Here are some thoughts that seem to have crystallised during this trip to Thailand. (Warning: long post, no pretty pictures.)
Our company identifies itself as being part of the “specialty coffee” movement.
What is Specialty Coffee?
Specialty coffee buyers focus on coffees that are of a measurably better-than-usual standard1; from a consumer point of view it is a little murky, but it generally means a focus on things such as:
- where the coffee came from & how it was grown;
- what unique flavours & characteristics you might find in it;
- how the coffee was prepared & how that influenced the flavour. Continue Reading
Just finished a huge, very tiring day of coffee processing.
We were up at 4am to drive the two hours to LB village to collect cherry. It turns out you can fit 2500kg on the back of a ute! Albeit with some complaints from the suspension.
We arrived at 6am, so of course the cherry had been picked the day before (we think/hope). Ideally, ITDP likes to see processing of cherry within 8 hours of picking (ie. on the same day), but LB village doesn’t have their own processing equipment.
Again, ideally, you want all the cherries to be ripe but not overripe.
Unfortunately the cherry was not all ripe, and a lot of what had been ripe was starting to ferment in the fruit. This was a complication!
Howdy from Chiang Mai.
Despite the attempts of some silly-season travellers along the way, I made it to Chiang Mai last night (4am Australian time – it was a long day of travel).
I was met at the airport by Mike Mann, who is the director of ITDP (Integrated Tribal Development Program) which manages the coffee projects that we’re a part of.
Mike has plans for me! I’m happy about that, because I had made no plans other than “be useful”… Continue Reading