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Bolivia has an interesting coffee history and although it was exporting close to 85,000 bags in the early 2000s, Bolivian coffees almost disappeared at the end of the last decade. In 2018, only 23,300 bags were exported. A tiny portion of these were sold as Specialty grade.
The main reason is the coffee rust that hit the coffee regions very hard and decimated many farms. Following this, many producers decided to start growing coca leaves (the base ingredient in the preparation of cocaine) instead of coffee. Coca is a lot more profitable than coffee per hectare and you can harvest it about 5 times a year which gives income to the producers and their family throughout the year.
Bolivian coffee harvest runs from April to October. Caranavi is known as the capital of coffee and is located in the lush forest of the Yungas region. This is where the famous Death Road follows the Andes Mountains from the dry Altiplano to the lush green forest of the Amazon jungle. All the exportable products from the region have to travel this treacherous road to be processed and exported from La Paz. This unique region has two climates and is home to the most fertile soil and consequently where the majority of coffee in Bolivia is produced nowadays. However, producers only plant 2 to 4 hectares of their plots with coffee trees, the rest remaining wild forest.
Agricafe is owned by the Rodriguez family who started this business in 1986. They have 13 farms. Up to 300 people are working for the company at the peak season. They produce coffee, process it at the wet mill then dry mill and export it themselves directly to the UK.
Taste: Cherry, Apple
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