Bolivia Finca El Fuerte Coffee Flowers

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When brewed they produce a very sweet brew, so sweet you'd think someone had sweetened it! There's lychee, a lovely floral edge (think honeysuckle) and sweet nutmeg spice on the finish.



Some of you may have tried Cascara and thought, Wow, that’s it, I’ve tried all of the plant! But no, no, no, there’s more!

An idea that first popped into my head back in 2010 that first came to fruition last year is back! Last year I know coffee flowers made a lot of you very happy and so I'm super excited to have more of them to share.

Dale Harris, my Director of Wholesale here at Has Bean towers, likes to compete in barista competitions, and these competitions require you to come up with signature drinks. I remember sneaking back from Costa Rica with some coffee flowers to try and incorporate them into such a drink. We never found an effective way to use them, but it’s something that's bugged me since, over and over again.

So I asked our partners in Bolivia if they could harvest some flowers for us and see what we could do. This doesn’t damage the crop, because they are harvested just as they are about to fall from the tree, but it does involve lots of work (which is just one of the reasons why we love the people we work with).

The process begins after a coffee harvest when there’s normally a period of dry weather. During this time the coffee plant gets a little stressed because of the lack of water. Then the rainy season comes, which sparks the coffee plant into creating little blossom flowers. These flowers have one of the most amazing and powerful smells I have ever experienced (if you could make an aftershave from it then it’d be my smell of choice), and the appearance of these flowers marks the start of the process during which the coffee plant creates its cherries for our lovely coffee beverages.

These flowers come from Finca EL Fuerte which is near the city of Santa Cruz in the Samaipata region of Bolivia. Finca El Fuerte was named in honor of the 'Fort of Samaipta', which is a unique ruin in Bolivia. El Fuerte de Samaipata (Fort Samaipata), also known simply as 'El Fuerte', is an archaeological site and a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the Santa Cruz department of Florida province. It is situated in the eastern foothills of the Bolivian Andes, and it's a popular tourist destination for Bolivians and foreigners alike. It is served by the nearby town of Samaipata.

It is not actually a military fortification, but it is generally considered a pre-Columbian religious site, built by the Chané people, who were a pre-Inca culture of Arawak origin. There are also ruins of an Inca city built near the temple; the city was built during the Inca expansion to the southeast. Both Incas and Chanés suffered several raids from Guarani warriors, who invaded the region from time to time. Eventually, the Guarani warriors conquered the plains and valleys of Santa Cruz, and destroyed Samaipata. The Guaranis dominated the region well into the Spanish colonial period.

The Spaniards also built a settlement near the temple, and there are remains of buildings of typical Andalusi Arabic architecture. The Spaniards abandoned the settlement and moved to the nearby valley, where the town of Samaipata is currently located. The archaeological site at El Fuerte is unique, and it encompasses buildings of three different cultures: Chanés, Incas and Spaniards.

AgriCafe Buena Vista has been sourcing coffee from small coffee producers for three decades. However, the steady decline of coffee production has put at risk the sustainability of the business and the future of coffee production in Bolivia; it's at risk of disappearing completely. Faced with these circumstances and crises, AgriCafe assumes the challenge of boosting the production and supporting the Bolivian coffee growing. AgriCafe has undertaken the development of 'Fincas Buena Vista', which is home to new coffee plantations with a sustainable model based on three pillars: economical, social and environmental.

Besides Caturra and Typica (both of which are traditional varieties in Bolivia), Agricafe has ventured into new exotic varieties to plant on its farms, and is also implementing new processes post-harvest. Finca El Fuerte is the first coffee farm in the Samaipata region that's focusing on producing specialty coffees.

Finca El Fuerte is a bet to develop coffee agriculture in this new region which has all the conditions to produce spectacular high quality coffees, and it's a new opportunity for many farmers to start producing specialty coffee. Through a lot of effort in the new plantations, and a lot of effort in caring for the harvest and the beans' processing, it has managed to produce coffees like Geisha. AgriCafe has utilised a careful and delicate process, and it has achieved a coffee that highlights the attributes of sweetness, complexity and quality in the cup.

We played around with brewing it as a tea and, boom, we have a unique drink! Our hardworking partners in Bolivia spent a huge amount of time and energy collecting these beautiful little flowers, I hope you really really enjoy trying something that's really delicious and a little different.

    Available in 50g sachets.

    When brewed they produce a very sweet brew, so sweet you'd think someone had sweetened it! There's lychee, a lovely floral edge (think honeysuckle) and sweet nutmeg spice on the finish.

      You brew these like a tea. A super tasty, delicious and unique tea. We made a brew guide to make sure it was nice and simple. Click on the 'Video Review' tab to see it, or click here to travel to the brew guide.