Arabica coffee develops best in the shade of the mountain forest canopy...

 His Majesty (right) introducing arabica coffee to a hill tribe, c.a. 1971.

His Majesty (right) introducing arabica coffee to a hill tribe, c.a. 1971.

In 1969, King Bhumibol launched a program to introduce arabica coffee to the hill tribes of Northern Thailand in the hope that it would serve as a sustainable alternative to the opium trade.  These mountain villages now produce some of the finest coffees in the world -- largely unknown in the west -- until now.

The Ultimate Sustainable Crop

Prior to the introduction of arabica coffee, many hill tribe villagers engaged in clear-cutting and burning to open up the forest for opium fields.  While highly profitable in the near term, this approach would sap the soil of nutrients within just a few years, and devastate the surrounding ecosystem.  The local communities would suffer the consequences of addiction, the resulting desperation contributing directly to the human trafficking problem.

 Screening & sorting green coffee in Ban Klang Luang.

Screening & sorting green coffee in Ban Klang Luang.

Arabica coffee best develops its amazing array for subtle flavors when it is grown in the shade of the forest canopy.  It also requires no pesticides, as the evolutionary role of caffeine is as a deterrent to insects.  Since the introduction of arabica coffee to the hill tribes, the Royal Thai Coffee Project has worked tirelessly to educate farmers on proper organic cultivation.

We buy coffee directly from the local village growers, eliminating all other middle parties except import/export brokers that are required by US law.  The very best way for these remote villages to prosper is by opening up the western markets, creating a direct connection between you -- the discerning coffee consumer -- and the local village farmers and their families.  When you buy Kamson Coffee, you are directly empowering and supporting healthy communities.