We visited the Doi Tung factory store today. There are many projects of the people started by the King's mother, and Doi Tung is the brand umbrella for high end hand made weavings, pottery, paper, and most importantly coffee from the mountains above Chiang Rai. The infamous golden triagle between Laos, Burma and Thailand which has been known historically for opium trade is in the very beginning stages of developing a decent coffee growing industry. Doi Tung coffee follows a crop substitution model, replacing opium and slash and burn farming with sustainably grown coffee beans.
At the beginning of our year we were hoping to get roasted coffee beans from Thailand, but we couldn't figure out how to transfer money and do shipping at a reasonable cost - so we settled on local roasters.
So far we have purchased Sunshine Coffee beans from a woman in Tathon who gets the beans from the second highest mountain in Thailand near Fang (Fawng). Today we bought some of the Doi Tung coffee beans, and better yet we got to see their processing operation in action. The picture above shows a man raking the green beans, drying them in preparation for roasting. It was basically a huge parking lot covered by black plastic, with a half inch layer of coffee beans settled on top. Below are more pictures from their location.