Episode 684

Thailand Doi Pangkhon Natural

Our sourcing partners Beanspire have been working in Doi Pangkhon for 7 years now. Doi Pangkhon, in Chiang Rai, has 300 households, each typically producing about 1-2 tons of parchment. In the past years, Beanspire worked with each house individually on their wet processing and bought their parchment before hulling and grading at their mill

During the 2017-2018 season, there was substantial investment in a new wet mill and is currently being operated by a few trusted partner producers and allows for more control of the coffee processing. In 2018-2019 season, the mill was improved with the addition of a new roof, new pulpers and improved workflows. Only last harvest season, the mill received a new electricity generator, a cupping lab was built for the farmers, and new concrete flooring was put down too.

This is a natural processed micro lot. Coffee cherries were floated and then laid on bamboo raised beds in a one-inch layer. Under-ripes and fermented cherries were sorted out throughout the drying process and the cherries were raked multiple times each day. After the cherries were dried, they're bagged to cure for two months before milling at the dry mill.

All of the villagers belong to Akha Hilltribe and they are very young for coffee farmers, 25-35 years old, mostly. The elevation at Doi Pangkhon is from 1,250-1,4500 meters above sea level. This area is 19 degrees north of the equator, which means that this elevation is really high (e.g. Colombia Narino is 1 degree north, Costa Rica Terrazu is 9 degree north so coffee can grow beyond 1,600m there). Coffee cannot grow in Thailand above 1,550m.

The varietals here are a mixture of Typica, Catuai, SJ133 and Chiang Mai (with many unknowns as well). Chiang Mai is a local hybrid that is a cross between SL28 x Caturra x Hibrido de Timor. So it's a catimor variant (like Colombia and Castillo varietals!) that's backcrossed with SL28 in order to improve the cup quality. It's a rust-resistant cultivar that's been developed by the late Thai King as part of his effort to eradicate opium plantation by the hill tribe in the North.

In terms of green preparation, the coffee went through a destoner, huller, size grader, density table and ended with hand-sorting. The green passed through density table multiple times. The coffee was shipped coffee in a triple-layered bag, which includes a cotton bag in the outer layer, High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) in the middle layer and Grain Pro in the innermost layer.

This coffee is a sticky sweet mess of raisins and plum with a generous sprinkle of brown sugar and a dollop of double cream on it, whilst a little shoulder of dark cherry creeps in on the aftertaste.

  • Country: Thailand
  • Region: Doi Pangkhong, Chiang Rai
  • Producers: Merlaeku Family x Beanspire
  • Altitude: 1,250–1,450 m.a.s.l.
  • Processing method: Natural
  • Varietals: Catuai, Typica, Chiang Mai & SJ133


Raisin, brown sugar, cream

  • Clean cup: (1–8): 6
  • Sweetness: (1–8): 7
  • Acidity: (1–8): 6
  • Mouthfeel: (1–8): 7
  • Flavour: (1–8): 7
  • Aftertaste: (1–8): 6
  • Balance: (1–8): 6.5
  • Overall: (1–8): 6.5
  • Correction: (+36): +36
  • Total: (max. 100): 88

Roasting Information
Medium to medium-dark - let this develop to further accentuate the rich body, but finish the roast somewhere between the end of the gap and the no further than the very first pops of second, or you'll lose the natural processing driven flavours.

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