Region: Uchumachi Colony, Caravani
Owners: Mauricio Mamani (Finca Yana)
Altitude: 1,500 – 1,700 metres above sea level
Variety: Caturra, Typica
Processing: Washed and sun-dried on raised screens (African beds)
Full bodied and creamy, with a caramel sweetness, and notes of red fruit, vanilla and cinnamon.
Mauricio Mamani Camacho and his wife Lorenza Mamani Huanca are responsible for this special 12 bag microlot. Located in the Carraxo La Reserva region of the Caranavi Province in Bolivia, this farm almost disappears into it’s lush, green and very fertile surrounds. The region’s steep slopes and valleys provide excellent conditions for growing specialty coffee, as well as supporting a diverse range of native flora and fauna.
Mauricio traces his lineage from the Aymara, an ancient indigenous group who reside on the Altiplano (a vast plateau of the central Andes which encompasses southern Peru, Bolivia as well as northern Chile and Argentina. After Mauricio’s parents passed away 15 years ago(the result of a Yellow Fever outbreak) he travelled to the Caranavi area and shortly afterwards bought this 13 hectare farm. It’s located 162km north-east of La Paz, in a ‘colonia’ (settlement area) called Uchumachi.
Aided by his wife Lorenza, Mauricio farms eight hectares of coffee (Typica and Caturra), with the rest of the farm being planted to citrus. The coffee is grown at high altitude (1500 -1700m) in the shade of native forest trees and is fully organic.
Formerly, Mauricio and Lorenza sold their coffee to local markets as wet parchment – known locally as ‘café en mote’ – but over the last 10 years (since the arrival of the Cup of Excellence) he and Lorenza along with the other members of the Mamani family, have processed the coffee themselves; this allows them to carefully control the quality, which in turn results in a much higher price.
During the harvest, Mauricio and Lorenza’s day starts at 4.30am with Lorenza preparing breakfast for the pickers, who arrive at 6am to start their day. Lorenza and Mauricio work alongside the pickers, ensuring that only the very ripest cherries are selected. At 11am they break for lunch, returning at 2pm, they pick until 5pm. The coffee is then carefully sorted, pulped, washed and then left to ferment for 24 hours in tanks without any water. It is then washed, and put out to dry on raised African beds (raised screens) for 7-14 days. While drying, the coffee is carefully inspected for any defects (often more visible in wet parchment) and turned constantly to ensure that it dried evenly and slowly.
Mauricio and Lorenza work very closely with their immediate family (this includes Mauricio’s brother Juan Carlos Mamani, and Lorenza ‘s brother Rene Mamani) who neighbour their property. Working together enables the family to share a small nursery and wet mill; it also allows them to share resources such as the pickers during harvest, as well as techniques/practices and data to improve quality. Mauricio is the designated leader of this family group.