Don Martin has worked in coffee for over 40 years, and has owned land for about half of that time. He's passed on his enthusiasm for coffee to his 4 children, who all work in coffee. For the last 8 years he has been part of the Sol De La Mañana program, which is run by the Rodriguez family. Over those 8 years, he's learnt and developed his approach to farming. Nearby are other farms managed in the traditional style, against which his contrasts with its neat layout, methodical pruning and vigorous coffee plants.
Sol De La Mañana producers like Martin deliver their freshly picked coffee cherries to the Buena Vista mill which is run by the Rodriguez family in Caranavi. Martin and other Sol De La Mañana producers in Copacabana load their pickings in bags into the back of a pickup truck and drive it down at the end of the day.
As it arrives, each sack is unloaded and checked. A sample is taken, along with lots of information about the delivery, which allows the lot to be tracked and quality results fed back to producers. The traditional way to process coffee in Bolivia is via the Washed method, but the Los Rodriguez team have innovated and added an Anaerobic Fermentation stage which is done in stainless steel fermentation vessels. More commonly seen in wineries or breweries, these allow the absolute highest level of control in managing this process and enable the team to deliver incredibly consistent quality. This is supported by the onsite lab where samples are taken and measured daily to inform the management with precise data.