About this Coffee
Watchara Yawirach is 34 years old and is the leader of a coffee cooperative in Mae Chedi district of Chiang Rai with 19 members. Mae Chedi is an area that is traditionally known for tea plantations. Tea is the main cash crop in the area. But coffee has always been part of farmers’ livelihood as well, albeit to a lesser degree than tea. Coffee was introduced into the area in 1977 when the crop was encouraged to be cultivated in order to replace opium production in Thailand. With the recent rise in specialty coffee demands, the young generation of farmers in the area are starting to take coffee more seriously. This is the second year of their special coffee production and is the first year that the coffee is getting exported. This is a group of stella coffee farmers who borrow tea fermentation methods and apply it to coffee. Watchara led them to experiment with many other methods as well. This coffee represents one of the best fully washed coffees that has come out of Thailand this season.
For this coffee, the coffee fruits are fermented for 5 days in closed HDPE bags before being pulped, fermented further to remove the mucilage and then dried on raised beds. The fermentation inside the HDPE bags creates a near zero oxygen environment, allowing for the production of lactic acid during anaerobic fermentation process. This adds body, sweetness and complexity to the coffee. This is similar to how they fermented tea in the area, i.e. for a really long period of time!
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 our late 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 handsorting. The green passed through the density table multiple times. We shipped coffee in a triple layered bag, which includes a cotton bag in the outer layer, HDPE in the middle layer and Grain Pro in the innermost layer.
NOTE***The above cost breakdown does not include our costs of actually running our business such as rent, labour, utilities, marketing, taxes, loan intrest, internet and customer facing labour.