Coffee production in Thailand began as recently as the 1970s when King Bhumibol Adulyadej began an effort to switch farmers to crops like coffee instead of opium. Arabica is grown in northern Thailand, a region known as the Golden Triangle, with other regions specializing in Robusta.
That doesn’t mean the coffee industry in Thailand is all low-quality beans. Some farms, like the Nacha farm at nearly 5,000 feet in Chiang Mai, use a painstaking process of handpicking only ripe cherries from their small lot Arabica farm. The result is a coffee that won the 2007 Long Beach Specialty Coffee Association of America’s title for “Best Asia Coffee.”