We receive fresh deliveries of these coffee beans several times per week. Please allow up to 2-3 working days after you order for dispatch in case we need to wait for the next delivery.
Bolivian specialty coffee is truly a rare find in South Africa, so we are very grateful to our friends at Origin Coffee Roasting for sourcing this lot and sharing it with us. Over 10 years and hundreds of single-origin coffees, we have only ever had four lots from Bolivia available, two of them also provided by Origin. Needless to say, this offers a rare and special tasting opportunity. Bolivia exports very little coffee compared to other South & Central American countries but the specialty lots that do make it to the rest of the world have a strong reputation.
Phaedon's tasting notes
This coffee has a deliciously classic profile. It's quite balanced with a relatively full body, a creamy texture and plenty of sweetness. The acidity is well-integrated but reasonably pronounced, providing whispers of fruit flavour to accompany the nutty and sweet characteristics. I picked up notes of citrus rind in a few of my cups but this coffee is more about the overall tasting experience than the abstruse tasting notes. I would highly recommend it for espresso or espresso-like brews, but I also really enjoyed it in a siphon.
It is hard to find Bolivian specialty coffee these days, mainly due to coffee rust that hit the region, decimating its farms. After the loss, many farmers switched to growing Coca leaves, which can be harvested five times per year, leading to more sustainable incomes.
Caranavi, known as the capital of coffee, 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 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 is where the majority of coffee in Bolivia is produced.
- Flavour: Black cherry, red grape, chocolate, touch of cinnamon, wild honey finish
- Body: Buttery, round
- Roast: Medium
- Acidity: Stone fruit
- Suggested brewing: Pourover/Chemex, AeroPress, Espresso, Milk-based espresso
Coffee details from Origin
El Arcángel is owned by the Rodriguez family who started their business, Agricafe, in 1986. At the time, the family used to rent wet mills in the Caranavi region, buying cherries from 2,000 producers. In 2001 they built their current wet mill, called Buena Vista, in Caranavi. Very quickly a dry mill in la Paz was built and the family started exporting operations.
In 2012, they decided to buy land and start farming as well. They now have 8 farms in the Caranavi region (one of which is El Arcángel), and 5 farms in Samaipata region. They produce coffee, process it at their wet mill, then dry mill and export it themselves. Their farms are vertically integrated, which shortens the supply chain and makes it more transparent and cost efficient.
In 2019, they won the SCA Sustainability award in the category ‘Best Sustainable Business Model’. Aside from experimental processing, the family is also investing in agronomy research, and doing trials with grafting and using different varieties. El Arcángel was planted in 2015 and had its first harvest in 2017.
The farm gets its name from an unusually large and majestic tree that sits at the highest point of the farm, appearing to observe the land from on high, resembling the protector archangel. One of the things that are unique about the farm is that the red and yellow caturras are grown separately from the other varieties so that the distinctive qualities of each are preserved and highlighted in each lot.
- Farm: El Arcángel
- Owner: Rodriguez Family
- Varietals: Caturra, Bourbon, Typica
- Processing: Anaerobic Washed
- Altitude: 1,650 masl
- Region: Caranavi, Yungas Region
- Country: Bolivia