Andres and Marita

4 Llamas

Bolivia’s coffee producers are not just the producers who have produced coffees for many generations. It seems that a new generation of producers is also starting to emerge. When you turn left at Mr. Carmelo’s farm and go further above, there is a newly-built milling facility. The group working there is called 4 Llamas (quatro llamas = four llamas). The leading figures of the 4 Llamas are a young couple, Andres and Marita. Andres received a degree in Social Contributions at the University of Geneva in Switzerland and Marita studied Economics at the university in Switzerland. They were thinking of starting an NGO that deals with sustainability but they fell in love with the world of coffee and its fermentation along the way and decided to start the business in Bolivia. They met Mr. Carmelo through a friend two and a half years ago and built a mill next to his farm which is equipped with an egg-shaped fermentation tank that is used for making wine. 4 Llamas has been experimenting with fermentation by purchasing cherries from smallholders in Caranavi including from Mr. Carmelo. They believe that the reproducible fermentation techniques will improve the value of smallholders’ coffee. Mr. Carmelo’s wife treated us to lunch. We sat around the table with Mr. Carmelo’s family, Andres, Marita, Juan, and their friends. The food was really delicious and we all asked for another helping. No matter where you go in the world, it is always true that a mother’s home cooking is always the best. After lunch, we sat down in front of the egg-shaped fermentation tank and talked to Andres and Marita. They stated, “We started...

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