Morning espresso, a Sunday late with a friend, a cup of coffee during business lunch—these are probably things that accompany most of us daily. Major batches of coffee beans come to our stores and cafes from several countries, including Laos.
Approximately 95% of Lao coffee is harvested in the Bolaven Plateau. Coffee trees grow there in jungles, which provide the necessary shade. It takes five years for trees to reach maturity, and the following five to six years are the main harvesting period.
The rainy season in Laos brings flowers and fruit buds to coffee plantations, but bunches can be gathered only from November till January for Arabica and from February till March for Robusta. It is very crucial for farmers to choose the right time, as it will influence the readiness and taste of the product.
Laotians sometimes sell green beans to traders, but most of them prefer to dry the beans themselves. There are two methods used for coffee processing—wet and natural—and they both happen right after harvest. So, if you want to participate in the coffee collection, learn about its processing, and drink a cup of fresh Lao espresso, be sure to check out the Bolaven Plateau during the coffee season.