Episode 492 on Monday the 16th of April, 2018. Bolivia David Vilca
This is a big, big Bolivian favourite here at Hasbean. I am so pleased to see this coffee back for an amazing SEVENTH year! It’s a big favourite for me, and I know this is also true for many of you too.
The farm is located in Illimani in the Los Yungas region of Bolivia, near to the city of Caranavi. The farm didn't originally actually have a proper name and so it has been named after the gentleman that runs it, David Vilca. This is quite common in Bolivia: farms are often named after an individual or the family running them.
David migrated from La Paz to the farm sixteen years ago, after a career in mining left him with damaged hearing. He bought a twelve hectare farm as security for himself and his family, to make sure that they could support themselves. When he took over, he only had one acre planted with coffee (it was of the Criolla varietal). After two years, David was comfortable with coffee farming. He was becoming increasingly interested in it, and so he decided to extend the coffee plantation. He now has five acres of coffee (and we have bought the coffee from all five acres). He has very little outside help with the farm, except from direct family; his wife helps him greatly.
The varietals on the farm are Typica, Caturra, Catuai and a very small amount of Criolla. The farm is under constant improvement - David removed much of the Criolla that was growing so he could put more focus on the Typica, Caturra and Catuai, for cup quality reasons. This coffee is a mixture of all the varietals on the farm, excluding Criolla.
I have a really good relationship with David, and you might remember that three years ago we did something a little different with the coffee's price. I've visited David a couple of times now and when I was there I thought he was being rude to me by ignoring me, or not responding when I spoke to him. Last time I visited, though, I found out that David's hearing had become damaged whilst he was working as a miner before he made the move into coffee.
In the past the exporter had given David some money to get hearing aids, but he spent the money on satellite TV (for his wife – who hasn’t been in that situation!). So 3 years ago we paid for two hearing aids while we were there, so that he could hear properly again and enjoy my smooth and soothing Cannock accent #yamyam ;) yamyamyam
We thought that would be the last of it. But when I next visited, David didn’t have his hearing aids in. He told us that they were not good while he was picking what to wear, but also that he couldn’t afford the batteries. So we left him with cash for a microphone hearing-device for around his neck, and $200 for batteries. This worked out at 7p per bag for all the coffee we buy from him, and I didn't pick up the tab – you lovely people did! So a big THANK YOU from me, and also, of course, from David!
David's farm is between 1,550 and 1,700 metres above sea level. This is a mechanically washed coffee that underwent full wet fermentation for 16 hours before being dried on raised beds and in a stationary dryer.
In the cup you can expect to taste what it’d be like if a Milky Way chocolate bar was walking down the street and bumped into a bunch of overripe white grapes. There’s also a subtle orange like acidity that’s been walking closely behind them too.
Clean cup: (1–8): 6
Sweetness: (1–8): 7
Acidity: (1–8): 6.5
Mouthfeel: (1–8): 6.5
Flavour: (1–8): 6.5
Aftertaste: (1–8): 7
Balance: (1–8): 6.5
Overall: (1–8): 7
Total (max. 100): 89
Medium dark - take this just up to the first pops of second crack and then drop the roast.
"Quick Look" Guide
Milky Way, white grape, orange.
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