The medium-bodied Bolivian coffee has been compared to Colombian coffee. It’s a South American country landlocked by by Peru and Chile to the West, Brazil to the North-West, and Argentina / Paraguay to the South.
Growing Altitude: 1,400 – 1,600 meters above sea levelArabica Variety: Typica, Caturra, CatuaiMilling Process: Washed, Sun-driedAroma: Herbal, Dark ChocolateFlavor: Fruity (Mandarin), Caramel, Pepper, VanillaBody: GoodAcidity: Mild Citric, Phosphoric
Bolivia produces coffees at very high elevations – above 1,400 meters, which qualifies most of its coffee as Strictly High Grown (1,450 m+). It’s landlocked on all sides by Peru, Brazil, Argentina and Chila, and contains a portion of the Andes mountains. Quinoa has become a famous crop of Bolivia in recent years
The majority of coffee grown is Typica, with Caturra and some Catuai available. Major coffee growing regions include the Yungas, Santa Cruz, Cochabamba, Tarija, Beni and Pando, with over 90% of the coffee production coming from the Yungas.
Bolivian Coffee Tasting Notes
Bolivian coffee is known for its classic and clean taste with a delicate, bright acidity and a sweet, aromatic quality with fruity notes including apple, pear, tangerine, lemon, and apricot. Caramelly and mild chocolate flavors may develop during the coffee roasting process.
Bolivian Coffee Plant Varietals
Small coffee farms have lacked access to proper fertilizer and minerals to support optimal growth of coffee trees and beans, resulting in low crop outputs in recent years. A lack of infrastructure also means that Bolivia has difficulty exporting to other countries, but it is available from time to time from green coffee importers in the United States and Canada.
Distributors and brokers are continuing to work on developing the wholesale coffee trade in Bolivia, and it should see some good growth in the upcoming years.
Organic and Fair Trade Coffee in Bolivia
Also grown in Bolivia is a significant amount of organic coffee and Fair Trade coffee. In recent years Bolivia has made significant gains in the quality of their unroasted green coffee bean processing methods. Shade grown coffee is also a fairly common practice.
Bolivian Cacao and Chocolate
Growing conditions favorable to coffee also create ideal conditions for Cacao, and Bolivian chocolate is a special treat. Cacao is also roasted similarly to coffee, albeit at a lower temperature of 325 degrees and gradually lowered over 15-30 minutes to allow the insides of the larger beans to roast properly. Trinitario is the most common variety of fine-flavor cocoa, and makes a delicious dark chocolate, as well as mixing great with fruits such as cherry or blackberry, and coffee.
Bolivian Coffee and Espresso Brewing Tips
For tips on brewing the perfect cup of Bolivia coffee see our section on Coffee Brewing. We also provide detailed coffee flavor profiles of Premium Gourmet Coffees and tips on preparing Espresso Drink Recipes.