Little Fish in a Big Pond - The Thai Coffee Story

Coffee Belt

The Bean Belt

Nestled between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn lies the Coffee Belt, which is home to all of the farms that harvest the coffee beans consumed around the globe. Whether you're drinking a fresh cup of Kao Jai or a latte at your favorite coffee shop, you can bet your bottom dollar that the beans you're enjoying originated within these lines.

The Coffee Belt, or Bean Belt, boasts the perfect growing conditions with moderate sunshine and rain, steady temperatures, and rich soil. These conditions not only yield coffee, but it also provides a source of income for over 25 million farmers and coffee works in these 50 coffee producing countries around the world.

There are two main coffee trees that are found around the world: Arabica and Robusta. Arabica accounts for about 70% of all coffee produced and is of much higher quality than its' caffeine infused, low-quality rival Robusta. Robusta has about 83% more caffeine than a typical cup of coffee and is typically used in instant coffees or caffeine is extracted to be used in energy drinks.

Perception of Thai Coffee (100% Robusta)

Perception of Thai Coffee (100% Robusta)

Thai Coffee Story

When Thailand became an official coffee exporter back in 1976, it kicked off their debut by selling 850 tons of Robusta coffee to different countries around the world, which began establishing their reputation as a major Robusta exporter within the Bean Belt. 

As the years progressed and the movement towards specialty coffee began spreading across the world, Thailand remained stuck with the same reputation as a producer of the lower-quality coffee and still does to this day. When we first arrived in Thailand last October, we were as green as an unroasted bean not understanding the ins-and-outs of the industry that facilitates the trade of the second most traded commodity in the world. We were blown away by our first taste of Thai coffee and were surprised that it didn't have a larger presence within the American market.

Fast forward 10 months to this day:  we are sending e-mails, making cold calls, and walking into coffee shops, roasters, restaurants, and retailers trying to eradicate the perception of low-quality coffee and replacing it with the citrusy and clean finishing Arabica coffee produced in the North of Thailand.

Spread the Word

As we live within this David & Goliath story, there are simple ways to help us debunk the myth of low-quality Thai coffee and build a solid foundation for the future of specialty Thai coffee:

  1. As Elf puts it: "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is to sing loud for all to hear." The same basic principle applies to spreading by sharing your thoughts on the orchestra of flavors experienced after your first sip of Thai coffee on Facebook with the 830 million users. It's simple...just click here and select the corresponding number of stars that adequately describes your taste of change.
  2. Walk into your local coffee shop and passionately share how Thai coffee has changed your life (well, that might be a bit dramatic). Let local shops or roasters know that we would love to send them a sample and talk about partnership opportunities. If you have any ideas of local shops that we should reach out to, message us here (we'd love to hear from you).
  3. Share with a friend. In our eyes, coffee is best when shared with others because some of the greatest conversation happens over a cup of coffee. Use our coffee as a bridge to connect with long lost friends and then slyly mention how unique the coffee happens to be that you're enjoying (just kidding about the second part).

In all seriousness, our supporters are what has helped us get to this point and will continue to help us get to the next level and build a reputation for Thai coffee. We thank you for your wholehearted acceptance of our mission and for supporting us from the start. Help us debunk this myth and continue to directly support farmers in Thailand so that we can create opportunities for the farmers that we know and love.

Kyle Ducharme

Kyle Ducharme

I'm passionate about making a difference in the lives of those around me regardless of where I am in the world. Whether I am on the busy streets of Boston, building homes in Central Appalachia, or harvesting coffee abroad, I'm always looking for innovative ways to improve our lives and connect with those around us.