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Maizefarmer

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....from Duang Dee...... :D

The Duang Dee Coffee Story

In the past, Large Development Programs promoted coffee growing in many small hill tribe villages, in northern Thailand, as a cash crop replacement for opium growing, as it can be stored for a long time. However thousands of the finest coffee trees were abandoned or cut down as many of the small and most remote farmers , who produced the best beans, had no ready market to sell their premium raw coffee beans.

This problem is now solved!

We at "Duang Dee Hill Tribe Coffee" a small "micro coffee roasting company", now work together with these remote farmers and purchase all these small amounts of coffee, that each farmer produces and then we blend and hand roast it, to produce the finest "Organically Grown" coffee in Thailand. :D

Duang Dee Hill Tribe Coffee is proud to help the hill tribes to maintain their traditional way of life, that they so cherish, and to this end, Duang Dee Hill Tribe Coffee, contributes a percentage of each sale into small hill tribe development projects....& more...... :o

http://www.northernthailand.com/duangdeecoffee/

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RinRada - you are quoting from some artical or other media he when you use the word "we" - or are you involved in that project in some way.

Tim

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RinRada - you are quoting from some artical or other media he when you use the word "we" - or are you involved in that project in some way.

Tim

Tim...No not involved but I have visited the areas up at the back of Doi Ithanon and about 15 or so years ago spent a bit of time on a honda dream going round places like Doi mae Salong,C.M .C.Rai..mai sai etc.....before the new road was installed....just interested.... :o

also bit more info from BC /Royal Projects... :D

Thailand is not well known as a coffee producer.

In fact Thailand is the third largest coffee grower in Southeast Asia, behind Indonesia and Vietnam.

Production is about 100,000 tons per year (2002 forecast) compared with Brazil's forecasted 2002/2003 production of more than 3 Million tons.

Most of Thailand's coffee production is the robusta variety which is prmarily used to make instant coffee.

Thai Robusta coffee is grown in the Southern part of Thailand.

Only about 300 tons of the more flavorful arabia species is produced in Thailand.

Arabica is grown in the high mountains of Northern Thailand.

Origins of Thai Coffee

Although coffee was introduced to Southeast Asia in the 17th and 18th centuries, its cultivation is a quite recent innovation in Thailand. In 1960 production was only about 750 tons and Thailand had to import almost 6,000 tons to meet local demand.

To improve the trade balance, the Thai government of the time started to encourage farmers in the Southern provinces to grow more coffee.

It wasn't until 1976 that Thailand became a coffee exporter.

In the 1970's the Royal Projects Foundation, under the guidance of the Queen Mother and His Majesty the King, began to encourage hill tribes in the mountains of Northern Thailand to grow Arabica coffee. The program was supported by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), which provided technical assistance to help identify the best strains of Arabica most suited to Thailand's Northern climate.

The Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Chiang Mai provides continuing local technical support.

Currently, only about 300 tons of Arabica coffee is produced each year in Northern Thailand.

The Royal Projects

The Royal Projects Foundation has its origins in the 1950's when His Majesty the King, on a fact-finding trip to the mountains of the North, saw hills covered in opium poppies. His Majesty became determined to find a way to provide a better life for his people.

The Royal Projects were borne from this idea.

The Foundation has four major objectives:

Offer a helping hand to all humankind;

Ensure natural resources are conserved for a sustainable future;

Eradicate opium poppy cultivation and opium derived addiction problems;

Encourage a wise and proper balance in utilizing and conserving land and forest resources.

The Royal Project maintains more than 28 extension stations throughout Northern Thailand.

One of the largest coffee growing areas is Thailand's highest mountain, Doi Intanon in Chiang Mai. Here, the Royal Project extension station is beautifully situated at the base of the spectacular Sripatum waterfall.

The Doi Intanon area produces about 20 tons of high quality Arabica coffee a year. The Royal Projects manage about 25% of this production.

The Foundation acts as a sort of agricultural cooperative, purchasing coffee from many small farmers for bulk sale to domestic roasters such as Black Canyon.

Black Canyon obtains 70 to 80% of our coffee directly from the Royal Project Foundation, helping to support ...etc.... :D

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Rinrada

Your notes regarding production volumes are in line which what I came up with as well when doing some internet research. I don’t like using or quoting the net because when it comes to stats I know it can be horribly inaccurate – so go to see someone else has the same figures.

From a commercial perspective yes – I am inclined to feel that the only way I would be able to give it ago would be to try out about 10 -20rai of Arabica, as although it is grown here in very little quantities (because it has to be so high up), what little is grown here is actually very high quality indeed by all accounts.

If I went down that path, I would certainly want to do all the processing and packaging myself to market it as an exclusive product with its own brand name.

In the Caribbean (Barbados) there is a coffee produced using beans imported from Eritrea and vanilla imported from Hawaii. I don’t know the mix (it’s just a hint of vanilla) but it is sold in very limited quantities each year as a very high quality product. It fetches a stupid price of around $250 (USD) per pound (or maybe kilo).

And it does taste very good indeed.

That’s my take on this – something like that. So long as you start off with a good quality ingredient (and Thai Arabica is superb quality Arabica) and you can package and present it – there is good commercial potential.

Tim

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Gary A - yes, we have sadly noted that already (this area is to low).

I too live in Loei - pretty much at the base of the Phu Kradung National Park - and FYI - no, this winter wil not be mild: all estimates coming from the Met office HQ in Bkk are saying that we are in for a cold winter this year, primarily because the seasonal forecasts are suggesting that there is goiing to be little increase in the air pressure - the low pressure systems we have had so far this year (which brought in all the destructive rainfall) are not expected to dissipate untill at least mid-late May next year!!

Wrap warm and buy the kids new shoes!!

PS -where about are you based in Loei?

Tim

We live about 30 kilometers north of Pukradung near Nong Hin. Nong Hin is directly on highway 201. The main goal is to keep me warm. We have no kids to buy shoes for. :o Once in a while we drive down to the big fish pond beside 201 and eat fresh fish and shrimp while sitting on a raft. That pond is about 5 kilometers from Phukradung.

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Skippy - yes, indeed it was. It was one of His Majesties projects.

Any idea how well its taken off - any information actually that you can contribute to this discussion would be apprecaited.

Tim

Not much, but on the west side nof Chiang Rai i dorve through the mountains and it was full of tea plantations. I know that Starbucks buys their coffee from this area(sorry to disappoint you guys, I know you thought it came from Brazil).

Vietnam, in the northern parts is also heavy on coffee, and from what i know is #2 exporter in the world.

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JB - I think you are correct.

My problem (or at least my attitude) is that Robuta is no good - well, better put as no good for me.

My interest would be in fresh roasted coffee beans and fresh ground coffee - as a commercial product, to sell and market under my own lable. And to do that you need to grow Arabica, as that is what is used for fresh coffee.

Robusta is used almost exclusively for instant coffee granules - it has little to no place in the fresh ground coffee market.

Now I could be wrong in my impression that the way forward for a small own brand name product is to grow a high qaulity Arabica to market as a fresh coffee (because the public perception is that this is a better quality product).

My impression is that in growing Robusta I would not be able to offer it competively as a instant coffee granule, bearing in mind just how easy it is to obtain a sache of instant coffe granules.

My approach is very much "comercialy" driven.

But, by all means if anyone has some a contribution to make regards the growing of Robusta - fire away -lets have the detail.

Tim

Based on what I know I think your comments above are correct, though in the case of Laos most of the coffee is robusta and it is mostly used in Belgium to make roast coffee, not instant coffee - it is blended with Arabica. This is because the Lao robusta has a unique quality due to being "high grown" (at around 800 - 1,200 m) and without the use of fertilizers. A recent FAO project found that by using the semi-washing method of processing (as opposed the usual dry method) they could further improve the qualityof the Lao Robusta.

However, to produce a specialty coffee I agree that Arabica is the way to go. I understand that the higher you go the better the quality and so ideally you would set up you plantation nearer to the equator than we are in this part of the world. You also need to select a variety of Arabica that gives good quality coffee, not just grow Arabica per se. The better tasting varieties tend to be less resistant to coffee rust. Robusta is resistant. The resistant Arabica varieties have had robust genes crossed into them so their taste is not pure orginal arabica. I guess most of the arabic in Thailand is the rust resistant variety like Catimor. Another factor is correct harvesting - only pick ripe cherries (most farmers strip harvest everything regardless of ripeness) and correct processing - the wet method should give the best quality but it's more tricky to get right (involves fermentation - too much or too little and you lose quality).

I know of a coffee consultant (Dutch) who resides in Chiang Mai. He would be the guy to go for advice. Let me know if you want his contact numbers.

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Vietnam, in the northern parts is also heavy on coffee, and from what i know is #2 exporter in the world.

Yes Vietnam is the country that caused world coffee prices to drop a few years back due to a massive expansion in production. The coffee they grow in the central highlands is mostly robusta - hence altitude is not so important. They grow arabica in the cooler north but not so much volume as robusta.

Vietnamese robusta growers can get 5t/ha versus 1 t/ha in Laos. Reason is they use irrigation, 2 tons of fertilizer per hectare and prune, etc. Laos coffee growers do very little besides harvesting.

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Although only really to be considered by those of us living in the highlands in the Chang Rai/Cang Mai region, has anyone cosndiered coffee as a crop - or does anyone actually farm coffee?

Thai coffe is sold in the USA and in Europe under one the so-called free trade brands (I use the words "so-called in inverted brackets because I have an opinon about just how free it actually is - but thats a subject for another topic on another forum). It sells well, and I personally think its a good product.

If you don't mind I would like to hear more about your opinion on Fair trade. I am working for Starbucks and all I have is there verison of it. I would also like to get a promotion that would have me working closer with Asia so I would be interested to see what people think about coffee production in each phase in Asia. Thanks.

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There are many people growing coffee on a semi commercial basis in the north. A lot of the coffee comes from small producers that combine their product and funnel it to one of the major buyers, The Royal Project, Starbucks, Hillkoff, some missionary groups and others. Some coffee is grown in larger plantations and some is grown in the wild in various areas and collected by the hill tribe people. I have seen coffee, aribica in particular, grown everywhere from the high hills to a large plantation that was eventually overgrown with Macadamias north of Chiang Rai to a big bush that is growning in front of the Hillkoff shop in Chotana.

There is a good agriculture library at the CM University off of Suthep Road. There you will find everything to answer all of your questions.

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Although only really to be considered by those of us living in the highlands in the Chang Rai/Cang Mai region, has anyone cosndiered coffee as a crop - or does anyone actually farm coffee?

Thai coffe is sold in the USA and in Europe under one the so-called free trade brands (I use the words "so-called in inverted brackets because I have an opinon about just how free it actually is - but thats a subject for another topic on another forum). It sells well, and I personally think its a good product.

If you don't mind I would like to hear more about your opinion on Fair trade. I am working for Starbucks and all I have is there verison of it. I would also like to get a promotion that would have me working closer with Asia so I would be interested to see what people think about coffee production in each phase in Asia. Thanks.

Sure you dont mean the FAIR TRADE brand :o

http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/products_coffee.htm

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JungleBiker, I know I would appreciate a contact and I am sure MF would also. Do you have email addresses for him to contact ?

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Although only really to be considered by those of us living in the highlands in the Chang Rai/Cang Mai region, has anyone cosndiered coffee as a crop - or does anyone actually farm coffee?

Thai coffe is sold in the USA and in Europe under one the so-called free trade brands (I use the words "so-called in inverted brackets because I have an opinon about just how free it actually is - but thats a subject for another topic on another forum). It sells well, and I personally think its a good product.

If you don't mind I would like to hear more about your opinion on Fair trade. I am working for Starbucks and all I have is there verison of it. I would also like to get a promotion that would have me working closer with Asia so I would be interested to see what people think about coffee production in each phase in Asia. Thanks.

Sure you dont mean the FAIR TRADE brand :o

http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/products_coffee.htm

No, I have never heard of them. I only heard the term fair trade through my job at Starbucks.

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