• Country
  • Province
  • Colony
  • Altitude
    1,468m above sea level
  • Variety
  • Processing
  • Owner
    Los Rodriguez Family

Bright plum acidity, with molasses and raisin sweetness, balanced by chocolate and toasted hazelnut. Great for espresso.

This 100% Caturra lot comes from Kusillo, a small farm owned by Pedro Rodriguez and his family. Over the last decade, Rodriguez has 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.

Kusillo is located in the colony of Bolinda, which lies in a lush, steep mountain valley around 10 kilometres outside of the town of Caranavi. The colony of Bolinda was founded 52 years ago and was once known as ‘Bolivia Linda’ or ‘Beautiful Bolivia’. Over the years this name was shortened to Bolinda, and it is now one of the larger settlements in the area.

Coffee production in Bolivia is, and always has been, very small. 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 altitudes, 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 decline 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.

Today Agricafe has 12 farms, and around 130 hectares of coffee under the banner of ‘Fincas Los Rodriguez’.  Seven of these are in Caranavi, in the department of La Paz, and the remaining five are in Samaipata, in the department of Santa Cruz in Bolivia’s east.

The Rodriguez family’s approach to coffee production has been extremely methodical, innovative and scientific. 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.

The Rodriguez farms are some of the most organised and beautiful we have come across. Coffee is well spaced in neat rows and meticulously organised by variety, making picking and lot separation much easier to manage than on more traditional farms in the region. The farms are vibrant, luscious and healthy, and produce exceptional quality and yields.


Kusillo was planted in 2015 with Java and Red Caturra coffee varieties. The farm is 10.3 hectares in size and neighbours La Linda, the first of the Fincas Los Rodriguez. A row of banana trees separates the two farms from each other where, during the harvest season, the harvesters settle down to rest.

Typically, the harvest in Bolivia runs from June to October, but at Finca Kusillo it usually starts a little earlier. The high elevation – about 1,468 metres above sea level – helps to ensure the slow maturation of the coffee cherries; at high altitudes, night-time temperatures are more stable, and during the day temperature is mild. This allows more time for a higher concentration of sugars to develop in the cherry and bean, which in turn helps produce an incredibly sweet and clean coffee. Generally, the Java beans are the first to mature, followed by the red Caturra.



At Kusillo, Pedro hires pickers from the Bolinda 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 only picked at its prime.

This Caturra lot was carefully picked and processed on the same day at the Rodriguez family’s Buena Vista mill. After being weighed it was carefully sorted by weight using water, and any floaters were removed. It was then pulped and ‘dry fermented’ without water for around 46 hours.

The coffee was then laid out to dry on raised beds and regularly turned for up to 48hrs, before being finished in a mechanical dryer for around 35hrs, with temperatures no higher than 40˚C. When the coffee reached 16% humidity it was rested for five hours in a silo, and then carefully dried until it reached 11.5% humidity.

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 is meticulously hulled and sorted using machinery and also a team of sorters who carefully sort the coffee 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.


‘Kusillo’ (which means ‘monkey’), is the name of a cheeky character who acts as a jester or buffoon in many folkloric dances from the Bolivian highlands.

Dancers representing Kusillo wear bright and colourful wool masks and leap and dance for the crowd’s entertainment, demonstrating good humour and positive energy. The Rodriguez family chose this name to represent their philosophy that happiness and good humour should be present in everything you do.

The harvest is a moment of celebration, after a long wait. We can harvest the longawaited cherries, people get together, laugh, play music, the happiest of them even dance or sing. There is always a “Kusillo” in the group of harvesters – a person keeps the joy throughout the harvest, who is constantly jokes around, dances, or hiding among the coffee plantations to go out to scare the group. We all need a Kusillo in our life!



Read about Pedro Rodgriguez’s journey in coffee here, and about Agricafe’s Sol de la Mañana program here, and about Bolivian coffee more generally here.