Lucio Mamani

  • Country
    Bolivia
  • Province
    Caranavi
  • Colony
    Uchumachi
  • Altitude
    1,600–1,750m above sea level
  • Variety
    Caturra, Catuaí, Typica
  • Processing
    Fully Washed
  • Producers
    Lucio Mamani

Rich, full bodied and sweet with dried date, honey and jasmine, dark chocolate and a lingering honey finish.

This special coffee was grown by third generation coffee farmer Lucio Mamani.  His small family farm, “Finca El Mirador”, is located in the some 30 km from Caranavi town and 162km north-east of La Paz, in a ‘colonia’ (settlement area) called Uchumachi.  This is a lush, green and very fertile area whose steep slopes and valleys provide excellent conditions for growing specialty coffee, as well as supporting a diverse range of native flora and fauna.

Lucio’s family has been working in coffee in the Yungas region for over 50 years. The family moved to region, from La Paz, when Don Lucio was only one week old. His grandfather decided to plant coffee on the land that had been given to them by the government, and father (and more recently Lucio and now his children) followed suit.

Lucio’s farm is 13 hectares in size. Around 4 hectares are planted with Caturra, Catuaí and Typica variety coffee trees. These grow alongside mandarins, oranges and potatoes and apples which Lucio sells to supplement his income.  The coffee grows at high altitude (1,600 -1,750m) in the shade of native forest trees. Lucio’s farm is located next to a stream and they believe that this access to water, which is unique to the farm, gives their cherries a unique sweetness and helps keep the soil moist and rich.

Lucio and his children (who have neighbouring farms) enjoyed many good years in coffee production, and at their prime they were producing around 120 bags of coffee a year, which they exported to specialty buyers in the USA and Europe. Unfortunately around 6 years ago, their farm (like most in Bolivia) was hit by leaf rust, and they didn’t know how to combat the disease.  Devastated and desperate, the family considered leaving their farm but coffee was all that they knew. They persisted for a couple of years, producing low yields and planting fruit trees to supplement their income. They were then approached by the Roriguez family of Agricafe, who invited them to participate in the Sol de la Mañana program. Initially there were sceptical, however they realised that the program would help them address the issues they were facing and that they would find a way keep their farms healthy and improve their yields, so they jointed the program in 2013.

ABOUT SOL DE LA MANANA

Sol de La Mañana was established by Agricafe; a Bolivian family business which produces coffee from its own farms and sources and processes high quality micro-lots from small producers of the Yungas region, like Lucio Mamani. The first of its kind in the country, the Sol de la Mañana program is aimed at sharing knowledge and technical assistance with local producers to create better quality coffees in higher quantities. By doing so Agricafe hopes that coffee production can be a viable and sustainable crop for producers in the region, like Lucio Mamani for many years to come.

As members of the program, the Lucio Mamani has followed a very structured series of courses, focused on improving quality and yield. The curriculum focuses on one aspect of farming at a time, and covers things such as how to build a nursery, how and when to use fertiliser, how to prune, has how to selectively pick coffee. Agricafe also hosts workshops with leading agronomists throughout the year. These forums have allowed the producers to meet one another, share their experiences and discuss ways to tackle problems they are experiencing. Over time the producers have become more experienced and confident and actively sharing their learning with each other.

The results of this program have been profound, with improved quality and quantities for all participating producers. In addition, the producers have become more confident and proactive and engaged as a community and are sharing their learnings and experiences with each other. Daniela Rodriguez of Agricafe explained that this is where the program becomes really powerful:  “We are giving them the tools and know-how, but they are actively choosing to follow our advice and invest in their farms. Now they can see the results, they trust us 100% and helping their neighbours achieve similar results”

Off the back of the program Lucio Mamani has planted a very vibrant new nursery and aggressively renovated his farm, pruning the trees, and taking a more structured and planned approach to the way he farms. The results are already evident, and encouraged Lucio to take a long term view and ensure that he continues to lay the foundations for a more sustainable and ultimately more profitable future himself and his family.

HOW THIS COFEE WAS PROCESSED

This coffee was carefully hand-picked this coffee on the 8th of July 2017 by Lucio and his family. On the same day the coffee was pulped and fermented without water for 15.45 hours. It was then dried on on raised  African beds.  While drying, the coffee was turned regularly to ensure it dried evenly, and carefully inspected for any defects (often more visible in wet parchment).

Once the coffee was dry, it was transported Agricafe’s quality control team (headed up by Willy) to be cupped and evaluated. It was here we cupped this lot and fell in love with it and snapped it up!

This coffee was then transported to La Paz where it was rested, and then milled at the Agricafe’s brand new dry mill. At the mill, the coffee was carefully screened again by machines and also by hand.

WANT TO KNOW MORE?

See a video we produced of the Mamani family here. Read about the Sol de la Mañana program here and Pedro Rodgriguez here and about Bolivian coffee more generally here.