Bolivia San Juan


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This washed coffee is certified organic and comes from the Yungas in Bolivia.

Coffee has been planted in Bolivia for hundreds of years–the country shares a border with Brazil!–but more intensive plantings didn’t take place until after 1952 and the agrarian revolution, when land was taken from the ruling elite (who controlled over 90% of all arable land in the form of gargantuan estates, many of which depended on forced labor) and given (back) to peasants. But coffee’s lack of immediate payoff and relative difficulty in cultivation meant that it never really took off. Bananas, papayas, and (or course) coca were much more profitable, and easier to produce.

There was a bit of an uptick in specialty coffee production after the Cup of Excellence’s 2009 competition–around the time I purchased my first few lots of Bolivian coffee–but those sources quickly dried up. It is only in the last year or two that quality coffee has once again started to trickle into the market.

What I remember about that first Bolivian coffee was a dark, sweet flavor that reminded me of molasses–almost fruity, but not quite. And this coffee has a little of that same thing going on. It’s definitely got a “sugar browning” profile–caramel, brown butter, brown sugar–that makes it a crowds pleasing and comforting cup, especially with a little cream. But it’s got balanced acidity and other nuanced flavors of marzipan and orange oil that make it an interesting cup, if you want it to be. De-lish!


Location: Caranavi

Elevation: 1500 MASL

Varietal: typical, Caturra, catuai

Process: washed and sun dried on raised beds, patios




Additional information


12 oz, 2 lbs, 5 lbs