This very special Geisha variety microlot from Bolivia was produced in the colony of Bolinda, in a lush, steep mountain valley around ten kilometres outside the town of Caranavi. Coffee here is grown 1,450–1,650 metres above sea level. The farm is co-owned by Pedro Rodriguez from coffee organisation Agricafe and his longtime employee Don Carlos.
Over the last five years, Bolivian coffee production has declined, as many producers have switched to growing coca for the unregulated drug trade. In response, Agricafe has planted its own coffee farms, to guarantee supply and to demonstrate to local farmers what can be achieved with the use of modern farming techniques and a scientific approach. Under this project, Agricafe now has 12 thriving farms and aims to plant 200 hectares of coffee across them.
At harvest time, Pedro and Don Carlos employ seasonal workers to pick the ripe cherries. This coffee was processed the same day it was picked, at the Rodriguez family’s Buena Vista Mill. It was pulped and then fermented for 18 hours before being washed and laid out to dry on raised beds in an open greenhouse, where the beans were turned regularly to ensure they dried evenly.
Geisha is a rare variety that boasts some of the most extraordinary flavour profiles found in coffee. Finca Don Carlos was gifted its Geisha seeds from the Panamanian coffee farming family, the Petersons (of Hacienda La Esmerelda), to help support high quality coffee production in Bolivia. What a delicious gift!