Uncovering the Hidden Gem: San Lorenzo, Bolivia

Hey coffee lovers! This month, I’m super excited to shine the spotlight on a true hidden gem in the coffee world: Bolivian coffee. Now, Bolivia might not produce a huge chunk of the world’s coffee, but what it lacks in quantity, it more than makes up for in quality. These beans are something special.

Coffee has been in Bolivia for hundreds of years, but now a new generation of coffee farmers dedicated to producing high-quality coffee are taking the stage in Bolivia. For the first time in the country’s history, green coffee production has funding and support from the federal government, fueling the search for knowledge among dedicated young coffee professionals. The epicenter in the rise of Bolivian specialty coffee is in the Los Yungas region, where most farms were first established after a wave of migration to the region caused by Bolivia’s Agrarian Revolution in the 1950s. And nearly a century later, this lot emerges from a single 10-acre farm belonging to Yulissa Chambi and her family.

Yulissa is just 21 years old and working on her university degree, but also comes from a family that has been growing coffee in the Yungas region of Bolivia for over 60 years. She carefully harvests the cherry, depulps, ferments the coffee in sealed tanks, washes, and dries the coffee on raised beds. Since Bolivia is a landlocked coffee-producing country, farmers need help getting their coffee to the international market. Felix Chambi Garcia, through his leadership role at the San Juan cooperative, has become an important figure, helping producers with the logistics of moving coffee to the dry mill where quality and traceability are protected during the preparation for export.

So, what makes Bolivian coffee so special? The beans from this region are known for their sweet and balanced profiles. Each sip reveals bright acidity with delightful notes of citrus, complemented by a smooth, chocolatey finish. This harmonious blend of flavors is a testament to the meticulous care and traditional methods employed by Bolivian farmers.

As a small home roaster, I’m all about finding those unique, high-quality beans that tell a story. By choosing Bolivian coffee, you’re not just getting an incredible brew—you’re supporting these passionate farmers and their journey. So, grab a cup, savor the flavors, and join me in celebrating this wonderful coffee from the heart of Bolivia. Cheers!

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