Mr. Khamsone SOUVANNAKHILY, the owner of Mystic Mountain Coffee, was born in 1977 in the Noung Yathuerng village of the Paksong District in Champasak Province. During that time the Bolaven Plateau was fast becoming famous due to the area’s ideal climate for coffee production. Many families, including Mr. Khamsone’s parents, were moving to the area to find employment, and the Bolaven Plateau became the location of the early years of Mr. Khamsone’s life.
Mr. Khamsone would spend much of his childhood on the Bolaven Plateau helping with the plantations, and during this time his love for the area grew fonder. He loved the people, he loved the culture and most of all he loved coffee. In 1993 he bought his first hectare of land with the savings from his first job.
In his early twenties after convincing his parents to let him continue his secondary studies, he began private English lessons with a tutor, which allowed his to find work as a waiter and bellboy and paid for his next purchase of land in the Bolaven Plateau. Over the next several years Mr. Khamsone would go on to receive his tour guide license and work during the Laos tourism boom that occurred in 2005 – 2007. Since then Mr. Khamsone had purchased 16 more hectares of land and in 2010 pursued his dream of starting a coffee plantation.
In 2012 they started their first coffee harvest that generated eight to ten tonne of unroasted coffee. At this time he had two full time employees and several part time employees assisting him to share his coffee with the world. In 2014 the amount of coffee production was growing rapidly and Mr. Khamsone needed to find a way to be able to financially support the growth of his business and create more opportunity for his workers.
He decided to put together a tour program that would invite guests to his plantation to learn about coffee and coffee production. He wanted to share with them the beautiful surroundings of his hometown, including waterfalls, mountain treks and historical sites. He wanted to show people the villages that surround the coffee plantations, and introduce them to the people that live there and work hard to get the coffee from Laos to other parts of the world, so people can taste great quality coffee from the Bolaven Plateau.
The tours became successful and Mr. Khamsone was able to expand his production, provide more opportunities to his employees and their families, and share Mystic Mountain Coffee with more and more people. He now runs several tours including homestays, trekking and jeep tours, coffee production lessons and cooking classes for guests.
Currently Mr. Khamsone supplies his Bolaven Plateau organic coffee beans to buyers in Japan, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand with the hope to expand to more international buyers in the near future. “In the future I want to share my high quality coffee with the world and share the story of my people, the people with the good coffee growing in the rich lava soil of the Bolaven Plateau.”