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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Coffee Tourism Springs Back to Life in Southern Laos

coffee bean lotStrong, full-bodied Bolaven Plateau coffee has been making its way into cappuccinos, lattes, frappes, and ice coffees worldwide, and global tourists are coming to experience the “Spring of Lao Coffee” in Champasak Province.

Bolaven Laos CoffeeCourtesy Southern Laos Tourism Website

Travellers can sip their Morning Joe in Pakse while watching the sunrise over the Bolaven Plateau, knowing that a 1-hour drive lands them in the thick of Lao coffee country and a choice of high-caffeine tours and cafes in and around Paksong Town.

Bolaven Laos CoffeeThe Bolaven Plateau in the Morning

Paksong is the hub of the Lao coffee industry and tourism on the Bolaven Plateau. Endless coffee plantations and processing centres begin popping up as the road from Pakse closes in on Paksong. And serving their caffeinated products are several cafés.

Tour operators often combine coffee tours and café stops with visits to the area’s many waterfalls, such as Tad Fane and Tad Yeuang.

Coffee Tours

Bolaven Plateau coffee tours are starting to come back online after the Covid break, with the top two already committed to welcoming guests. Smaller plantations and roasters are expected to restart their tours and homestays later this year.

Bolaven Laos CoffeeTouring Coffee Plantation

Bolaven Plateau Coffee Producers Cooperative

Groups often choose the one-day tour offered by the Bolaven Plateau Coffee Producers Cooperative (CPC). The cultural experience kicks off with a visit to a coffee plantation and the chance to pick beans with one of the 1,855 small-holder farming families that comprise the CPC.

Bolaven Laos CoffeeSorting Beans at the CPC

Participants then take the beans to the CPC centre to learn about processing and packing. Next comes lunch with a local family in a traditional house on stilts before returning to the CPC centre to see how the coffee is distributed worldwide. The tour ends with testing and a chance to purchase roasted and ground beans.

CPC organizes tours every Tuesday and Thursday during the coffee harvest season from November to March.


Facebook Page

Tel/WhatsApp: +856 20 2227 6066

Email: cpclaos.coffeetour@gmail.com

Mystic Mountain Coffee

Mystic Mountain Coffee opens the door to adventure and the Bolaven Plateau’s coffee culture. Mr Khamsone invites tourists into his homestay, walks them through his plantation, teaches them the coffee production and roasting process, and drives them around on a choice of tours in Chinese Army Jeeps.

Bolaven Laos CoffeeJeeping with Mystic Mountain Coffee

Full-day, 2-day, and 3-day jeep excursions into the region’s untouched nature lead to treks through coffee plantations, homestays at Laven and Suay villages, riverside picnics, and hidden waterfalls with swimming holes. During the journey, Mr Khamsone will share the secrets of coffee production from field to cup, finishing with a tasting of several local varieties.

Tours are offered all year round, but Mr Khamsone recommends the dry season from November to June to see every stage of coffee production.



Tel/WhatsApp: +856 20 9966 1333

Email: mysticmountaincoffee@hotmail.com, skhamsone@yahoo.com

Bolaven Cafés

A string of cafés offering Bolaven coffee lead up to Paksong, where small coffee houses serve a choice of special brews and cold coffees. Groups and FITs always stop at one or more, and tour operators generally place café visits in their Bolaven Plateau tours.

Bolaven Laos CoffeeClick on the photo for Google Map

CC 1971 Café

Located in Paksong Town, CC 1971 Café serves coffee grown by small local farmers in the retrofitted skeleton of a bombed-out building, bringing new meaning to “atmosphere”. The façade of the café remains as it was in 1971, except mortar shells, bomb casings, and remnants of artillery and downed jets are used as decoration.

CC 1971 CafeCC 1971 Cafe

Inside, patrons return to the 21st century with a small counter brewing hot and cold “Paksong Coffee” produced by a local co-op and also presents pastries along with a handful of tables to enjoy their choices. You can even sip coffee in what’s left of the bombed rooms. Back in the café, visitors can purchase bags of Paksong Coffee beans to take home.

Open Daily 6:30 AM – 5:30 PM


Tel/WhatsApp: +856 20 5543 4855

Email: vilakone_81@hotmail.com

Jing Jhai Coffee House

Two Americans, Janelle Kaz (coffee roaster) and Tyson Adams (clean water specialist), launched Jing Jhai Coffee House in Paksong about ten years ago. As “the world’s first philanthropic coffee roaster and café,” Jing Jhai aims to build a social coffee business on the Bolaven Plateau by investing its profits into local education and clean water projects.

Jing Jhai CoffeeJing Jhai Coffee House

Jing Jhai features specialty roasts from beans sourced from local farmers at 25% above Fair Trade prices. Among the top sellers are honey-processed Arabicas. Visitors can purchase packages of their favourite roasted beans during their coffee break.

Open Monday-Saturday 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM


Tel/WhatsApp: +856 20 9994 1972

Email: adams.tyson@gmail.com

Lak 40 – Coffee & Tea

Lak 40 – Coffee & Tea sits off Route 16 East at Km 40 and the entrance to the CPC centre and is operated by three generations of a Bolaven coffee plantation and producing family. The rustic café rests in a garden setting and houses a counter and shelves overloaded with specialty roasts and a hodgepodge of manual coffee makers.

Lak 40 CoffeeLak 40 – Coffee & Tea

Visitors can choose from a variety of beans for their favourite type of hot coffee or foamy latte. Lak 40 also offers a curious list of creative iced coffees and frappes alongside its recently released cold brew. To better serve travellers wanting takeaways, Lak 40 recently opened a modern shop right on the road, offering packages of specialty roasts to go.

Always Open


Tel/WhatsApp: +856 20 2274 8822

Email: lak40coffeeshop@gmail.com

Popular Bolaven Coffee Brands

Lao Mountain Coffee



Le Trio

Getting to Paksong from Pakse

The drive from Pakse to Paksong takes less than an hour. Leave Pakse on Route 13 South to the 8 Km Bus Terminal and turnoff onto Route 16 East. Take the well-paved (partial tollway) 4-lane road past Tad Fane and Tad Yeuang (Km 40) before reaching Paksong Town. Transportation providers and travel agents in Pakse offer transportation and tours in vans and cars.

Bolaven Laos CoffeeClick on the photo for Google Map

Written by: Bernie Rosenbloom

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