Special Release - Bolivia Julio Palli - Caturra, Coco Natural


Grind Size

Tastes Like: Cherry, Coconut Water, Green Grape, Winey

Producer: Julio Palli and Lupe Medina
Farm: Finca San Bartolomé
Department: La Paz
Province: Caranavi
Colonia: Copacabana
Harvested: June - October
Variety: Caturra & catuaí
Altitude: 1500-1670 MASL
Process: Coco Natural

This coffee was produced by Julio Palli Mamani and Lupe Medina (both pictured above) in Copacabana, a small and remote settlement located 180 kilometres from La Paz in the heart of the Caranavi province. This region is the epicentre for specialty coffee production in Bolivia, with incredibly high elevations, rich soil, and wide daily temperature ranges providing the perfect conditions for exceptional coffee.

Julio and Lupe have a five-hectare farm called San Bartolomé, which is named after Julio’s father. Julio has lived in the region since 1978, after moving from the town of Sorata (near lake Titicaca) with his family when he was ten. Back then, there was no electricity or running water in the region and delivering coffee into town was perilous. The couple first met in Caranavi, when Lupe left her hometown of Chulumani to work in the region. Eventually, Julio inherited the land from his father and together the couple have farmed the land for around 25 years.

For many years, Julio and Lupe (like many families in Copacabana) farmed traditionally and depended on the local market to sell their coffee, meaning low prices and little reliability. At the time, they only had two hectares planted with coffee, and operations were farm from smooth. As Lupe explained on our most recent trip, “The traditional way was not like the way it is today. It was really disorganised. Now, things are more organised and even the seasonal pickers work more efficiently because of it.”

Julio and Lupe joined the Sol de la Mañana program in 2016, ten years after they started working in coffee. This initiative is aimed at improving infrastructure and farming practices at farms in order to create a more sustainable future for coffee in Bolivia. As members of the program, they have followed a very structured series of courses, focused on improving their quality and yield. The curriculum focuses on one aspect of farming at a time and covers things such as how to build a nursery, how and when to use fertiliser, how to prune, has how to selectively pick coffee.

The results of this program have been profound, with improved quality and quantities for all participating producers, including Julio and Lupe. “Sol de la Mañana has opened my eyes. I genuinely enjoy making an effort and learning because it’s been an opportunity to change my life.” Julio told us a few years ago. Since joining the initiative, Julio and Lupe have drastically renovated their plantation, and now have five hectares of very healthy trees, neatly organised in well-spaced and distinct rows (as shown in the video below). At the farm they also have a thriving nursery and – a few years on from joining the program – the family are achieving exceptional yields of more than 30 bags per hectare (prior to 2016,  the farm yielded less than 6 bags/hectare) from this investment of the farm. Lupe has also lined the coffee plantation with beautiful flowers, and the family have also planted mandarins, avocados and walusa (a local root vegetable) on the farm for their own consumption.

Perhaps most critically, the family’s involvement in Sol de la Mañana made Julio fall in love with coffee. In the early days, coffee for him was simply a cash crop but not his passion. When he first joined the program, the family’s time was split between a small shop they still run in town (that sells soft drinks) and the farm. Their days were long, and very busy, but as their coffee farm grew, the family was able to focus 100% of their time on coffee production.

These days Julio spends most of his days on the farm and gets help from his brother Emilio, and some 30 seasonal workers during the harvest. Lupe looks after their picking staff during the harvest, preparing meals and accomodation for them, and no longer works the fields with Julio. Their daughter Brenda, who also owns her own farm, looks after their shop in Caranavi town during the harvest, and also makes cakes and pastries because she hopes to open a café in the future. Dario, their youngest son, is currently finishing his military service — and Julio hopes he joins the family in working with coffee when he returns.

On our most recent visit to Julio’s farm, we asked what his hopes and dreams were for the future. ““I am already living my dream,” he told us. “I wanted to build a house in Caranavi and now I have that. Now I hope my children learn more about coffee and continue down this path.” During the visit, Julio and Lupe were beaming with pride, showing us how much their farm has grown. Julio intends to limit his production, and no longer wants to continue to expand. He is content with the volumes he grows, and wants to focus on keeping his trees healthy and productive.

When we asked Julio if he wanted to say anything to coffee drinkers in Australia, he said, “Just that they continue to buy our coffee. If they can continue to guarantee a good price for us, we will continue to work hard to have coffee for them, and we will all be better off because of it. A big greeting to all Australians from San Bartolomé!”

Espresso Recipe

While it's worth noting all machines and grinders are different, here's where we'd start, then play around and tune it to your setup!

Dose: 21 grams
Yield: 45 grams
Time: 28-32 seconds
Ratio (dry coffee:espresso): 1/2.1


These are roasted light, with great developement.. so leaves us running a couple recipes:

Light & Bright
Dose: 19 grams
Yield: 56 grams
Time: 17-18 seconds
Ratio (dry coffee:espresso): 1/2.9

Syrupy & Sweet
Dose: 19 grams
Yield: 58 grams
Time: 24-28 seconds
Ratio (dry coffee:espresso): 1/3

This is based on our commercial machine at the following parameters:

Pressure - 6 Bar
Temp - 95 Degrees Celsius
Basket - 20g VST
Shower screen - IMS

Single Cup Filter Recipe

Pour Over
Dose - 15g
Water -
Temp - 100 Degrees

0:00 Bloom - 35g
0:30 First Pour - up to 140g
1:05 Second Pour - 195g
1:45 Third Pour - 255g
Brew time 2:45 to 3:00

Check out James Hoffmans Youtube for an awesome bloom technique, and use the Rao Spin after each pour.

Use the inverted method
Dose: 13g
Water: 220g
Brew Time: 1:30
Press Time: 30sec
Extend brew time to make it stronger, shorten brew time if you want a mellower brew.

Batch Brew Recipes

General Specs
Ratio: 1:17
TDS: 1.25 - 1.35
Ext %: 20-21%

Breville Precision Brewer
Temp: 95 Degrees Celsius
Flow Rate: Fast
Bloom: 30 seconds
Basket: Flat bottom gold
Filter Paper: Melitta 8 - 12 cup
Dose: 70 grams
Water: 1,200 ml
Ratio (dry coffee:water): 1:17

Temp: 94 Degrees Celsius
Brew Time: 4:15
Pulses: 10
Pre-Wet: 15%
Pre-Wet Delay: 1:00
Drip Delay: 1:15
Dose: 120 grams
Water: 2050 ml
Ratio (dry coffee:water): 1:17