Flavour description: This is a mature and sweet cup with a filling mouthfeel like a mature merlot wine. Notes of white chocolate, and a lasting aftertaste reminding of raisin. That the coffee is processed without water makes the coffee sweeter and more berry-like than the other washed processed coffee we have from Bolivia.
Colour: Mild red
Producer: Pedro-Pablo, Daniela and Pedro Rodriguez
Location: Aguarica in Samaipata region, Bolivia
Processing: Semi washed, de-pulped and processed without water
Harvested: July-August 2019
Altitude: 1550 - 1700 masl
Price transparency: The FOB price paid for this coffee was $4.4/lb.
Roast: Light to medium to present the natural characteristics of the coffee.
The Samaichacha is a small lot located next to the Agricafé mill, in Aguarica in Samaipata region, where the coffee is processed. As we like it so much, the whole lot of land is kept separated for us at Drop Coffee, so we can sell it to you individually. It is only 240 kilo.
In five years, the Rodriguez been producing coffee in Samaipata region for 4 years now, and last year was the first-ever harvest. The lot is called Samaichacha and was one of the sweetest coffee we had last year and therefore the Rodriguez kindly kept it separated for us instead of blending it in with the rest of the coffee on the farm. The extreme weather and higher elevation give this coffee very different characteristics than the other Bolivian coffees that we are buying. On top of that, the coffee is de-pulped and processed without water, which is tricky to do, but when you do it well it increased the sweetness of the cup.
The Rodriguez Family
This is a very important relationship for us at Drop and one we are very proud to have. We go to their farms for a visit every year during harvest, and stay at the mill, they have also made their way up to Stockholm to visit the team at Drop. We, as friends have been growing together for a few years now.
If it weren’t for the Rodriguez, Bolivian coffee would look a lot different today. They work under the name Agricafé as exporters, and we are buying all of our Bolivian coffees through them. They also have a sustainability project ‘Sol de Manana’, where they are working with other producers, providing them with fertilisers and plants, and advising, with their agronomical expertise. They also process the coffees from all of the producers we are buying from at their washing stations and dry mill. On top of all of this, they have farms of their own, including Alasitas, La Linda and Samaichacha.
Pedro Rodriguez started sourcing coffee from small coffee producers in 1986. His family own mills and they process and exports coffee for other farmers in the Caranavi and Sud Yungas region. However, in the Samaipata region, they are only processing their own coffee at their wet mill El Fuerte, washing without water, and dried for 95 hours.
Generally, the Samiapata region is known for its tropical climate, nature and broad agricultural culture. There is a big difference between here and Caranavi, with weather as well as culture, it almost feels like another country. The weather varies quite a bit, with temperatures during the day being around 25-30 degrees, and around 8 degrees in the night, which is considered very cold. This causes the cherries to take a longer time to ripen, and their mucilage becomes very thick, and the shin of the cherry (the cascara) is even sweeter.
Sustainability work at Samiapata
Without people like the Roudriguez family working in coffee in Bolivia, the future of Bolivian coffee would be at risk of disappearing, but with the steady decline of coffee production, the sustainability of their export business is in jeopardy. In April 2019, the Roudriguez family received a sustainability award from the Speciality Coffee Associations for Most Sustainable Business Model.
In Samaipata there is a lot of magnesium in the soil, which is great for growing coffee, it means that the coffee plants are less susceptible to Roja, or other fungi. All of these things contribute to a very unique taste profile. In Samiapata, big water reservoirs have been dug out in the land to collect water (see pictures).
The FOB price paid for this coffee was $4.4/lb.
Read more about Bolivia as a coffee-producing country here.