DEPARTMENT Santa Cruz
REGION Agua Rica
ALTITUDE 1,710m above sea level
OWNER Los Rodriguez Family
Fairy floss, lychee, raspberry and grilled peach, with cane sugar sweetness and tropical acidity. Distinct, clean and complex.
This very special 600kg micro-lot comes from Floripondio, a farm located in a new growing region in Bolivia called Samaipata, which is located in the easterly department of Santa Cruz, 120km from the city of Santa Cruz, at the foot of the Bolivian Andes.
The farm is owned by the Rodriguez family. The Rodriguez’ has a business called Agricafe, that produces coffee from its own farms, and sources quality micro-lots from small producers in the Yungas region.
Floripondio is one of the more recent farms planted in Samaipata, where the Rodriguez family has been experimenting with growing specialty coffee. Historically, this region has not been known for producing coffee, but after success in growing exceptional coffee at their first farm in the region – El Fuerte – the Rodriguez family have continued investing more heavily in the region, planting four more farms, including Floripondio, and building a wet mill to process the coffee.
Floripondio was established in 2014. The farm is 29 hectares in size and sits at a staggering 1,710 meters above sea level. This high altitude, combined with the region’s fairly extreme climate (which goes from 25-30°C during the day and 8-10°C at night) makes the ripening process of the cherries slow down, and the sugars of the fruit are concentrated in the cherry and bean, which in turn helps produce an incredibly sweet and complex coffee.
Because of Floripondio’s high altitude, its tropical microclimate, and its distinct soil profile, the Rodriguez family has chosen to locate their variety nursery at the farm. To date, they have planted over 50 varieties, making it the largest variety garden in all of Bolivia. Their objective is to work out which are best suited to the land and this particular latitude and altitude. To separate the different varieties, they kept the original lemon and tangerine trees on the farm and sell the fruit to the local markets. At the end of the harvest, all the varieties are cupped and decisions are made about which variety to plant on the different farms of Los Rodriguez.
Floripondio gets its name from the Floripondio flowers (commonly known as Angel’s Trumpet in English) that are native to the area and grow throughout the farm. The flower is thought to possess some hallucinogenic properties, and legend has it that as soon as you lay down beneath a Floripondio tree you start dreaming. This is apt, as the natural scenery at Floripondio is breathtakingly beautiful and can at times, seem like something out of a dream.
HOW THIS COFFEE WAS PROCESSED
Pickers from the Samaipata community carefully handpick the coffee at Floripondio every day during the harvest. These pickers have been trained to select only the very ripest cherries and pass through the farm every day to ensure the coffee is only picked at its prime. Selective picking is always very important – and particularly important for naturally processed lots like this one to ensure a very sweet and clean cup. The Rodriguez family have found that the very ripest (almost purple) cherries provide the best cup.
After the coffee was delivered to the mill, it was placed into a floatation tank and all floaters were removed. The whole cherries were then dried on raised beds in the sun and turned regularly to ensure even drying. Once the coffee was dry, it was transported to La Paz where it was rested, and then milled at Agricafe’s dry mill, La Luna. At this state-of-the-art mill, coffee is meticulously hulled and sorted using machinery, and is also sorted carefully by hand under UV and natural light.
Click to Pre-Order Now
Melbourne Coffee Merchants, 2021