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Color Roasters

Color Coffee Roasters is the culmination of years of obsession, backyard tinkering, and the desire to spread the gospel of great coffee.

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Bolivia Illimani Lot 6

Regular price $ 19.00

Unit price per 

only -12 left in stock




A full bodied and delicious community lot from the Caranavi province in remote Bolivia.  We're excited to be working here again and offering these coffees.  Cleaner than I have ever tasted from these coffees, this is a sweet treat with dessert-like qualities.  It reminds me of a seven layer bar with rich caramel, chocolate, and coconut flavors.  The body is like biting into a handful of plump and fresh golden raisins and there's a tannic peach tea like flavor that lingers on the swallow.  



ORIGIN: Carnavi, Bolivia
PRODUCER: Various smallholder producers
ELEVATION: 1350-1740 masl
PROCESS: Washed/12-14 hours dry in steel tanks/15-20 days on raised beds
TASTING NOTES: Caramel, chocolate, coconut, golden raisins and peach tea.

Farm Level
Illimani is a community of approximately 65 families in the province of Caranavi, the largest coffee producing region in Bolivia. Caranavi became known for coffee production in the 1960’s, following Bolivia’s agricultural reform, and coffee exporting peaked in the 1990’s with heavy investment and interest from the private sector. Throughout the 90’s, coffee production was focused on volume over quality. In the early aughts, significant investments were made by international development agencies, including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), to focus on the production of quality coffee as an alternative to coca production. Funds were directed toward coffee infrastructure such as processing plants, producers received training on Good Agricultural Practices, and coffee production became much more technified and developed. Most of these agencies are no longer operating in Caranavi, although the German development agency GIZ and some Northern European non-profit agencies and foundations continue to work with coffee producers. More recently, the Municipality of Caranavi and Bolivia’s central government have invested to incentivize coffee production through coffee quality competitions, and the Ministry of Rural Development also had a seedling program, referred to as “El Programa,” which sold coffee seedlings at heavily subsidized rates to encourage coffee production. Over the past 15 years, coffee has become a big part of Caranavi's identity and culture. The main structure in the town square reads “Province of Caranavi: Bolivian Coffee Capital,” and there are coffee shops everywhere. There are also frequent coffee events and competitions. People are proud of being coffee farmers and they are very competitive about who has the best coffee. A new, younger generation is getting involved, and the outlook for Bolivian coffee production is promising. Some older producers have handed their farms over to the next generation, and many producers are in their 30’s and early 40s. Farm sizes vary, but on average producers have 2 - 3 hectares. For some producers, coffee is their primary source of income, but most have a little bit of everything, including fruit and coca. Coca is the most profitable crop, but, due to government regulations, farmers are limited to a quarter hectare (known as a “cato”), per lot. The most commonly produced fruits in the area are pineapples and citrus fruits such as oranges, tangerines and limes. Some farmers produce fruit for their families consumption, others sell it locally in the Caranavi market, or “feria” each Wednesday, and some produce on a larger scale to sell in the city market. The barter system is also very common, with producers trading fruit for other supplies such as rice and potatoes. During coffee harvest season, Caranavi is bustling around the clock. In Illimani, as in most of Caranavi, coffee producers sell their coffee in cherry. Toyota Ipsums, heavily modified and reinforced to carry a heavy load, are the vehicle of choice for transporting coffee cherry from the mountains to the collection stations in Illimani or Caranavi. Producers can hire an Ipsum taxi, and larger producers may have a pick-up truck or will hire a larger truck. The collection stations in Illimani are open daily beginning at 5pm, and they close once the line dies down and all of the coffee has been collected, often around midnight. From there, the coffee is transported to the centralized washing station for processing, where they will begin depulping and washing the coffee in the early morning, around 2 or 3 am. While producers with the smallest farms will use family labor for the harvest, the majority of producers hire harvesters from Caranavi. Harvesters, or “cosechadores,” are at a premium. With so many new farms, there is a shortage of labor. Much of the coffee is shade grown, though in recent years trainings through the municipality have promoted agricultural practices focused on increasing productivity, often-times promoting a reduction in shade trees. Producers are well-versed in traditional coffee farming practices, and everyone knows how to produce a good washed coffee. Today, most everyone has a smartphone, giving producers direct access to the latest trends in the industry. There is more experimenting with natural and alternative processing methods as producers can access endless information on the internet.
Brewing great coffee at home can be easy.  The essential tools are critical to making it happen.  They include:
  • Filtered water.  Spring water is ideal.  Removing chloride, sulfur, and iron is essential.
  • A burr grinder.  The more even the coffee particles, the better the coffee.  Burr grinders, whether manual or electric, will do a better job than "whirly-blade" grinders.  Invest in a burr grinder.  Your taste buds (and coffee roaster) will thank you.
  • A scale.  I know using a scale can seem a bit like you're doing something you shouldn't be.  Trust me, you can only brew consistently great coffee with a scale.  Water and coffee are hard to measure without one.
  • Clean equipment.  Properly cleaning your equipment is the only way to avoid stale and rancid coffee flavors entering your cup.  Please keep your equipment clean.  The sooner and more often you clean your gear, the easier it will be in the long run.  Add it to your ritual and thank us later.
  • Delicious and freshly roasted Color Coffee
Now that you have the tools, the rest is easy.  There are infinite numbers of ways to brew coffee.  Here are some of our favorites, with links to coffee professionals who we admire and trust:


In many cases, yes. However, our first priority is quality and flavor. Sometimes these priorities align and our producers are certified organic and/or fair trade. We always pay well above fair trade rates (which are quite low and don’t guarantee sustainability or quality).

Often times, the producers we work with are too small to gain certifications. It’s expensive and laborious. Many of our producers are certified organic and fair trade, including many of our producers in Peru, Ethiopia, and Mexico.


We recommend drinking our coffee within one month of the roast date. Most of our coffees taste best however within 2 - 14 days of roast date.

For espresso, we recommend using coffee that has rested at least 7 days after roast date. This is because coffee gives off CO2 after roasting that can interfere with extraction. One way to get around this is to let your ground espresso dose sit for 30-120 minutes before pulling the shot. Email for more questions about this.

If you are pre-grinding the coffee, we recommend drinking the coffee within one week of grinding.


Yes, we can. Please select how you want your coffee to be ground at the time you place your order. Simply click on the arrow beside "Grind" and make your selection. If you need help choosing let us know the brewing method you will be using to prepare the coffee, in the notes of the order. And we will be happy to grind the coffee for you on our commercial grinder.


These are in the works! We are compiling a bunch and even shooting some video, to help you brew like us at home.

In the meantime...go here: Pour Overs Aeropress to get some expert advice.


A weak brew could the result of a couple things.  First of all, you want to make sure you're using the proper amount of water and coffee.  If you use too much water or not enough coffee, you won't be able to get the strength you need.  A digital scale will ensure you can get the measurements right.  Start with 1 gram of coffee to 16 grams of water and adjust to taste!
The second problem could be a grind size that is too course.  If the coffee bits are too big, you won't be able to pull enough flavor out and the brew will taste weak.  In general for drip coffee, the grind size should be the size of beach sand.  You can also use the brew time to help judge if you're grind is correct.  Most brewing methods should take between 3 and 5 minutes.  If it's going faster than this, it's likely your grind size isn't fine enough.  Grind finer and taste it!

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