Introducing the first ever Bolivian single we’ve offered and she’s a beauty. It was sourced through our friends at Melbourne Coffee Merchants who spent time with Pedro Rodriguez at origin. This semi-washed coffee has notes of milk chocolate, apple & nougat and tastes amazing as an espresso.

Origin Samaipata, Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Producer Pedro Rogriguez, El Fuerte
Elevation 1540 – 1650m above sea level
Varietal Red Caturra

Process Semi-washed

Tastes Like Milk Chocolate Apple, Nougat

El Fuerte is owned by Pedro Rodriguez and his family. Over the last decade Pedro has worked tirelessly to build the production of, and market for, Bolivian specialty coffee, helping hundreds of local farmers recognise and realise the potential of their land and crops. Over the last decade he has built a visionary business called Agricafe, which focuses on forging long-term relationships with producers, based on mutual trust and benefit.

Over the last 6 years, many Bolivian producers stopped producing coffee (many switching to coca—grown for the drug trade—which provides a higher year-round income) this, combined with falling yields for those still in the coffee game, has seen coffee production across the nation more than halve. In 2012, Pedro responded by planting his own farms to guarantee ongoing supply & to demonstrate to local farmers what can be achieved with planning and the application of modern farming techniques.

While his first 8 farms were in the Caranavi region, Pedro also recognised that Samaipata had the perfect conditions to produce exceptional coffee, with its high altitudes & nutrient-rich soil. El Fuerte was established in 2013, and is the first farm the Rodriguez family planted in this region. The coffee thrived and the cup profile was distinctive and different to the Caranavi lots, so the Rodriguez family began to invest more heavily in the region, planting three more farms and setting up a wet mill.

Sitting at 1,540 – 1,650 metres above sea level, the farm was first planted with coffee in 2014 and this is its first year of production. The farm is 35 hectares in size, 10 of which are under coffee. Pedro and his family have invested a lot of time and effort into trying to make this a ‘model’ farm that other producers in the area can learn from. The coffee is meticulously organised by variety and is well spaced in neat rows, making picking much easier to manage.

This very special lot was hand picked & processed on the same day at a newly built wet mill on the farm. It’s “semi–washed” meaning the coffee cherries were pulped and then dried without fermentation. The coffee was dried slowly using mechanical driers (for 60 hours with temperatures no higher than 40 degrees) then finished off on raised beds. Once dry, it was transported to La Paz where it was rested, then milled at the Rodriguez family’s brand new dry mill where it was carefully screened again by machines and also carefully by hand.

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