Grown next one of the major coffee growing countries, Brazil, it's easy to overlook Bolivian coffee!
Bolivia is one of the smallest producers of coffee, ranking 38th; even the United States produces more coffee than Bolivia!
That doesn't mean it isn't excellent coffee, however.
With a very suitable growing climate, Bolivia's Coffee has recently been trying hard to up its game and share its sweet tasting beans with the world of coffee drinkers.
The geography of Bolivia, often called the Rooftop of the World, is ideal for growing coffee. The high elevations and rich soil produce coffee beans that are unrivaled in quality and flavor, unique from any other crop of beans in the world.
In fact, Bolivia's Calama Marka coffee won the Cup of Excellence competition in 2005. Produced on a small farm in the Yungas region by the widow of the original grower, this coffee is now very, very rare. Up until recently, coffee from Bolivia was generally thought of as inferior and indeed, the beans did not produce coffee that most people would enjoy.
This was due entirely to the difficulty of harvesting and getting the beans to market. The farmers would de-pulp the beans on the premises then truck it over mountains nearly two miles above sea level. The still damp beans would freeze and then thaw during the trip, totally ruining their flavor.
Up until recently, growing coffee beans was not considered important in Bolivia. The cultivation of coca beans was the main crop from this country nestled in the Andes Mountains. However, recognizing that the country had ideal conditions and rich soil in which to grow some of the world's best coffee beans, Bolivia has been working hard to establish a foothold in the coffee market.
Thanks to aid programs for Bolivian farmers from the government, and, until recently, the United States, the farmers are now processing and drying their coffee beans on their farms. This solves the problems used to be suffered during transportation, preserving the fine qualities of the beans.
Bolivian coffee beans are a treat for the senses. The first thing you'll notice when you open a bag of beans is a sweet fragrance, more like candy than coffee. This delightful odor intensifies upon grinding. The brewed coffee itself is balanced, smooth and feels creamy on the palate.
The flavor itself, when first poured, has a citrus overtone but as the coffee cools slightly you will notice a deep but subtle berry flavor along with chocolate, butterscotch and vanilla notes.
One thing you will not often get with coffee from Bolivia is bitterness. Most Bolivian coffee will not taste bitter even when left on a warming plate, unlike other coffees that seem to spoil quickly.
As more and more people taste the wonderful coffee of Bolivia, it should become one of the major players in the next couple of decades, despite the size of its crop. So look out for some Bolivian coffee beans in the markets and coffee shops over the next few years, and do try some if you see it!
You can try the coffee beans featured in the image, Bolivian Cumbre Supremo Shade Grown, yourself by visiting the PurelyCoffeeBeans online store. They will be hand roasted and delivered to your home/office within a few days at most. Check out the online store featuring Bolivian Shade Grown Coffee from PurelyCoffeeBeans!