Cambodia has a population of about 14 million people and is bordered on the east by Vietnam and Thailand to the west and northwest, and Laos to the northeast. To the southwest is the Gulf of Thailand. The capital and largest city of Cambodia is Phnom Penh.
Mondulkiri Coffee, which is sold in Phnom Penh in Cambodia, continues a tradition of coffee growing in the region that started with the French colonialists in the 1700s.
Cambodian Coffee Cultivation
The coffee plants are cultivated at about 2,600 feet above sea level and irrigated by streams flowing through the area. This hilly region has so far remained safe from the the country’s major cash crops such as rubber plantations.
Traditional Preparation of Cambodian Coffee
A traditional way to prepare Cambodian coffee (as well as other Southeast Asian coffees) is to roast the coffee until it is nearly black by using vegetable fat.
Once the coffee beans have been roasted they are ground up to create a very fine powder that is used to brew a very rich and dark cup of coffee. Typically the coffee is brewed using either a cloth sock-like sieve or a Vietnamese coffee filter.
Among the coffee producers of Indochina the most well-known is Vietnam which is the second largest exporter of coffee on the planet. Less well known are the coffees of Laos and Cambodia though these areas are likely to see increased coffee production in the future and may eventually emerge in the gourmet coffee market.
Cambodian Coffee Demand Increases Despite Low Supply
While most of Cambodia’s coffee production serves the local market, some is also sold as Fair Trade Coffee. Recent years have seen a rapidly increasing demand for Cambodian coffee.
Problems hindering Cambodian coffee production include the general lack of infrastructure in the prime coffee growing regions including roads in very poor condition.
Another Cambodian coffee brand is Angkor Coffee founded in 1997 purchasing coffee beans from small, family-owned coffee farms in Stung Treng, Ratanakiri and Mondolkiri. Coffee beans may also be purchased from the Memot Kompong Cham province.
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