Thailand’s green coffee beans are responsible for some of the most flavorful beverages that you could ever have the pleasure of drinking. Yet, because the coffee is rarely exported outside of the country with the exception of a few mainstream brands, few people get to acquaint themselves with the unique bouquet of flavors. Even if you do get your hands on a cup outside of Thailand, there’s a very good chance that the person serving it to you doesn’t know much about its production. In this way, Thailand is one of coffee’s best-kept secrets.
Within the country, coffee production is ramping up in a big way and its popularity is spreading like wildfire. If you’re considering a trip abroad or a drive to a specialty coffee shop in your home country, here are some things to know about the coffee that will put your previous cups to shame.
Thailand Has Members of the Specialty Coffee Association of America
The Specialty Coffee Association of America (or SCAA) recognizes coffee professionals in over forty coffee-producing nations. From coffee manufacturers to baristas in cafes, this organization recognizes thousands of individuals who have placed coffee, inclusiveness and diversity at the top of their priorities list.
Thailand’s Coffee Farmers Are Young with Diverse Backgrounds
A lot of the individuals farming coffee in Thailand range between their 20s and their 40s. People from all walks of life, from young professionals to baristas and everything in-between, have thrown their hat into Thailand’s booming coffee enterprise.
The Government is Invested in Thailand Coffee Production
The Golden Triangle, a region where Myanmar, Thailand and Laos intersect, used to be a hot spot for drug crimes up until the 1980s. This change came about when the Thai government thought of the perfect replacement for the opium fields in this area: coffee beans.
Thai Coffee is Produced Almost Exclusively by Small-Scale Farmers
Because of Thailand’s efforts to overcome rapid deforestation issues, only small swaths of land can be used for the production of coffee beans. This means that most of the coffee made in Thailand is produced by individuals and families, picked and processed on a small scale. This fact is often credited with driving up the costs of Thai coffee, especially in comparison to similar origin countries like Panama.
Thailand is Known for Robusta Coffee
This type of coffee is known for its low acidity and a notably bitter flavor. This robust coffee is considered a great alternative for those who love Arabica but wish for something with a bolder, more distinctive taste. Robusta originated in sub-Saharan Africa and has almost double the caffeine content of Arabica and Arabica-based blends. Robusta is often used in espresso.