maillard profile, which produced a bright and heavy cup with a strong strawberry jam aroma, lemon-lime acidity, and notes of blue raspberry, blueberry, fresh peppermint, dark chocolate, and peanut butter. This was a clean and well-balanced cup which became even cleaner and juicier as it cooled. I recommend a profile like this one to give this coffee’s sugars a chance to develop and express themselves.
You can download the profile to your Ikawa Pro app here:
Roast 1: Crown Standard SR 1.0
Roast 2: Crown Maillard +30 SR 1.0
Roast 3: Crown 7m SR LowAF 2
Brew Analysis by Nate Lumpkin
We plan to serve this coffee here at the Crown on the espresso bar for the summer, so as part of our brew analysis this week we dialed it in on our Linea PB, as well as on pour-over. For both brew methods we found a lovely, clean, and tropical cup, with a syrupy body, and dark chocolate undertones.
For espresso we used our standard dose of 18g of coffee, ground on our Mazzer Robur E. For service we favor a larger shot with a 1:2 coffee to water ratio, so in this case our best shot pulled to 36g in 34 seconds. This is on the longer end for our espresso shots, but it tasted delicious. It had a cotton candy and fudge creamsicle sweetness, along with bright and tropical acids and flavors. We tasted passionfruit, grapefruit, lime, pineapple, fresh mint, and English toffee, as well as caramel and dark chocolate, with a heavy and syrupy body.
On pour-over I chose the Hario v60, which I favor for its versatility and ease of use. I used again 18g of coffee, this time with a final weight of 300g. It brewed through 3:36, a little longer than I expected, but it showed an on-target TDS of 1.34 and an extraction of 19.65%. In the cup, it tasted clear, sweet, and tropical, almost like mango jello, grape boba, and white wine, with a pleasant herbaceousness like gin, along with a milk chocolate and caramel undertone. This was really delicious–I’m happy to recommend this excellent coffee both as espresso and pour-over, and I can’t wait to serve this on bar.