I am so pleased to see this coffee back for an amazing FIFTH year! It’s become a big favourite for me, and I know this is also true for many of you out there.
The farm is located in the colony of Bolinda in the North Yungas region of Bolivia, near to the town of Caranavi. The farm is called Finca David Vilca, as it doesn't have a proper name. 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 15 years ago after a career in mining left him with damaged hearing. He bought this 12 hectare farm as security for himself and his family, to make sure 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 planting. He now has five acres of coffee (and we have bought the coffee from all of them). He has very little outside help with the farm, except from direct family: his wife helps him greatly.
The varietals on the farm are Caturra, Catuai and Criolla. The farm is under constant improvement. David is now removing much of the Criolla and focusing on Typica and Catuai, for cup quality reasons. This coffee comes from the Caturra parts of the farm.
Last year you might have noticed the price was a little unusual, I've visited David a couple of times now, 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 David had damaged his hearing whilst working as a miner before purchasing the farm.
I've visited David a couple of times now. 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 David had damaged his hearing whilst working as a miner before purchasing the farm.
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 last year we paid for two hearing aids while we were there, so that he could hear again.
We thought that would be the last of it. But when I last 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!
This year you can also enjoy coffee from David Vilca in a lip balm! Who doesn't like lip balm? You can order separately via the product page http://www.hasbean.co.uk/products/single-origin-lip-balm-v2-0