From Bolivia to your Cup
Our Bolivia Caranavi Los Coloniales is a Fairtrade Certified, full bodied coffee with a deep richness and sweet, caramel “roasty” aroma. It pairs well with milk and dairy, and is particularly good as a pour over.
Located 12 hours from La Paz, Bolivia, the Caranavi region is designated as a “Humid, Sub-tropical Forest.” Elevations range from 4,225ft to 5,850ft. The average size of the organic coffee farms here are between 3 and 11 acres. The terrain is rugged and steep, and the forest is lush and beautiful.
These coffee farmers are known as “Coloniales.” During the 1950’s, this area suffered under a corporate oligarchy that used poor working conditions and governmental corruption to keep the working class families poor and uneducated, and therefore, cheap. In 1991, through Governmental Land Reform, the larger land owners were made to relinquish their holdings and return the control of these small farms back to the families who had originally owned them.
This dynamic group of producers with an average age of 30 started in January 2013 with 18 families all sharing the same objective – to improve organic production while prioritizing the production of and exportation of coffee to international markets and also providing micro lots. In the communities of Calama and Nogalani, 85% of the inhabitants depend on the production of coffee while the remaining 15% producer other crops such as citrus and bananas.
In 2014, the plan to renovate the coffee parcels was carried out, preserving the original varietals as well as selecting from the parcels those plants that showed resistance to pests and diseases. The first phase of the renovation was carried out including 12 hectares with 48,000 coffee seedlings. The second phase produced 64,000 seedlings for 16 hectares of land. In 2016, the next phase renewed 11 hectares and in 2017, 9 more hectares of renovation took place.
The cooperative has over 40 women farmers who enjoy the same rights and obligations as their male counterparts. They have gender equality within the executive board of directors as well as the oversight committee. The participation of women is vital within the cooperative and are seen as the fundamental pillar within the family home.
Overcoming a variety of barriers, including geographic isolation, rugged terrain, and a traditionally lower status in society, the women of Café Femenino Bolivia Program have successfully improved their coffee-producing livelihoods, their future prospects, and the health of their families and communities. It all started in 2009, when the women separated their coffee production from the men’s, created a women’s association, and started their own Café Femenino Program in Bolivia. One of the first advancements the women in Bolivia achieved upon joining Café Femenino was having their names included on the titles to their land. This may sound trivial, but by doing so, the land remains with each woman if she becomes abandoned or is widowed, thereby providing protection from further poverty for herself and her children. Psychologically, this act instills a sense of value and ownership over each woman’s livelihood and business. This is a powerful means of creating self-esteem for women who are accustomed to being viewed as servants to their husbands.
Cooperative: BioArabica – Cooperative Agropecuaria “Bio Arabica” R.L.
Region: Caranavi, Bolivia in the communities of Calama and Nogalani.
Process: Fully washed and sun dried on natural sun tables
Varietals: Red Catuai 60%, Caturra 15%, Mondo Novo 10%, and Tipica 15%
Altitude: 1,100 – 1,700 meters
Cup: Hints of honey and spices, nutty, chocolate, cocoa, with caramel