Great Bolivia coffees are delicate, bright and aromatically sweet, the classic “clean cup.” They have subtle fruit notes, like pear, An acid that adds to favorable perceptions of cup quality; malic acid often adds apple-like acidity, and perhaps other taste aspects recalling apples. Malic acid is yet another… …more, apricot, tangerine and Lemon notes, as well as other related citrusy flavors or acidities, are prized in coffee. These usually express themselves as a bright accent in the cup, or aromatic… …more. They can develop roast flavors that are malty, chocolatey, Nutty is a broad flavor term, reminiscent of nuts … but what kind exactly?: Nutty is a broad flavor term, reminiscent of nuts. It is tied intrinsically to… …more (almond and hazelnut, not the off notes of peanut shells), with Caramel is a desirable form of sweetness found in the flavor and aroma of coffee, and is an extension of roast taste. Extremely light or dark coffees will… …more or In coffee, honey-like sweetness is often found, but we use terms such as refined honey (highly filtered and processed) as opposed to raw honey rustic honey sweetness. This… …more Sweetness is an important positive quality in fine coffees, and is one of five basic tastes: Sour, Sweet, Salty, Bitter, Savory (Umami). In coffee, sweetness is a highly… …more.
There’s no better way to learn about a coffee-producing country than to visit. Yet you can spend a lot of time in Bolivia has always been a coffee origin with great potential, the potential to have a unique Specialty coffee offering with unique cup character.: There’s no better way to… …more and still not understand the The co-presence of many aroma and flavor attributes, with multiple layers. A general impression of a coffee, similar to judgments such as “balanced” or “structured” …more relationship between coffee and culture.
My first trip to Bolivia was really an awakening to the dramatic landscape, the soaring altitude of La Paz, the very basic lives of the coffee farmers, the complexities of the nation’s economy and politics.
Great Bolivia coffees are delicate, bright and aromatically sweet, the classic “clean cup.” They have subtle fruit notes, like pear, Apple-like flavors in coffee can take on many different forms. The more common ones we use relate to malic acid brightness, which can recall different apple types: green… …more, apricot, tangerine and lemon. They can develop roast flavors that are malty, chocolatey, nutty (almond and hazelnut, not the off notes of peanut shells), with caramel or honey sweetness.
The best flavors really emerge as the cup cools and do not diminish but grow in We have a simple scale to rate intensity in our coffee reviews, from Mild to Bold. Low intensity does not mean low quality!: We have a simple scale… …more. Bolivia does indeed have all the ingredients to produce great coffee, especially in terms of altitude (plenty of that!) and seedstock: the plants are almost all traditional A coffee cultivar; a cross between Typica and Bourbon, originally grown in Brazil: Mundo Novo is a commercial coffee cultivar; a natural hybrid between “Sumatra” and Red Bourbon,… …more varietal, with some Catimor is a broad group of cultivars derived from a Hibrido de Timor (HdT) and Caturra cross, highly productive, sometimes with inferior cup flavor. The main issue is… …more.
Much of the production is from traditional Grown without the use of artificial fertilizers, herbicides, etc.: Organic coffee has been grown according to organic farming techniques, typically without the use of artificial fertilizers. Some farms… …more farming practices, with a lot of the co-ops certified Organic and Fair trade is an organized social movement and market-based approach to empowering developing country producers and promoting sustainability.: Fair trade is an organized social movement and market-based approach… …more as well.
There are some quality issues that are being addressed with assistance from USAID, inspired largely by the attempt to limit coca production in the Andes This is expressed through direct farmer assistance.
One problem is that the coffee was formerly sent from the main growing regions, the Yungas (a vast fertile region on the east-facing slopes of the Cordillera Occidental – the Western range) including the Caranavi region, to La Paz for The removal of the cherry and parchment from the coffee seed.: Coffee is either wet-processed (also called washed or wet-milled) or dry-processed (also called wild, natural or natural… …more. La Paz is the highest national capital on Earth, at a whopping 12,500 feet.
The coffee was sent up the treacherous road when it was pulped, fermented and washed, but not fully dried. The combination of coffee that was moist enough to keep fermenting, plus frigid and dry atmosphere at a high altitude, dealt a “one-two punch” to the coffee chemistry, and weird flavors resulted.
But now the co-ops are starting to process their coffee themselves, gaining more control over quality, providing more jobs in the community, and sending the coffee over the mountains only when it is in a physically stable condition. These are the nuts and bolts of how a coffee is transformed from an underpriced, underachiever to a recognized name in the market, a distinct In coffee talk, it refers to a coffee-producing region or country; such as, “I was just at origin.” Of course “Origin” for most product we use is not… …more, a unique cup character at full bloom.
In recent years, some of the hopes for a broad range of top quality coffees from Bolivia, available from season to season, have not been realized. There is an issue with the Typica Cultivar is a term used interchangeably with Varietal in the coffee trade to indicate plant material, although there are distinctions.: The naming of a cultivar should conform to… …more, especially when it is grown under A general characterization of pleasantly “natural” flavors, less sophisticated and less refined, but appealing. : What is Rustic? This is a general term we came up with… Dried… …more conditions by small-holder farmers, who tend to lack the resources for soil and plant inputs as well as great management of the coffee shrubs (pruning, etc).
Typica plants seem to have a more exaggerated biennial output, but when you add poor nutrition and other agricultural practices it is a very dramatic drop from a high-volume harvest to a low-volume one. The extremes of high and low crops affect quality in terms of picking and milling as well.
The system doesn’t function well when it is overloaded with coffee, and the wet mills cannot keep up. Nor do you see the best quality coffees in extremely low harvests, where pickers tend to harvest more unripe cherries along with the ripe ones (they are paid by the volume they pick), and dry mills might relax standards to maximize their output.
We have been going to Bolivia for years. Before the The Cup of Excellence is a competition held yearly in many coffee-producing countries, designed to highlight the very best coffees from each origin.: The Cup of Excellence (COE)… …more program took root in Bolivia, I attended a highly educational national Cupping is a method of tasting coffee by steeping grounds in separate cups for discrete amounts of ground coffee, to reveal good flavors and defects to their fullest…. …more competition. You can check out my little odd Bolivia movie if you are so inclined. Lately we have found great coffees, but in fairly small volumes and at top prices.
This makes our Bolivia offerings a bit more expensive, but we feel the cup quality deserves the price. And the fact Bolivia comes in fresh at the time of year when the bright Central American coffees are flagging a bit makes them an attractive option to maintain the highest cup quality throughout the year