Boliva Cima del Jaguar
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“Cima del Jaguar” means “Jaguar’s Hilltop,” and it refers to the collective group of Aida Titirico Hilari, her husband, Braulio, and her brother, Carmelo. Each family member has their own 25 acres of land, where they produce their own separate harvests under one collective name.

Together, they produced three of the top ten winning lots in the 2009 Cup of Excellence competition—and if that competition had not been cancelled this year, I suspect that this lot would have taken the award again.

Aida is 26 years old, and a mother of three children. She migrated with her parents to the coffee-growing region of Caranavi, when she was four years old, from the town of Ancoraymes in the Bolivian Altiplano (High Plateau), the ancestral home of Aymara Indians.

BonLife expresses that this is their favorite microlot that they’ve ever purchased from South America and it must be true, as they actually purchased the entirety of it!

Bolivia is a country of very small lot farmers who have been left out of the specialty coffee market until just a few years ago. But, with a landscape of snowy mountains, wide plateaus, and tropical rain forests, Bolivia has ideal coffee-producing conditions.

More than 90 percent of the coffee grown in Bolivia is produced in the Yungas area, a tropical region in La Paz with altitudes between 800 and 1,800 meters. Other important growing regions are Cochabamba, Santa Cruz and Tarija. The coffee has fruity full flavors and is packaged in larger 70kg sacks, typically of bright Bolivian flag colored motif.

Bolivia is a small producer, with roughly 20 million pounds of coffee exports, which places them outside the top twenty five in total export volume. The GDP per capita is in the developing country range. This is the only country in South America that we are proactively working with every year.

Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping a cup of Bolivia Aida Cima del Jaguar, from BonLife Coffee in Cleveland, Tennessee. Feel free to pull up a chair.

the basics:

region: Colonia Kantutani, Entre Rios, Caranavi, Bolivia
farm: Cima del Jaguar
producer: Aida Titirico Hilari
association: N/A
elevation: 1600+ meters above sea level
cultivars: Caturra, Catuai
process: fully washed, patio dried
certifications: Organic

the coffee:

The aroma coming off the Cima del Jaguar is sweet and savory; a tiny bit spicy, too. Really nice fragrances of dark chocolate, honey, graham cracker, cinnamon, and a very faint dusting of nuts tickle the nostrils.

The first few sips of this coffee are practically identical to the aroma. Chocolate Bundt cake and fudge coalesce with a syrupy molasses and English toffee. I’m also getting those spicy/sweet notes of brown sugar, powdered sugar, cinnamon, graham cracker, and waffle cone. There is one flavor I’m tasting, though, that I can’t quite put my finger on; it’s almost papery, kinda vegetal, but I want to say it’s honeyed wheat or oat or even bran. I don’t know. It’s not unpleasant, but my inability to label it is making it kind of distracting.

As it cools, citrus juiciness cracks through the crust and lazily seeps over the palate. Tangerine and mango are the dominant flavors, but I’m also getting other fruit notes like green grape, strawberry, cinnamon apple, spiced cherry, and grenadine while shaved almonds, cinnamon, and hazelnut present themselves in the finish.

Full body; creamy mouthfeel; citrus acidity; clean finish.

the bottom line:

The Bolivia Cima del Jaguar, from BonLife Coffee, I have to say, is a coffee that pleasantly surprised me. Bolivia, after all, is a region that I never expect anything special to come from; so, when a coffee like this one comes along, it’s worth taking note.

Sweet and creamy with great balance, a sparkling acidity, and a fair clarity make this a tremendous Latin American breakfast coffee.

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