Juana Mamani

  • Country
    Bolivia
  • Province
    Caranavi
  • Colony
    Uchumachi
  • Elevation
    1,500–1,670m above sea level
  • Variety
    Caturra
  • Processing
    Washed
  • Producers
    Juana and Juan Mamani

Elegant and sweet, with grilled pineapple, dried apple and hazelnut. Exceptionally clean and balanced, with a milk chocolate finish.

This coffee was processed by the dynamic team of Juana and Juan Carlos Mamani, a family renowned throughout the region for the coffee they grow and the impact they’ve had on specialty coffee production within their community.

Juana Mamani is a first-generation coffee farmer. She bought her six-hectare coffee farm when she was just 16 years old after working nearby on her sister’s farm for five years – long enough to save up to buy her own plot. At 23 she went on to win second place in Bolivia’s Cup of Excellence 2007 with a score of 90.78.

Juana and Juan are members of one of the most influential coffee farming families in Bolivia. Mamani is a very common name throughout Bolivia, but in this case, we refer to family members Mauricio, Nolberto, René, and of course, Juana and Juan.

 

When Juana and the extended Mamani family first got into coffee, they would sell it to the local market as wet parchment – known locally as café en mote. But over the last decade (since the arrival of the Cup of Excellence), the entire family has focused on producing specialty coffee. Now, they selectively pick their coffee cherries and sell their top-grade coffees for substantially higher prices to our partners the Rodríguez family at Agricafe as part of their Sol de la Mañana program. This initiative is aimed at improving infrastructure and farming practices at farms in order to create a more sustainable future for coffee in Bolivia.

As members of the Sol de la Mañana program, the Mamanis followed a very structured series of courses focused on improving both quality and, critically, yield. The curriculum hones in on one aspect of farming at a time and includes information on building and maintaining a coffee nursery, when to prune and use fertiliser, how to avoid and treat leaf rust, and how to selectively pick coffee. Agricafe has also helped the Mamanis identify which parts of their farms to renovate, repair, and plan where to replant new trees, with a focus on long term, sustainable, and ultimately profitable farming practices.

 

The results of the Sol de la Mañana program have been profound for the Mamanis, with improved quality and significant improvements in their average yield. Off the back of the program the entire family has become more confident, proactive and engaged, and they have begun to actively share their learnings and experiences with each other and their wider community.

 ‘We know how produce exceptional coffee but we are now taking a more scientific approach to coffee farming,’ Juana explained

With the knowledge gleaned from the program the Mamanis have planted a vibrant new nursery, aggressively renovated their farms, pruned the trees, and taken a more structured and planned approach to the way they farm. Their yields have increased substantially as a result, and they no longer have the capacity to do their own wet-milling and drying. Instead, Agricafe handles the processing at Buena Vista, their impeccable wet mill in Caranavi.

Head here to learn more about the wonderful Sol de La Mañana program, and here to learn more about the incredible work the Rodríguez family and Agricafe are doing in Bolivia.

 

HOW THIS COFFEE WAS PROCESSED

Juana Mamani now owns two coffee farms, which are both located at 1,500–1,670 metres above sea level. This lot was selected from the very highest parts of their farms, where the elevation helps ensure a slow maturation of the coffee cherry. This allows the concentrated sugars to develop more evenly, giving the cup more structure and complex flavours.

Today, Juana’s main role is to control the quality of the coffee, while also caring for her young daughter Jenny. Her husband Juan, along with other members of his family pulp and ferment the coffee, while Juana is in charge of the drying.

The coffee is carefully handpicked and manually pulped at the family’s wet mill. It is then fermented without water for 12–16 hours before being washed and carefully dried on raised African beds. While drying, the coffee is carefully inspected for any defects (often more visible in wet parchment).

Once the coffee was dry, it was transported to La Paz where it was rested before being milled at Agricafe’s dry mill, La Luna. At this state-of-the-art mill, the coffee was first hulled and sorted using machinery, and then by a team of workers who meticulously sorted the coffee again (this time by hand) under UV and natural light. The mill is one of the cleanest and most impressive we have seen – you can read more about it here.