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stdClass Object ( [ID] => 32248 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2013-10-14 04:34:51 [post_date_gmt] => 2013-10-14 04:34:51 [post_content] => WHEN people think of where the world's best coffee comes from, Thailand doesn't rank very high. For all the great things Thailand is known for - spicy curries, pad Thai, exotic beaches, elephants - coffee isn't usually one of them. In fact, 10 years ago it was a struggle to find a cup of real fresh coffee anywhere outside a fancy hotel or restaurant. Those days are well and truly gone. The streets and roads of Thailand, and especially northern Thailand, are lined with cafes selling quality local coffees. This is a lucrative business today, thanks in part to decades of government efforts to encourage villagers in remote mountain communities to replace opium crops with coffee beans. Private companies and individuals have gotten in on the action, working with villagers to grow organic coffee and establish sustainable farming and selling practices that benefit the local community. Here is a sampling of the companies bringing quality Thai coffees to the market. [caption id="attachment_32249" align="aligncenter" width="720" caption="Village coffee trees (Photo: Stasis Photo via Shutterstock)"]coffee_trees[/caption]
Akha Ama
Akha Ama Coffee was founded by Lee Ayu Chuepa, who grew up in an Akha hilltribe village outside Chiang Rai. Villagers struggled to make much profit from the coffee trade, as they had to travel long journeys to Chiang Rai and sell to a middleman who took a hefty share of the profits. Lee found a way to put himself through school, attended university and made it his goal to give back to his community. The result of his ambitions was Akha Ama Coffee. Village farmers grow quality, organic coffee and Lee ensures fair prices in exchange for a percentage of the sales going to his stores. He opened two Akha Ama shops and if you're ever passing through Chiang Mai, you should absolutely stop in to one of them. The coffee is tasty, and care has clearly gone into everything from the preparation of the beans to the decor of the shop. To encourage patrons, coffee enthusiasts and travelers to engage with the product they're consuming, Akha Ama leads a yearly coffee journey. Guests stay in the village, meet the farmers and see exactly how coffee beans are harvested and readied for sale.
Doi Chaang
Another socially minded enterprise, Doi Chaang is a partnership between a Canadian father-son business team and Akha villagers in Doi Chaang. The company is 50 percent grower owned, and has received a number of accolades in recognition of their business model and quality product. Doi Chaang coffee is made from organic arabica beans, and is “shade grown, hand picked, fresh water washed and sun dried,” according to the company. There are a number of Doi Chaang coffee shops throughout Northern Thailand, including in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, where you can find the original Doi Chaang shop.
Duang Dee
Like Akha Ama and Doi Chaang, Duang Dee coffee is produced by villagers in northern Thailand and the coffee enterprise allows them to bring in sustainable income and maintain their traditional way of life. Duang Dee also works with farmers to educate them about preventing soil erosion and sustainable, ethical farming practices. This not only benefits the villagers by ensuring they are able to continue living off the land, but the environment as well. No pesticides are used in coffee production, so there's also the added health benefit of not having to worry about beans being heavily treated with chemicals. And it allows consumers to make ethical choices when they have a hankering for a cup of joe. According to the Duang Dee website, they distribute thousands of coffee trees to village farmers, with no obligation that the farmers have to sell to them. Find accommodation in northern Thailand to suit your budget on Agoda.com [post_title] => Northern Thailand's coffee revolution [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => northern-thailands-coffee-revolution [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2013-11-07 04:47:26 [post_modified_gmt] => 2013-11-07 04:47:26 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.travelwireasia.com/?p=32248 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )

Northern Thailand’s coffee revolution

Northern Thailand’s coffee revolution
October 14, 2013 - 0 Comments - Travel Wire Asia

WHEN people think of where the world’s best coffee comes from, Thailand doesn’t rank very high. For all the great things Thailand is known for – spicy curries, pad Thai, exotic beaches, elephants – coffee isn’t usually one of them. In fact, 10 years ago it was a struggle to find a cup of real…>

Thailand: Exciting wine lists, better drinking

Thailand: Exciting wine lists, better drinking
August 27, 2013 - 0 Comments - Travel Wire Asia

By Peter Scudamore-Smith AS the Thai hospitality industry enters the second year of the  Wine List of the Year competition, a review of the first year traces some interesting outcomes. Famed as one of the most penalising countries of Asia in its beverage taxation, it was time to raise the quality bar at restaurants and…>

Getting your drink on in Thailand – a guide

Getting your drink on in Thailand – a guide
August 20, 2013 - 1 Comments - Casey Hynes

THAILAND is practically synonymous with hard partying, so, as one would expect, there are a number of substances to imbibe on a big night out. Or just your average Tuesday, really. It’s not uncommon to drop into a restaurant for a late breakfast and spot fellow customers sipping a cold one before the clock has…>

Getting your drink on in Korea – a guide

Getting your drink on in Korea – a guide
July 23, 2013 - 2 Comments - Ben Cowles

YOU might not think of Korea as a nation of drinkers but they sure do love their alcohol. Not only does the nation have a lot of different alcohols, but when they’re out on the town, they revel in mixing them together. Honestly, you’ve no idea how far down the warren the rabbit can stumble.…>

10 crisp Asian beers to help beat the tropical heat

10 crisp Asian beers to help beat the tropical heat
May 21, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

ASIANS are good beer drinkers and Kingfishers, Tigers, Bintangs and various hop concoctions can be found across the region. While Europeans still consume more beer on average, the surge in popularity and production of beers in Asia is notable. Most of these are light, crisp beers that are perfect for the tropics and for some…>

10 unique Asian beverages

10 unique Asian beverages
April 28, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

FOR a real experience of Asia get your mouth and tastebuds around some of these beverages from across the region. With sake, butter tea, coconut juice and local whiskeys on offer, imbibing on the local plonk is one way of getting in touch with culture, experimenting with new flavours and trying to cope with the…>

5 best nightlife cities in Asia

5 best nightlife cities in Asia
April 25, 2013 - 1 Comments - Casey Hynes

WHEREVER you are in Asia, there is somewhere to party. Even in the wilds of Mongolia you’ll find someone who is willing to throw back a few with you. Or in Muslim Indonesia, there is still Bali, where you can always find a party or two. Here are five of our favorite cities in Asia…>

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