DOI CHAANG COFFEE

Thailand 2017 | AGRICULTURE | PHOTO ESSAY: COFFEE

Doi Chaang Coffee has helped transfrom an entire region while cultivating delicious, sustainable coffee.

In 1978, His Majesty King Bhumibol launched a Royal Initiative to introduce sustainable crops to the hill tribes of northern Thailand, and particularly the Golden Triangle; an area that was once infamous for its vast opium trade.

Baan Doi Chang was named after a mountain that resembles a mother elephant with her two calves heading north. With an altitude of 1,700m above sea level, ideal soil conditions, and cool dry winters, a large number of farmers were interested in the initiative and turned to growing coffee. However, due to the lack of collaboration among the growers, there was no control over the quality of the coffee, and no proper sales channel to distribute the product.

Thus, when Wicha Promyong (also known as Ah Bor) was traveling through Baan Doi Chang, he became inspired by its story and began to develop a model that would mobilize the entire village, cultivate the beans, give it a unique brand, and market the premium coffee to the world, a concept that become known as “From Earth to Cup."

Today, over 8,000 villagers are engaged in the community-based project, which spans over 5,000ha and is used solely for growing Arabica coffee.