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Thailand—Som Poi

Regular price
Tasting notes
Honey, herbal, almond, toffee, sweet
Cupping Scorecard
84 / 100
General roasting guidelines
Good for Espresso
Region Details
Chiang Mai
Som Poi Village
Karen Tribal Group
Harvest Season / Year
1,200m (Medium)
Bourbon, Caturra

Thirty families of the Karen tribal group make up the coffee farmers of the Som Poi village in the Chiang Mai province of Northern Thailand, farming small lots that average 1-2 acres in size. Soksan Arutenee has been farming coffee as part of a local effort to see coffee farming become a more sustainable endeavor now for 7 years.

Prior to farming coffee, Soksan’s farm was almost entirely made up of cabbage which required extensive maintenance and commanded a very small price, making economic survival difficult. With the improving coffee quality being produced by the farm, Soksan has been able to earn more for the family’s hard work and inspire neighboring farms to work harder at producing quality coffees. Additionally, since they are able to grow their coffees naturally, without pesticides, their costs are lower which helps improve the bottom line. They are slowly, but steadily, rising from poverty. Soksan is now able to send their 3 children to school — the first such opportunity for anyone in the family.

The Integrated Tribal Development Program (ITDP) is an NGO in Thailand that is focused on the economic development of coffee farmers by training farmers in quality-oriented growing and harvesting practices. They also work with the villagers to help secure clean water, healthcare, and education.

Between the commitment to sustainable farming of quality coffee in this village and the improvement in cup quality over the past several harvest seasons, we are very enthusiastic about the road ahead for these hard-working folks in the Chiang Mai area. As they incrementally improve their coffees, they are incrementally emerging from poverty. This coffee is another excellent example of the kind of ethos that embodies the Mill47 philosophy — and it's working.

We talk about the value in letting coffee rest after it's roasted, almost universally noting improvements in flavor profile and quality in the cup after a day or two or three. This honey processed coffee holds true to that maxim perhaps more than most. This coffee becomes something quite different after 3 full days of post-roasting rest. A sweet, nutty and caramel-like coffee comes through as each of the first several days lapse after roasting. The raw richness becomes cleaner and sweeter with a more complex aroma and the flavors meld together and harmonize into something really special. This coffee is particularly well suited for a single origin espresso or part of an espresso blend. But to reiterate: give it a rest!

Good things continue to lie ahead for this farm and we're glad to represent them!