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Laotian Organic Coffee
Thinking of healthy organic coffee? Think of Laos and Vietnam. Indochina is the world’s second most prolific coffee growing region after Brazil. In fact, Vietnam by itself is the world’s second biggest producer of coffee. The central highlands of Vietnam and the highlands of Laos are idea for growing coffee and were first worked by French coffee planters in the French Colonial era. On the Bolaven Plateau in Champasak province of Laos coffee is grown at elevations between 1,000 and 1,500 meters above sea level. The cool temperatures and rich volcanic soil coupled with abundant rainfall give rise to great coffee.
Traditionally coffee in this area has been grown by tried and true organic methods although in the last generation more “modern” production techniques have also been introduced. Nevertheless, businesses such as the Jhai Coffee Farmers Co-operative and retailers such as Canadian owned Joma Bakery work with local growers and continue to produce and sell organic whole bean coffee grown in the highlands of Laos. Although four fifths of the coffee grown in the Laotian highlands is Robusta much of Laotian organic coffee is Arabica. In 2005 Jhai Coffee Farmers Co-operative was certified as a producer of USDA organic coffee which has helped local farmers command a higher price for their beans and helped them provide a higher standard of living for their workers whose income is almost entirely derived from the coffee harvest. The cooperative produces virtually all of its Laotian organic coffee in the shade thus maintaining a sustainable environment for coffee production, habitat and soil maintenance, and avoidance of contaminants that commonly are found in regular coffees.
It is encouraging to think that the innocent nation that became a battleground for so many years is coming into its own with a unique and viable commercial product. Think of organic coffee antioxidants and sustainable of coffee planting practices when you think of the Laotian highlands. Organic coffee, whether Laotian organic coffee, or organic coffee grown with sustainable growing practices anywhere in the world promises good taste and a respite from contamination. Laotian organic coffee also promises a number of health benefits due to the antioxidants found in raw and roasted coffee. Recent scientific research has revealed that more organic coffee can lead to less colon cancer. Drinking organic coffee reduces prostate cancer risk and more organic coffee and lead to less diabetes. It is the presence of antioxidants in coffee beans and their breakdown products in roasted organic coffee that provide these health benefits in the absence of the more than 150 contaminants known to be present in regular coffee.
When able look for shade grown organic coffee from Vietnam or Laos.