Carmelita, Caturra, Bolivia 2018
About the Coffee
Flavour description: Medium body with a creamy mouthfeel. Flavour notes of white grape, caramel, black tea with a note of buttercup flower (smörblomma).
Colour: Buttercup Yellow
Producer: Carmelita Urduvi
Location: Copacabana, Caranavi, Bolivia
Farm Name: Carmelita
Farm size: 3 hectares
Varietal: Caturra & Catuai
Harvest: August to September 2018
Elevation: 1550 – 1850 MASL
Processing: Fully washed
Fermentation: Full wet for 16 hours, first 8 with no water, then 8 hours with water.
Drying: Mechanical for 46 hours after the professor Favio Borem's guidelines with a quicker drying phase in the beginning and a slower process towards the end of the drying.
Roast: A fairly long profile landing in light to medium roast level. Roasted to present the natural characteristics of the coffee.
This is the second year we are getting coffee from Carmelita Urduvi, and it is only her second harvest of her new crops, and we are buying half of it, with the other half going to Australia. After being hit with Roja a few years ago, she joined the sustainability project Sol de Mañana, and started growing new plants of Caturra and Catuaí. Carmelita’s farm is three-hectares, triple the size it was before the Roja hit, located 1550-1850 masl in Copacabana, Bolivia.
We visited Carmelita for the first time four years ago. Her hard work and dedication to the farm impressed us greatly. She had less than a hectare, which had a low yield, after being hit with Roja, which is why she decided to become part of the sustainability project “Sol de la Mañana”, which is run by our exporter Pedro Rodriguez with family. When we met, Carmelita had just prepared her land for a second hectare, and was ready to start planting her new Caturra and Catuaí seedlings from her nursery. This time she wanted to do everything right from the beginning, with help of the agronomists in the Sol de la Mañana project.
Carmelita Urduvi has been working in coffee for 40 years. Originally she is from Omasuyos, near the lake called Titicaca. She moved with her husband to Caranavi when a government led to reform and gave the land back to thousands of indigenous families. Since then they had 8 children. Carmelita raised their children while running the farm after her husband disappeared. Carmelita told us that the management of the farm is her greatest achievement, and yes we are all impressed by her extraordinary producing standards and the farm is always clean, tidy and in great shape. Her oldest son works full time on the farm throughout the whole year, another two of her sons work for our exporter Rodriguez Buena Vista farms.
Unique to anyone else we have met in Bolivia, she is known to clean each cherry after picking and before putting it into her bags and delivering it for processing at the Rodriguez mill. By producing a better quality coffee she is able to earn more money and have a better future for her and her children. She believes that joining the program has helped her to better understand what she needs to do in order to produce better coffee and keep her crops stronger and healthier.
About Drop Coffee and Carmelita
Since the first time, we met Carmelita we had a strong feeling that we were going to work together. She is driven, light-minded and super focused on quality. One of our big muses and inspirations.
We have to say we love her work from the first time we visited four years ago. Finally getting to taste her coffee last year was an absolute pleasure, as maybe you would agree, and we are so proud to buy half of her production (sharing it with Melbourne Coffee Merchants), we have a European exclusivity on Carmelita's coffee and have a feeling this will continue to be one of our strong relationships for many years to come. We love the floral-like coffee added to the big and sweet profile we get from the Bolivian coffees.
Watch an interview we did with Carmelita while in Bolivia here.