Tasting Notes: Peach, Pineapple, Vanilla
Black forest cake and bubblegum, with a raspberry acidity and intense cherry ripe sweetness. Full bodied and syrupy.
This is a tiny and very special 900kg micro-lot that comes from La Linda, a small farm owned by Pedro Rodriguez. Over the last decade, Rodriguez has worked tirelessly to build the production of, and market for, Bolivian specialty coffee, helping hundreds of local farmers recognise and realise the potential of their land and crops.
La Linda is located in the colony of Bolinda, which lies in a lush, steep mountain valley around 10 kilometres outside of the town of Caranavi. The colony of Bolinda was founded 52 years ago and was once known as ‘Bolivia Linda’ or ‘Beautiful Bolivia’. Over the years this name was shortened to Bolinda, and it is now one of the larger settlements in the area.
Pedro Rodriguez entered the coffee industry 30 years ago, ditching his suit and his accounting job to pursue a passion for agriculture. Fifteen years ago, Pedro recognised the potential for specialty coffee in Bolivia, and over the last decade he has built a visionary business called Agricafe, which focuses on forging long-term relationships with producers, based on mutual trust and benefit.
With a young, dynamic, and passionate team, including Pedro’s son Pedro Pablo and daughter Daniela, Agricafe represents over 1,000 small producers based in the Caranavi province as well as further afield in the South Yungas region. Many of the Caranavi-based producers deliver their whole cherries to Agricafe’s Buena Vista Mill in Caranavi. This meticulously run mill processes many of its lots separately, allowing for full traceability back to the individual farmer or colony.
Over the last five years, many of the producers that Agricafe works with have stopped producing coffee (many farmers have switched to coca—grown for the drug trade—which provides them with a higher year-round income), and this, combined with falling yields for those still in the coffee game (as a result of leaf rust and simple farming practices) has seen coffee production across the nation more than halve.
In 2012, Pedro Rodriguez responded by planting his own farms to guarantee supply and the future sustainability of his business, and to demonstrate to local farmers what can be achieved with the application of modern farming techniques and a scientific approach. Under this project, called ‘Fincas Los Rodriguez’, Agricafe now has 12 farms, and aims to plant around 200 hectares of coffee in total across them.