Doitung Coffee from Thailand
A friend returned from a visit to the Far East and brought me a bag of DoiTung coffee from Thailand. This is single source, shade grown Arabica coffee. It is an offshoot of the the DoiTung development project started and nurtured by the Princess Mother of Thailand. The DoiTung brand comprises four business units which are food, handicrafts, horticulture, and tourism. The Doi Tung Development Project (DTDP) is one of the four flagship projects of the Mae Fah Luang Foundation, established in 1988 by the Princess Mother on Doi Tung, a high mountain in Chiang Rai, the northernmost province of Thailand. This is the infamous Golden Triangle famous for its opium, war lords, and abject poverty. The area has become economically self-sufficient due to the efforts of the foundation and inspiration of the Princess Mother who, in fact, moved her home to the area.
Growing Regular and Healthy Organic Coffee in Asia
Asian regions such as Sri Lanka used to be big coffee producers. But in the 19th century a plant disease wiped out crops. It was coffee leaf rust. The disease was and is especially damaging to Arabica coffee strains. Sri Lanka planters switched to tea. The leaf rust was found in Africa by 1920, Brazil by 1970, and Colombia by the 1980’s. Colombian left rust resistant coffee emerged from years of research, cross breeding and field testing. In the meantime Vietnam became the second largest producer of coffee in the world after Brazil but with Robusta coffee. Vietnam is the largest supplier of caffeine for beverages sold by Nestle. The emergence of a find Arabica coffee, DoiTung coffee from Thailand is a welcome addition to coffees of the world. Much of the organic coffee from this region comes from the uplands of Indochina, namely Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. For more information about the Mae Fah Luang Foundation and its work, visit http://www.maefahluang.org/index.php.
Organic Coffee and Shade Grown Coffee and the Environment
DoiTung coffee from Thailand grows in an area that was virtually deforested. By planting coffee, growers can establish ground cover and retard erosion. By planting shade trees the growers can provide a higher quality of shade grown coffee and further reduce erosion. In addition the addition of shade trees brings back birds and other animals and helps rebalance the habitat. The goal of this project was to bring up the standard of living of the residents of the area, provide education, and create a self-sustaining community where there was only abject poverty and ignorance. If you want to do a little to help the world, consider buying a bag or two or a shipping container of DoiTung coffee from Thailand.