Region: Baan Doi Chaang
Estate: Baan Doi Chaang
Owner: Akha Villagers
Varietal: Caturra, Catimor & Catuai
Processing: Washed & Sun Dried
Tasting Notes: Light aromas of toasted almond, mid flavours of citrus fruit and rippened stone fruit. Medium heavy body with a dry spicy linger to the back end. A lighter and brighter variation of the typical Indonesian coffee.
Roasting Notes: A medium and a dark roast seem to do this coffee justice. Lighter roasting leaves an underdeveloped flavour through until midway between 1st & 2nd. At 2nd there is more of the spicy flavours present. Midway the citrus flavours take hold.
Thailand Baan Doi Chaang - Akha Villagers - Per Kg
Baan Doi Chang is named after a mountain that resembles a mother elephant with her two calves heading North. With the village sitting at an altitude of 1,000 to 1,700 meters above sea level, ideal soil condition, cool dry winters, and most importantly the conviction of the villagers to improve their livelihood, Doi Chang is now home to premium Arabica coffee.
In the past, Doi Chang was characterized by shifting cultivation through slash and burn practices among other which brought adverse effects to the forest and natural vegetation. Increasing year after year, undermining the integrity of the forest. Fully aware of these practices, His Majesty the King Rama 9 introduced a project to plant various varieties of winter crops. His Majesty’s main objective was to find alternative crops to opium, which had become an important part of the hill tribe life, and solve the issues of shifting cultivation, watershed instability, drug addiction, among others.
Through His Majesty the King’s initiatives, farmers in the area have turned to growing Arabica coffee and other winter crops. Over 30,000 rais of sustainable agriculture has revived the forests of Doi Chang to the lush conditions it once was.
Today, Baan Doi Chang has transformed into one of the prime areas in the world for growing high quality Arabica coffee. In August of 2015, Geographical Indication of the European Union (EU) certified Doi Chaang Coffee’s registration.
The vast majority of the coffee grown in Thailand is robusta, grown in the southern part of the country and commonly doused with chemicals. In the late 1970s, planting of arabica coffee (and other crops) in the northern highlands was encouraged in order to replace the cultivation of opium poppies, as well as to counter deforestation from shifting agriculture practiced by many of the local ethnic groups, known as “hill tribes.”
The hill tribes of the northern Thailand have faced extreme challenges in the past several decades. When cultivation of opium poppies was outlawed in 1958, it forced these people to use more land to generate income and sustenance, a situation exacerbated by their increasing numbers, which have quadrupled the last 30 years; the growth rate is double that of the national average. The poverty of the hill tribes is further compounded by their cultural isolation, difficulty in attaining citizenship and land ownership, and lack of good access to education and other employment opportunities.
Until recently, much of the coffee grown in Thailand was typically used in the domestic market. The better arabica beans were mixed in with inferior beans, so some farmers were not receiving the prices their beans merited. Now some of the hill tribes in northern Thailand are working with partners to market their beans for export.