Laos produces two main types of coffee: Robusta and Arabica. Robusta is mainly used for regular coffee, as well as for a typical coffee drink in Laos, where it is sweetened with condensed milk. The latter, Arabica, has a superior quality due to its mild taste and is used for espresso. For the 20,000 tons of coffee that Laos produces per year, 5,000 tons are Arabica beans and 15,000 tons are Robusta.

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The first few coffee plants were introduced to the country and the soils of Laos by French settlers around 1915. After trial and error in trying to harvest coffee beans in the north, the French realized that southern Laos was ideal for plantations. Millions of years ago a volcanic eruption occurred in the south, causing the soils in the south to contain rich minerals ideal for coffee production. The south is also home to the Bolaven Plateau, which remains Laos' main production region.

Bolaven Plateau is located in the area known as Paksong, where the vegetation is green all year round. Not only does its rich soil serve as a reason for ideal coffee production, but also its high altitude from 800 to 1350 meters and cold climate.

For the past twenty years and continuing, the Laotian government has been working with coffee harvesters to plant more Arabica plants because it produces a higher price, thus increasing farmers' incomes. There are 20,000 coffee communities in 250 villages in Laos and many of these families depend on coffee cultivation as a livelihood.