How Coffee Impacts Bolivian Culture

October 24, 2023 Abby Phillips

How Coffee Impacts Bolivian Culture

In our blog series, “How Coffee Impacts Culture and Culture Impacts Coffee,” we have explored a plethora of different countries and coffee cultures. In this post, we will venture into the culture of one of the most coffee-crazy countries in 

South America: Bolivia! 

The Impact of Coffee on Bolivian Culture

So how has coffee impacted this culture? Specialty coffee is exploding in growth among producers in Bolivia, and we are so excited about this at Baba Java! 

In the last decade or so, specialty coffee shops have sprouted all around the cities, and specialty coffee has been growing at a rapid pace. What is so special about how coffee is impacting the culture is that the farmers are developing an intense passion for specialty coffee. This rich impact that coffee is having on the community affects every aspect of life in the communities. The potential for excellent coffee is truly unmatched. 

In the past, intense dependence on coca crops has helped support generation after generation of Bolivian families, which isn’t unusual; family is very important in that country, and agriculture has been a primary way extended families stay close-knit and connected. 

Beginning in 2014, though, the country (with the help of international aid organizations) has provided incentives for coca farmers to switch to growing coffee. As a result, coffee has gained ground on coca and is now the second-most important agricultural output (behind only timber). 

Learn how coffee impacts other countries like Guatemala, China, Brazil, Ethiopia, and more!

Culture Changing Bolivian Coffee for the Better

So, how does culture impact coffee in Bolivia? 

Bolivians have a remarkable sense of pride in their coffee. They stand by their growing techniques and constantly seek to improve the quality of their crops. One such crop is called typica—a variety of coffee that was first introduced to Bolivia from neighboring countries. But Bolivians weren’t content to merely grow it themselves; they sought to truly make it their own, which is why today, Typica is viewed as an indigenous varietal with characteristics you won’t find outside Bolivia’s borders.

This cultural shift has impacted the economy of the country. The training for the farmers to cultivate, grow, and harvest quality coffee has grown by leaps and bounds. The beauty of specialty coffee is how the families that work so hard to produce high-quality coffee can live comfortably and sustainably–especially in a country like Bolivia which has traditionally struggled with poverty. This not only impacts the communities’ economy but also the people directly. That’s what it’s all about! From farm to cup. 

Bolivia is an outstandingly beautiful and culturally rich country. The coffees coming from Bolivia are unparalleled, and specialty coffee shops like us at Baba Java want to support these tireless endeavors to produce, harvest, process, roast, and brew excellent coffee. 

We carry in our cafes and on our website a washed Bolivia Apolo coffee. This coffee is extra special to us because of our partners at Café Kreyol, a specialty coffee importer that sources green coffee straight from the farmer. Try our origins!

Bolivian coffee is spreading, and superior quality has become a way of life. Come into our shop and enjoy this amazing coffee from Bolivia! Allowing the richness of knowing how coffee impacts culture and culture impacts coffee makes each sip that much more enjoyable.

As they say in Bolivia, their coffee is ¡qué chala [amazing]!