“El café debe ser caliente como el verano, negro como la noche, dulce como el beso y puro como el amor.”

“‘Coffee should be hot as summer, dark as night, and sweet as a kiss and as pure as true love.”

Two things have struck us about coffee in Bolivia: (1) Times of consumption, (2) What is consumed. First, some Bolivians (like Carolina’s grandfather, Hugo) are religious about their coffee time. One first thing in the morning, one after lunch, one at 4pm, and one to go to bed. Like a best friend, “un cafecito” is what you need to pull you through the rest of a hard day; or like melatonin, it can be your recipe for a good night’s sleep. Needless to say, this revelation has blown our minds.

The second surprising thing we’ve learned about coffee is that Bolivia exports all the good beans.  We are unsure whether this was originally due to Bolivians’ preference for instant coffee (Nescafe) or a result of the amazing prices American caffeine addicts pay for organic jungle beans. Regardless of what drove this phenomenon, the fact remains: if you want good Bolivian coffee, go to Starbucks, not Bolivia.