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BOLIVIAN COFFEE – Coffee in Bolivia dates back to the 1800s. The region was well-known for its coca production and coffee was not considered as profitable, as it is more difficult to grow as it yields smaller crops. In 1930 coffee production began to be taken more seriously, as export tariffs on coca leaves and a drop in local consumption, made farmers realise the risks of an economic dependency on a single crop. In 1953, a government-led agrarian reform where small parcels of land (owned by the old wealthy landowners) were redistributed back to thousands of largely indigenous families. A migration of young people from urban areas towards Los Yungas followed, though very few of them had any knowledge of agriculture. The government went on to distribute reading material with very basic information on how to run a farm, and these remained the main source of education for Bolivian  farmers for decades. In the 80’s – 90’s due to the lack of resources and information. Yields and quality dropped significantly as the soil degraded over time. It wasn’t until the early 2000’s that farmers were provided with the incentive and resources to focus on high-quality coffee production. This was kick-started by US-founded programs (as part of their anti-drugs campaign) and included building coffee washing stations and providing farmers with access to training facilities and financial assistance. The arrival of the Cup of Excellence program in 2004 also greatly helped to propel the industry forward and raise the profile of Bolivian coffee.

Coffee production in Bolivia has always been relatively low. Production peaked in 1990. when the country exported 125,000 bags. By 2010 annual exports were down to 74,000 bags (which to put in perspective, is equivalent to the annual output of one large farm in Brazil ). Over the last few years, this production has further decreased to a devastatingly low 22,000 bags per annum in 2020. There are several factors contributing to this decline. The most significant of them is that coffee competes with the local coca industry (grown for the drug trade) which is harvested year-round, is easier to pick and often yields higher profits for farmers. In the long term, the coca plantations have a devastating impact on the communities and the land ; untouched rainforest in often illegally destroyed to plant coca, and lack of shade trees leads to huge problems with erosion, The excessive use of biocides by coca producers – in the effort to bolster their crops –  also renders the soil infertile over time. The land is abandoned as nothing else can be grown there.

The absence of a strong centralised body that heavily supports and promotes coffee production also threatens the vitality of the coffee trade in Bolivia. Unlike other coffee-producing countries like  Guatemala and Brazil, coffee producers in Bolivia receive little to no support from the government or national agricultural bodies. Historically, a lot of support was given to Bolivian coffee by the US ( in an attempt to encourage the growth of alternative crops to coca ) but when president Evo Morales ( himself an ex-coca grower ) came to power in 2006, he soon stopped all US aid to his country.

These factors, along with poor infrastructure, changing climate conditions, the presence of roya  ( leaf rust ) and traditional, less sophisticated farming practices have led to a significant decrease in production over the past decade.

What makes Bolivian coffee so distinct is that it is one of the highest elevation and lowest latitude coffees produced in the world. The region s remoteness also means that high-yielding hybrid coffee varieties were never extensively propagated, and as a result, producers spent decades working exclusively with Typica  and  Caturra varieties, which are known for their exceptional flavour. In recent years, many producers have chosen to replace Typica trees with the more productive but still delicious Catuai variety, while others have chosen to plant more exotic varieties like  GeishaJava, and Ethiosar.

ORIGIN – it seems that first place where coffee crop fully flourished after it was spread from Sudan is Ethiopia. Although the exact date is unknown somewhere 2,000 years ago nomadic Oromos tribe living in the Kefa kingdom (Ethiopia today) moulded  coffee leaves and fruit onto a special cake that was sucked and chewed – giving the consumer a temporary boost of energy. Political and intellectual connections between Yemen (kingdom of Himyar at time) and Ethiopia leaded to spreading of coffee namely thru the port of Mokha (Yemen) , responsible for coffee domination of the Middle East.

ROASTING – during the roasting process coffee bean changes the color from green to dark brown depending on roast preference augmenting double in size and loosing aproximatley 15% of its weight. In this process it passes a few phases often called drying, browning (mailard) and development phase. Green coffee bean matrix contains approximately one million cells. Caffeine occupies 1% of the weight of dry coffee beans and this amount of caffeine in coffee bean is not affected by the roasting process. The coffee tree produces caffeine as a protection from insects. Low altitude coffees contains higher percentage of caffeine (robusta) as the risk of insect bite is higher in lower grounds.

‘STINKER’ – defective beans are not uncommon in processing coffee and most infamous of all is the ‘stinker’, a bean  that produces a particularly unpleasant taste. This can easily damage many kilograms of roasted coffee if they pass along the production chain.

CASCARA – the coffee bean accounts only for around 20 per cent of the wet-weight of the whole cherry so there is a lot of waste and the pollution problem is present all over the world. Cherry flesh can be dried and and brewed into a very unique fruit tea that tastes like high-octane rosehip tea enriched with caffeine .


All coffee trees belong to the Rubiaceae family of flowering plants, the Coffea genus, with more than 120 individual species of plant ranging from small shrubs to 18m high trees. Coffea species grow wild across various parts of the tropics and new species continue to be discovered. Precise speaking, only two species of the Coffea genus are actually cultivated for coffee production: Coffea Arabica and Coffea Canephora (also called robusta), but there are handful of countries, such as the Philippines, that grow small amounts of third species, Coffea Liberica. More then 70% of world’s commercially grown coffee are varieties of arabica. The remaining part is robusta that comes from India, Java, Sumatra and Vietnam (the second-biggest coffee grower after Brazil). Robusta is officially classified in 1895 (Arabica in 1753.) and is native to Western Africa from where it spread throughout the world via Java. There are many varieties within the robusta species, but generally it offers little to get excited about, flavour-wise.


Most varieties of Arabica are mutations of cross-breeds of two godfathers of arabica coffee – typica and burbon. Typica (often simply referred as arabica) is the variety that was first transported from Ethiopia to Yemen, then on to India. In 1718, typica samples from Java were transported to the French island of Burbon (now known as Reunion) that lies 800 km east from Madagascar, in the Indian ocean. Here they mutated into a new variety, which was named burbon. Burbon and typica varieties now covers the major share of the many varieties of arabica coffee that we see in today’s market.


The area commonly known as a bean belt includes countries in Africa, Central and South America, and Asia-Pacific. In Europe a small quantities of coffee are grown in Sicily (Ethiopian heirloom variety) planted in the small village of San Lorenzo ai Colli on the outskirts of Palermo. In the summer of 2021, the first-ever domestically-grown coffee was produced there. The 30kg cherry harvest was grown by Arturo Morettino and his son Andrea. Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, with a typical Mediterranean climate of mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. The island’s proximity to Africa can result in higher temperatures than most areas of Italy – making it more suitable for growing coffee. Seeds were planted at around 350 metres above sea level (m.a.s.l.) in open air.

Portugal – small coffee farm in São Jorge in Azores (an autonomous region of Portugal) 40 years ago started producing coffee for local consumption. Azores has a subtropical climate, which has allowed the farm to grow some 800 coffee plants.

The Canary Islands off the northwest coast of Africa also grow small quantities of coffee, particularly in the Agaete Valley, Gran Canaria.

The state of Hawaii produces around 2.3 million kg of green coffee every year, but coffee has also been grown elsewhere in the US.

In California, after several research trials, arabica trees were planted at altitudes of up to 180 m.a.s.l. Now, over 70 estates are growing and selling coffee for local consumption.

Although coffee has been present in Australia since the 1800s, coffee has only been grown at a very small scale since the late 1980s. Most of the country’s coffee is produced in the southeastern coastal town of Byron Bay and the northern rural town of Atherton Tablelands. There are around 50 coffee farms in Australia cultivating over half a million trees.


St.HELENA Coffees

  • a remote island between Africa and Brazil has a long history of growing coffee. First green coffee variety was imported directly from Yemen in 1733 by British East India Company. While in his exile to the island in 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte famously stated: “The only thing good about St.Helena is the coffee”. Small quantities of high quality coffees are produced on two farms today with pricing around 1000€ for 1kg of green beans.

BURBON DERIVED VARIETIES : Caturra, Catuai, Villa Sarchi, Laurina, Mibirizi, Yellow Bourbon, Mokka, Mundo Novo

TYPICA DERIVED VARIETIES : San Ramon, Java, Blue Mountain, Maragogipe, Villalobos, Kent, Maracaturra

ETHIOPIAN SELECTIONS : Dilla, Geisha, Gimma, Alghe, Agaro, Rume Sudan


  • Mazagran – originally from Algeria also served in Portugal, Spain, France and Austria. Mazagran is cold coffee beverage from mid. 19th century from times of French colonisation of Algeria. It is considered a original iced coffee together with cold brew coffee consumed by Japanese sailors in 17th century. Apart from coffee the Mazagran contains cane sugar, mint, lemon juice and alcoholic spirits. It was first used by French soldiers in hot climate of Algeria to stay awake during night. Later as they came back to Europe the Mazagran spreaded first in France (Paris). Today Mazagran is especially popular in Portugal and is served for 115 years in most popular coffee shop in Lisbon – Cafe a Brasileira opened in 1905.
  • Ingredients
    • Two shots of espresso or 240ml of brewed coffee
    • Two tablespoons of brown sugar
    • Four to five tablespoons of fresh lemon (or lime) juice
    • A few lemon (or lime) slices
    • A handful of crushed ice
    • A few mint leaves


  • Method
    • Fill a cocktail shaker (or glass with a lid) with the crushed ice.
    • Add the lemon juice, sugar, and coffee. Shake vigorously.
    • Serve in a tall glass and add mint leaves and lemon slices.
  • SYPHON OR VACUUM BREWING – there are two main ways to prepare a coffee. One is percolation and other immersion. One of the most popular immersion methods especially  in Japan is syphon or vacuum brewer. With brewing by using immersion the coffee is in full contact with the water for the entire duration of the extraction. As the brewer has a two separate chambers the coffee is extracted by gravity and vapour pressure. All syphon story started around 1800 thanks to French inventor Marie Fanny Amelne Massot. Because of their looks,  syphons became a fashionable item to have in coffee shops. A syphon brewer uses pressurised water vapour to extract coffee from the environment where the air is removed. There are two separate chambers, one with the brewing water and other top chamber with vacuum. As the water boils in the lower chamber part of it turns to a vapour and makes pressure rise. The mixture of air and water vapour in the lower chamber expands. When the heat source is switched off, the pressure then falls, forcing the brewed coffee back into the lower chamber – but leaving the used grounds behind. Extraction time when using vacuum brewing method is much shorter because of the absence of air and other gases.


Coffee Flavor Wheel

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