Thai Coffee has been becoming more popular in recent years and has also seen increasing production. In general Thai coffee tasting notes and reviews describe it positively, and is known for its complexity.
The Lanna Cafe brand coffee is produced by an NGO cultivated by the hilltribe farmers in the Lanna region of Northern Thailand. Growing an Arabica coffee plant varietal at high altitudes, the coffee is also Fair Trade Certified.
Lanna Cafe works to support sustainable indigenous tribal farming in northern Thailand and assist in community development and improving the lives of the farmer families. The coffee cherry is hand-picked at peak ripeness and then wet processed and sun-dried.
Thai Coffee Facts
In Chiang Mai, Thailand the company Nacha Coffee cultivates a strain of Arabica Typica.
Located about 700 km north of Bangkok, Chiang Mai enjoys a mild, tropical micro-climate with fertile soils in the Chiang Mai mountains providing conditions ideal for coffee growing. In addition to its milder climate than the rest of the country, Chiang Mai also has a shorter monsoon season and lower humidity.
Coffee plants are cultivated in Chiang Mai at about 4,500 feet above sea level and the coffee cherry are hand-picked at peak ripeness and then sun-dried after being soaked to soften the pulp, which is removed.
This processing method provides the beans with their complexity and fullness of flavor that is gained from the pulp of the fruit and the parchment surrounding the coffee bean.
Best Thai Coffee
Due to high local demand (in Asia), very little coffee is exported from Thailand, but rather, is consumed locally and not exported. This makes it difficult to buy Thai coffee in the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia, with the exception of a few prominent brands like Doi Chang.
Thai Coffee Brands
The Doi Chang Coffee Company originated as a partnership between Canadian coffee lovers and the Akha hillside tribe of Doi Chang Village in Northern Thailand’s Chiang Rai Province. This is a family farming co-operative which grows organic Arabica coffee that is exported and roasted by the Canadians.
The term Doi Chang (Elephant Mountain) describes the shape of the hills in this geographically very interesting region. Also produced in this area is Civet Coffee which is comprised of whole coffee beans that have been gathered up after being excreted by an animal called the Civet.
Thai Iced Coffee Drink
There’s also a coffee recipe known as a Thai Iced Coffee, that makes a sweet and delicious summer treat. It’s made from:
- 2 oz Espresso (or 6 oz strong brewed black coffee)
- 1/4 teaspoon coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons condensed milk
- 4 ice cubes (preferably coffee ice cubes)
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
These ingredients overlap somewhat with chai tea, with the exception of the condensed milk, which is common among other oriental drinks (eg. Vietnamese coffee).
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