Bolivia – Floripondio Washed

 17.45 52.28

Country: Bolivia
Area: Caranavi
Processing station: Buena Vista
Altitude: 1710 m.a.s.l.
Variety: Bourbon
Processing: Washed
Taste profile: nectarine, lime, chamomile, milk chocolate

The El Floripondo farm is one of the more recently planted farms in the Samaipata area in Santa Cruz. The Rodriguez family has been experimenting with cultivating specialty grade coffee in a region not known for coffee production historically.
Due to its high altitude, tropical microclimate, and unique soil type, Floripondio is the ideal location for experimenting with different varieties. Over 50 varieties have been planted on the farm to discover which is best suited to this particular terroir.
The farm gets its unusual name from the Floripondio trees native to the area. Roughly meaning ‘angel’s trumpets,’ the trees are believed to possess some hallucinogenic properties. Legend believes that sleeping beneath these trees induces heavy and vivid dream states.
Fittingly, the farm itself is so beautiful that those who have visited described its beauty as being as if from a dream.

The Rodriguez family has been running Agricafe since 1986. At that time, the family used to rent wet mills in the Caranavi region, buying cherries from 2,000 producers, and in 2001 they built their current wet mill, called Buena Vista, in Caranavi.
A dry mill in la Paz was constructed quickly, and the family started exporting operations. In 2012, a few years after the national drop in production, they decided to buy land and begin farming. They now have eight farms in the Caranavi region (60 ha) and five in the Samaipata region (60 ha). Up to 300 people are working for the company during the peak season. The Rodriguez family hires agronomists from different countries as consultants every year.
Agricafe produces coffee, processes it at the wet mill, then the dry mill, and exports it. They bet on a great vertical integration system to shorten the supply chain and make it more transparent and cost-efficient. In 2019, they won the SCA Sustainability Award in ‘Best Sustainable Business Model.’

After being inspected and weighed, coffee is carefully sorted by weight using water, and floaters are removed. It is then pulped and ‘dry fermented’ without water for around 18 hours.
Then the coffee is dried slowly and carefully in a mechanical dryer for 60- 75 hours, with temperatures below 40˚C. When the coffee reaches 16% humidity, it then rests for five hours in a silo and is carefully dried until it reaches 11.5% humidity.
All coffee is afterwards transferred to La Paz into a dry mill. After milling, cupping, and ensuring the moisture content is around 10%, the coffee is bagged in Ecotact and jute bags before being exported through Arica port in Chile.

Bourbon is the most famous of the varieties from the Bourbon family. It is a high variety characterized by relatively low production, susceptibility to many diseases but excellent “cup quality”.
French missionaries brought bourbon from Yemen to Bourbon Island (now La Réunion) in the early 18th century. Bourbon did not leave the island until the middle of the 19th century until  the variety spread to new parts of the world, along with missionaries who migrated to continental Africa and America.
The Bourbon variety was brought to Brazil around 1860 and from there it quickly spread north to other parts of South and Central America, where it is still grown today. Here it was mixed with other varieties related to Bourbon, introduced from India, as well as Ethiopian varieties. There are currently many Bourbon-like varieties in East Africa, but none exactly match the Bourbon variety found in Latin America.
Today, in Latin America, Bourbon itself has been largely replaced by the varieties that come from it (especially varieties such as Caturra, Catuai and Mundo Novo). Although Bourbon itself is still grown in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Peru.

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