Coffee Origins: Thailand

Vietnamese Coffee Exporter

One of the most credible stories of coffee’s introduction to Thailand dates to 1904. This article will focus on introducing the coffee origins of Thailand.

On his trip back to Thailand from Mecca, a Muslim pilgrim traveled through Indonesia and carried a Robusta plant with him, which he planted in the country’s south. In the 1950s, an Italian immigrant brought Arabica to the north of the country, according to another tale. Whether one or both of these claims are genuine, coffee’s economic value as a crop would not be recognized until the 1970s.

Between 1972 and 1979, the Thai government ran a pilot project to try to encourage farmers in the northern region to grow coffee instead of poppies destined for opium production. Coffee was considered sufficiently high value to be worth switching from opium production and the slash-and-burn style of agriculture that accompanied it. While this project did mark the beginning of the coffee industry in Thailand, coffee did not become a major crop until later.

Output peaked in the early 1990s, but because of worldwide price variations, there have been significant swings in production during the subsequent two decades. Because Arabica is farmed mostly in the north and Robusta in the south, a substantial portion of the price volatility originates in the northern highlands, where the price has a greater influence. Coffee is frequently trafficked through Thailand’s borders from Laos and Myanmar, making accurate production monitoring difficult.

Today, Thailand is gaining a reputation as an underdog among renowned coffee producers. While the majority of the coffee produced in the nation is of poor quality, certain farms and cooperatives are striving to create a superior product. The growing local demand for high-quality coffee is also assisting the industry’s expansion.

Traceability

Coffees very, very rarely come from single estates. More common are producer groups or cooperatives among the more quality-focused producers.

Taste Profile

Better coffee from Thailand is sweet, quite clean, but relatively low in acidity. Some spice and chocolate often accompany a relatively full mouthfeel.

Growing Regions

Population: 68,864,000

The number of 60kg (132lb) bags in 2016: 664,000 NORTHERN REGION The northern mountainous area of Thailand is made up of coffee-growing provinces such as Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Lampang, Mae Hong Son and Tak. All the specialty coffee from Thailand comes from this area, via the Doi Chaang collective.

Harvest:  

Altitude:  

Varieties:

November–March

1,000–1,600m (3,280–5,250ft)

Caturra, Catimor, Catuai

Coffee beans spread out to dry in the sun in northern Thailand, where mostly Arabica is grown. The south of the country only produces Robusta

Southern Region

The south of the country grows Robusta only, and coffee is produced in the provinces of Surat Thani, Chumphon, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phang Nga, Krabi, and Ranong.

Altitude:  

Harvest:  

Varieties:

800–1,200m (2,620–3,940ft)

December–January

Robusta

 

More: Coffee Origins The Philippines

Share

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: