When talking about culinary experiences in Southern Laos, we can definitely not miss out to mention the Lao coffee and tea from the Bolaven Plateau. Since more than 100 years, the rich volcanic soils of the Bolaven provide an ideal climate for Arabica and Robusta coffee to grow. Though, Lao coffee is still relatively little known and quantities are small compared to other players on the world coffee market, it’s main exports go to Thailand and Indonesia and has found some niche markets in Europe and the US as certified organic and fair trade coffee.
So best you try it while you’re in Laos. Either directly with the producers on the Bolaven Plateau or in Pakse where you can find a number of cafés where you can have Bolaven coffee from different producers and also with different roasting and brewing qualities. Sometimes I think that the best of the Lao coffee bean has not yet been brought to the cup – so if there is any great Barista out there who would be open to transfer some of his/her knowledge – Southern Laos could be an interesting place to organize an event! J
Tea includes Oolong, Green tea and Mulberry leaves (they are connected to the production of silk) and can be found along the road when travelling on the Bolaven or in cafés and shops in Pakse, Vientiane and Luang Prabang.
Below some pictures from different cafés in Pakse – from iced coffee (very refreshing especially during the dry and hot season) to hot Cappuccino or Latte, Coffee with sweet condensed milk or a simple black one.
Link to a music video clip from Dao Coffee: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_f1WMaXHgk