Acting on a tip from another friend of Andy's, we hit Akha Ama Coffee. The tiny outfit has its office in Chiang Mai, but the beans -- as is the case with most domestic Thai coffees -- come from rural Chiang Rai province. The company uses 100% Arabica beans, claims to promote sustainability and fair trade among the Akha people who maintain the crops, and Lee, the young man we spoke with at the office/cafe, really seemed to know his stuff.
Having consumed their 'Strong Roast' at breakfast this morning, I quite liked it, finding it a good balance of bitter and sour, with a decent body. It's also very inexpensive, at only about 100B (about US$3) for a 250g bag. If it was available in Bangkok I'd probably consider it as an alternative to the more expensive Doi Kham or Doi Tung beans.
Akha Ama Coffee Mata Apartment, 9/1 Soi 3, Th Hussadhisewee, Chiang Mai 086 915 8600 www.akhaama.com
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