NEWS & STORIES
Bolivia Trip Notes - Part 2 - Familia Montana
Filed under On The Road
During our visit to Bolivia we were lucky enough to visit Familia Montano, which is located just outside of Coroico in the Nor Yungas region. The farm is run and owned by Don Cervando Montaño Rocha, and his wife, Alejandra Ramos.
Don Cervando arrived in the Yungas region at the age of five after the death of his parents to yellow fever. Don Cervando lived and worked with a family on their coffee farm until 1952, when he was 20, when his boss gave him a farm of ten-hectares in recognition of all his hard work.
Today, Don Cervando (an impressive 78 years old) and Alejandra Ramos (70 'y un poco mas') live on the farm with eight of their ten siblings, 14 grandchildren, and their pets–– two monkeys and a raccoon. The entire family works on the farm, which produces around 100 bags per year.
Familia Montano sits 1,649 metres above sea level, with a mix of Typica and Caturra beans planted on the farm. In addition to coffee, the family grows plantains, limes, lemons and oranges, as well as 'amaranto,' a grain similar to quinoa, which they use to produce their own bread. All practices on the farm are 100% organic, with no pesticides used at all.
The family processes all their coffee on-site, using a small wet mill and raised African drying beds, where the beans are placed once they have been washed and fermented for 12 hours. After winning the Cup of Excellence in 2007, Alejandra and Don Cervando installed a mechanical dryer to assist with drying during the peak of the season or when the weather is bad. They have also built a cupping lab, complete with a moisture metre, sample roaster, and brewing equipment, to help them evaluate their coffee.