TL;DR: scroll down to the bottom for the infographic!
Well I am going to add to the deluge of coffee infographics by giving you my own infographic about Lao coffee.
I decided to make this for 3 reasons:
- I love coffee
- I enjoy making infographics (although I have just started and so they are not very good or detailed but we all have to start somewhere)
- I love Laos and not may people know that Lao coffee even exists as a thing
Actually, I would bet that not many people know that a great deal of the worlds coffee supply comes from Southeast Asia. I know my readers may do because you are all interested in learning and things to do with Asia.
Most of the Southeast Asian coffee supply is dominated by Vietnam, which produces double the amount of the next 5 top producers.
However Laos is certainly in there and although it primarily supplies domestic demand, it is exported as a niche product around the world.
Lao coffee production
There is very fertile land in this region and vegetation is generally lush all year around. The rich soil serves as the reason for ideal coffee production as well as its high altitude and (relatively) cooler climate.
This is where 95% of Lao coffee is harvested. It is so popular that coffee is fifth largest export product of Laos, contributing $70 million USD in 2013/14.
The first few coffee plants were introduced to the country and soils of Laos by French colonists around 1915. After trial and error of trying to harvest coffee beans in the north, thy realized that the south was ideal for Lao coffee plantations.
A volcanic eruption millions of years ago created fertile soil which is part of the reason that coffee grows so well here.
For the past twenty years the Lao government has been working with coffee harvesters to plant more Arabica plants to increase profits per yield because of the higher price of Arabica.
There are 20,000 Lao coffee growing communities in 250 villages in Laos and many of these families depend on coffee farming as a living, as well as several very large Lao coffee producing companies such as Dao Coffee, one of the biggest privately held companies in Laos