Bolivian coffee harvest runs from April (below 1,000 masl) to October (up to 2,000 masl). In 2006 the country exported 85,000 bags of green coffee. The coffee rust hit the region very hard after that and the production dropped to 20,000 in 2017. The increase of the coca production also led to a decrease of the coffee production. Indeed, as soon as the coca production became legal in some areas of Bolivia, many farmers switched coffee production to coca production which is more profitable (5 harvests a year with big profit).
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 green forest of the Amazon jungle. 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. All the coffee has to travel this treacherous road to be processed and exported from La Paz.
Agricafe is a business owned by the Rodriguez family and has been started in 1986. By then, the family used to rent wet mills in Caranavi region, buying cherries from 2,000 producers and in 2001 they built their actual wet mill, called Buena Vista, in Caranavi. They, very quickly, built a dry mill in la Paz and then started exporting operations. In 2013, a few years after the national drop of production, they decided to buy land and start farming as well. They now have 8 farms in Caranavi region (60 ha) and 5 farms in Samaipata region (60 ha). Up to 300 people are working for the company at the peak season. They hire agronomists from different countries as consultants every year.
Tacu washing station is located in Samaipata region, near Santa Cruz, the second biggest city in Bolivia.
The region has a sub tropical climate with an 18 degree latitude and the harvest runs from July to November for the whole region.
This is the only lot from that area that Falcon has this year. It's a tiny farm of 1.5 ha managed by Jair Gonzales. He was born in Cochambamba and moved to Santa Cruz 6 years ago where he now lives during the off season. Lime trees are intercropped with red Caturra at 1,650 masl. The main problem in this farm is the presence of many snakes that makes the harvest very difficult so pickers always bring garlic with them to keep the snakes away. Most of the pickers come from other cities: Cochabamba or Sucre and they spend the 3 months of the harvest in Samaipata.
This lot is a semi-washed lot, mechanically processed and dried on raise beds under shade for 2 weeks before it was delivered to the dry mill in La Paz.
In La Paz, after milling, cupping and after making sure the moisture content is around 11%, the coffee is bagged in Ecotact and jute bags before being exported through Arica port in Chile.