Impressions: tropical, syrupy, clove, kiwi
Roast degree: light (1.5/5)
District: Mae Suai District
Province: Chiang Rai
Variety: Bourbon, caturra, catimor
Partner importer: Indochina Coffee
Farmers: Oil & Goh Chaosuwanwilai
It's been a minute since we launched a coffee from an emerging (or less known) origin that we never had before.
So we did something special and brought a fairly new specialty coffee origin to Canada: Thailand!
When we realised that no US based improter wanted to carry Yunnan on their offer list last year (at least the ones from farmers we worked with), we connected with Indochina Coffee so they could help us get the Guiben coffees to Canada.
What was first a little stressful and uncertain become kind of a 2 for 1: not only could we get our beloved Guiben coffees, but we could now access all of Indochina's menu.
Thailand immediately stood out.
This might be one of the funkiest coffee we ever had, and we have a limited amount of this natural mossto (amarone) processed coffee.
The coffee is first floated (as to remove floaters) and the rest is hand sorted for defects.
Cherries undergo anaerobic fermentation in the cherry, and they were inspired by the wine world (like amarone grapes) where the skin and juice from the anaerobic process is reused to give the coffee a tropical and complex profile.
The coffee will then dry in 2 steps: outside, under the sun until about 15% moisture content, and then inside until around 11% moisture.
Brace yourself folks, because this is a wild one. Wild as in potentially in the top 3 funkiest coffees we ever had.
The aroma is intense and tropical. You can smell so many yellow and green tropical fruits. We had tons of kiwi and pineapple.
The first sip is pretty crazy, and your brain might malfunction for a second or two because there is so much going on.
First, the tropical vibes. The main impression we had was star fruit. Sweet, acidic but balanced with a slightly herbal tone. The kiwi and pineapple we had on the nose are still there, but more subtle.
We also had some dark spices and tea notes. Think Pu'er fermented tea and clove.
Sweetness wise, think very dark honey, like buckwheat.
This is a one of a kind coffee, almost like if the naturals from Yunnan and PNG we had a while back were blended together.
We recommend this coffee as a filter first. The espresso are good, but required lots of dialing-in as it's a very eclectic coffee!
|Espresso||18 g||2.3:1||30-36 sec|
|Espresso with milk||18g||2:1||38-40 sec|
|Americano||18 g||2.3:1||32-35 sec|
|23 g||16.5:1||3:30-4:00 min|
Chemex & Batch Brew
|40-60 g||16.5:1||5:00-5:30 min|
|18-25 g||15.5:1||3:45 min steep time|
Farmers: Oil & Goh Chaosuwanwilai
Importer: Indochina coffee (ICC)
Price we paid for the landed coffee at our roastery: 21,25CAD/kg
Added cost: 4,70CAD/kg (including ICC import fees, shipping to Canada from the UK, storage, financing and warehousing fees)
ICC understood that having coffees shipped from the UK would make everything quite expensive for us, and they lowered their own margins by almost half to help us out, and we are grateful for that!
FOB price: 500THB/kg , or roughly 19CAD
This is the price paid to Oil and Goh for everything between the purchase of fresh cherries up to the moment the coffee is safely at the port, ready for export, (processing, milling & drying coffee, bagging and shipping locally)
Importing cost (shipping): 1,80CAD/kg
Farmgate price: between 35-39THB/kg for unsorted cherries, ∼ 1,50CAD/kg
This is what the farmers were paid for cherries, not green coffee. It'll cost the Sirinya 230THB to turn those cherries into green coffee ready for export, and often more due to those cherries not all being ripe.
There is a 90% import taxe on green coffee in Thailand, meaning that it almost always too pricey for local roasters to import anything. That means that the internal demand for green coffee is very high, driving prices up (Thai roasters pay the same price FOB as the importer) and giving little incentive for farmers to focus heavily on quality since good prices are almost always assured.
But there is a new wave of young farmers who want to focus on very high quality and consistency. This is certainly the case when it comes to Sirinya.
And what is very encouraging to see is that local farmers focusing on quality often end up starting their own roasting operation. Having more producers take control of not only the green coffee, but also the roasted coffee, is a model we wish would be more easily doable at origin.