Mamani Mamani

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

Full bodied and bright with pineapple  acidity and notes of marzipan, dark chocolate, plum, apricot and roast hazelnuts.

This coffee was grown by one of the most influential coffee farming families in Bolivia – the Mamani Family. Mamani is a very common name throughout Bolivia, but in this case, we refer to Juana, Juan Carlos, Mauricio,  Lorenza and René – who are known throughout the region for the coffee that they grow and the impact that they’ve had on coffee production within the region.

The Mamani’s have neighbouring farms located in the Caranavi Province in Bolivia. 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.

The family were all born into the Aymara, an ancient indigenous group which lives on the Altiplano (a vast plateau of the central Andes stretching through southern Peru, Bolivia and into northern Chile and Argentina). They arrived in the Caranavi area 15 years ago, and settled in the ‘colonia’ (settlement area) of Uchumachi.

 

 

The Mamani family used to sell 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) they have processed the coffee themselves, allowing them to get a far better price for their beans and carefully control the quality.

The family work very closely together to support each other during the harvest. Together the family share a small nursery and wet mill. Living so close to each other allows them to share resources such as pickers during the harvest, and share best practice between them. In addition to helping each other, the Mamani family have also played a significant role within their colony of Uchumachi over the last decade, and have worked closely with their neighbours to institute improved agricultural practices to improve coffee quality.

Over the last 15 years, the Mamani family have worked with Agricafe to mill, market and sell their coffee. Agricafe is a Bolivian family business which produces coffee from its own farms and sources high quality micro-lots from small producers of the Yungas region, like the Mamani family.

In 2012, the Mamani family were the first of 10 groups to go through the Sol de la Mañana or ‘Morning Sun’ program established by Agricafe. Agricafe invited its best and most quality-driven producers to participate in the program, which focused on providing technical assistance and education to improve both quality and yield of small producers in the Yungas region.

ABOUT SOL DE LA MANANA

The first of its kind in the country, the Sol de la Manaña 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, like the Mamanis,  in the region for many years to come.

As members of the program, the Mamanis have followed a very structured series of courses, focused on improving her 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”

Five years on, the results are really starting to positively impact the Mamanis’ output, and they are very excited about participating in the program. ‘Our focus right now is on improving our yield. We know how produce exceptional coffee but we are now taking a more scientific approach to coffee farming,’ they told us. Off the back of the program they have planted a very vibrant new nursery and are now aggressively renovating their farms, pruning the trees, and taking a more structured and planned approach to the way they farm.

HOW THIS COFFEE WAS PROCESSED

This particular lot was carefully handpicked in August and then pulped at the family’s wet mill. It was then fermented for 16 hours and then washed and carefully dried on raised African beds in the sun for 17 days.  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.