It seems like Bolivia’s famously high altitudes would be a natural choice for growing coffee but its remoteness and position as a landlocked nation means it produces far less than neighbouring countries. With sweet full-bodied cups, Bolivian coffee beans are incredibly versatile.
The tropical Yungas region alongside the Andes dominates Bolivian coffee production, where it is mostly grown by indigenous Aymara families working tiny farms. While these farms tend to be grouped together in settlements and managed by cooperatives, the size of these farms and their remoteness means they have a very low yield. This low-yield could be Bolivian coffee’s strength: as higher yielding but lower quality crops have never been widely grown.
A lack of resources and an unstable market has meant that the Bolivian focus has been on more profitable cash crops, but initiatives like the Cup of Excellence has sparked a new generation of quality conscious producers and investment in processing stations.