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From the Single Origin Series: Bolivia AIPEP

by Equator Coffee Roasters on Aug 12, 2021

A coffee farmer in the Bolivian province of Caranavi.

Bolivia is a landlocked country in South America, nestled between Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile, and Peru. A third of the country is made up of the Andes creating enormous variation in altitude and a high level of biodiversity. Farming is still very rudimentary in the sense not much fertilization is conducted since farming coffee is still relatively new in the region (since late 70s/ early 80s) and conducted in relatively virgin soils, in many cases under slash-and-burn methods. 

AIPEP, the Association Integral de Productores Ecológicos de Pumiri, is a primary-level producer cooperative with approximately 64 members, located in Pumiri, province of Caranavi, Bolivia. The founding members have worked hard to construct impressive internal systems for excellent organic production and quality control, as well as solid mechanisms for assuring participation and administrative oversight by the members.

AIPEP leaders hope to incorporate surrounding farmers to the cooperative but for now are focusing on improving yields and securing markets. Nonetheless, the organization shows great potential for growth. AIPEP has been certified by IMO Control since 2002, but for years had been unable to export directly, nor be adequately compensated for their organic investment.

In spring 2006, Cooperative Coffees participated in an extensive tour of Bolivia. Out of that impressive visit came Cooperative Coffees first contracts of Bolivian Fair Trade and organic coffee which helped AIPEP eventually achieve FLO certification and expand their market options. We have continued to purchase coffee from AIPEP every year since.

For long-time Equator fans, this release is more of a come-back than a new coffee release. Bolivia AIPEP was part of our year-round line-up from 2010 - 2015. This crowd-pleasing coffee is a welcome return as it is familiar and delicious. 

We roasted this coffee a little darker than most coffees in our single origin program to highlight its marvelous notes of cocoa and a nuttiness complemented by a little extra time in the roaster. This coffee is rich, delicious, and is balanced by a smooth mouthfeel. Drinking this coffee is a familiar experience with a twist thanks to the tartness of the raspberry notes, akin to a raspberry brownie.

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