Chiang Mai region
The mountainous Arabica coffee growing regions of Chiang Rai, Doi Chang and Doi Tung are only a few hours drive away from Chiang Mai – a vibrant but at the same time quiet city that embraces a culture of experimentation.
Chiang Mai is an amazing place in Northern Thailand, where you can find many small coffee-shops run by highly passionate owners, who are happy to talk to you about coffee. Many of them are involved in the entire coffee preparation process. They frequently visit coffee plantations and help farmers during the harvest and the bean processing rituals. Together with the farmers, they make sure that only the best beans are selected.
The Thai government supports local farmers by applying a tax of 90% for imported coffee beans. Thai coffee-lovers are proud of their coffee beans that can be bought in small coffee-shops all around Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai with has about 200.000 inhabitants and starts to be a popular destination for coffee aficionados from all around the world. I visited this city to learn more about coffee culture. There are many European baristas, who think that they know a lot and perhaps almost everything about coffee, but once you explore the coffee-scene of Chiang Mai, you will soon realize that you only know a little bit. In Europe, I met people who argued that it is not important to meet coffee farmers and ‘shake hands with them’. According to them, this only promotes a partnership that supports the farmer even if his or her coffee beans are not good. However, in my opinion, it is very important to get to know the coffee people on a deeper level, to see their plantations, understand their hard work and feel their passion. This connection has a significant impact on my motivation and passion and the way I am preparing coffee. It enables me to put my love and soul into it.
I see baristas as middlemen and women between the roasters, farmers and customers. Baristas are not passive cup-holders or ‘coffee-machines’. In Chiang Mai, I was amazed, when I realized, how for local baristas and coffee-shop owners each cup of coffee that they pass to their guest is regarded as a part of themselves, a part of the roaster and a part of the farmer.
Coffee shops in Chiang Mai
In Chiang Mai I visited many small coffee shops, where the baristas not only prepared amazing brew coffees or espresso drinks but also shared inspiring stories about the various coffee-lovers behind the beans. I loved, how baristas prepared brew-coffee right in front of me.
Chiang Mai it is a great place to discover a unique specialty coffee-culture with different rituals, aromas, and flavors – treasures that will be hard to find in Europe.
The 10 Best Coffee Shops in Chiang Mai, you can read here: here
Top 10 creative and beautifully designed Coffee Shops in Chiang Mai, you can read here[/read]