Los Rodriguez – Caturra

Microlot (87-89 points)

Los Rodrugiez, Santa Cruz, Bolivia – Coco Natural Caturra

– “A stunning experimental micro-lot of Caturra varietal produced by our dear friends the Rodriguez family in the highlands of Samaipata”. 

What to expect in the cup

Boysenberry, plum, vanilla. Amazingly sweet and decadent cup with warming plum wine like acidity combined with musky floral fragrance.

£16.00£56.00

It’s our third year purchasing this 100% Caturra lot which comes from a relatively new farm called Finca La Llama. This farm has only been in harvest since 2017, and its production is still small but of exceptional quality. The small ten-hectare farm is located in the settlement of Villa Rosario, which lies in a lush, steep mountain valley just outside of the town of Caranavi. La Llama is owned by the Rodriguez family, who also own a business called Agricafe, which produces coffee from its own farms and also sources quality micro-lots from small producers in the Yungas region. At La Llama, Pedro hires pickers from the Villa Rosario community to carefully handpick the coffee during the harvest. These pickers are trained to select only the very ripest cherries, and multiple passes are made through the farm throughout the harvest to ensure the coffee is picked at its prime. Selective picking is always very important and is particularly important for naturally processed lots like this one, to ensure a very sweet and clean cup. The Rodriguez family has found that the very ripest (almost purple) cherries provide the best cup. After being picked and weighed, this coffee was carefully washed and laid out to dry on raised African beds and turned every hour. After about one week on the raised beds, the coffee is then placed in a coco dryer which help to maintain slow and consistent drying. The coffee sits in the large steel vats for around 35 hours at temperatures no higher than 40˚C, and turned every 30 minutes. Once the coffee was dry, it was transported to La Paz where it was rested, and then milled at Agricafe’s dry mill, La Luna. At this state-of-the-art mill, coffee is meticulously hulled and sorted using machinery, and is also sorted carefully by hand under UV and natural light.
The Rodriguez family’s approach to coffee production has been extremely methodical, innovative and scientific. Over the last decade, Rodriguez had worked tirelessly to build production and expand the market for Bolivian specialty coffee, helping hundreds of local farmers recognise and realise the potential of their land and crops. Pedro began his journey in coffee by working with small producers in Caranavi, building a wet mill to process their coffee, and educating producers to selectively handpick their cherries. He also started to process small micro-lots from each of the producers, and because of the unique combination of heirloom varieties, rich soil and incredibly high elevations, the results were outstanding. However, despite increased international recognition for its quality, coffee production in Bolivia began to rapidly decline over a very short period of time for many reasons. Some farmers switched to coca – grown for the drug trade and illegal to produce in Caranavi – because it provided them with a high year-round income. For those still in coffee, their yields were also declining as a result of ageing coffee plantations, unsophisticated farming techniques, and leaf rust. The combination of these factors resulted in the nation’s coffee production declining by more than half. In 2012, as leaf rust started to obliterate the production in many small farms, Pedro and his family began to invest in their own plantations, fearing that coffee production in Bolivia would disappear completely. This, they recognised was critical in order to guarantee a minimum level of supply and thus ensure the future sustainability of their business. They acquired land in Caranavi, near their Buena Vista mill and created their first farm, Finca La Linda. “This is where the dream started,” Pedro says. Along the way, they consulted with leading specialty coffee agronomists from around the world to help them produce exceptional coffee and build sustainable and healthy farms. A wide range of varieties have been trialled, along with different farming techniques to optimise quality and output. They have carefully documented their findings at every step of the way, and continue to innovate and invest in improvements to produce the very best quality coffee they can.