Aromatically rich, combining dark chocolate and soft roasty notes with hints of fruit and baking spices. In the cup the roast-muted acidity is a sideshow; the main event consists of delicate sweetness, smooth mouthfeel and layers of brandish and chocolate-toned fruit flavors suggesting cherry, raisin, dried berry. The pungent, cherry-chocolate sensation is sustained deep into the long finish.
Roast: Dark Medium
Processing: Washed & Sun Dried
Altitude: 1300 - 1750 M.A.S.L.
Harvest: May to October
12 oz. Handcrafted Fair Trade/Organic Coffee
Bolivia is a geographically diverse country in the heart of South America. While the capital La Paz is the world’s highest capital city at 11,913 feet above sea level, the north is much lower and temperate, the perfect climate for growing organic coffee.
Unión Pro-Agro (UPA) was established in 2000, in the Cantón of Chijchipani in the Caranavi Province, to support the sustainable production of coffee for their members. Many of the inhabitants are of Quechua and Aymara origin, and first or second-generation migrants from the Altiplano, a region that had been severely affected by drought in the 1970s and led to massive migration to the Caranavi region to become coffee farmers.
Union Pro-Agro is located in a valley spread around the small city of Caranavi, located 6 hours from La Paz. The trip to Caranavi, which used to take 12 hours on the old road, named “Highway of Death” for its frequency of accidents, now cruises down eastern facing slopes of the Andes Mountains on a new smooth highway. Still, most coffee producers rarely see more than just the city of Caranavi, as their small scale farms are scattered over dozens of communities throughout the surrounding mountains and hillsides. AECAR and Union Pro-Agro were each founded on the principal creating a market for small scale farmers while focusing on maintaining and caring for the natural environment where they live and work.
Today UPA has grown to a membership of 192 individuals and their families spread out across 11 different colonias. At the cantón Chijchipani, more than 85% of the population earns a living exclusively from coffee cultivation.
UPA began direct exporting in 2007. At that time, the cooperative rented warehouse space and contracted milling services from a private company. But since 2006 UPA has been devoting a portion of its FT premium to the purchase of a property and the construction of a dry mill in El Alto, which is now fully operational. The cool and dry climate of El Alto paired with the high altitude of about 4000 meters (and therefore thinner oxygen levels) make el Alto the ideal location in terms of quality control for dry milling and coffee storage.
The UPA profile is characteristically Caranavi, with deep chocolate and hazelnut flavors, crisp acidity and a full, velvety body.
Five collection centers in the cantón of Chijchipani, serving the eleven communities within the cooperative and spanning three “ecological floors” that correspond to low, middle and high altitudes, and renewed investments in centralized washing stations and fermentation tanks – has facilitated UPA’s capacity to maintain strict quality control standards with members.
At Tupac Katari, the primary collection center and organizational offices, UPA maintains a demonstration plot for educational purposes, with varietals such as Cepac 1, Cepac 2, Catuai, Bourbons, Robusta, and “criollas” also known as Typica for performance tracking and comparison. They also experiment with numerous organic fertilizers and pest control methods to demonstrate best practices to members. The location is also home to “la Casa del Café” and a budding development tourism project.