Nan Province in Northern Thailand borders on Laos, covers an area of 11,472,076 square kilometers, and is situated northeast of the Mekong River. This region has endured much social and political unrest over the past several centuries, and by the end of the 18th Century, France had established major influence and laid claim to much of the land available. Colonialism posed a threat to Thailand’s indigenous cultures and traditions, and farming communities struggled to keep their industries and way of life thriving. Nan Province had become increasingly important for Bangkok as an outpost next to the Luang Prabang in Laos, and forging alliances and positive relations proved beneficial for all people across this vast land.
To generate revenue, the cultivation of opium proved viable for many, despite government and military suppression. Over time however, farmers turned to the agricultural production of fruits and vegetable crops to make a living, despite the immense challenge of traversing hilly terrain and inaccessible roads with their goods in order to sell in commercial centers. Eventually, tree planting became more popular, and with it brought the rise of a new industry—namely coffee production. When the last sovereign of Nan Province died, the area officially became part of Thailand in 1931.
At the beginning of Colonialism, coffee drinking was only enjoyed by the political elite. However, following the first cultivation of cherry trees by the French from 1883-1903, farming techniques were eventually shared with the indigenous tribes in Doi Phukha. Optimum growing conditions including ample rainfall, moderate temperatures and rich soil helped establish the industry, and farmers became more adept at this new agricultural opportunity.
News of Thailand’s Best Coffee Spreads
In 1995, Arjong Binsirawanich, a visitor to Nan Province, was offered some coffee by locals and was highly impressed by its superior taste and complex palette. Wanting to share his discovery, he brought some back to Bangkok, shared with friends and customers abroad in England, and his enthusiasm for this fine coffee caught on. It was the beginning of what would become a growing relationship and fascination with Nan Province—its people, culture, and traditions—as well as with Doi PhuKha National Park, a lush biologically diverse tropical forest area covering 1,704 square kilometers. The innovative PhuKha Coffee Learning Centre was established for farmers with the aim of educating them on the principles of successful coffee production management, including the basics of commerce, and imparting knowledge to benefit all. Coffee tree saplings are made available for those aspiring to set up small coffee farms.
The world launch of PhuKha Coffee marks an important step in the journey of Nan Province. Through our fair trade practices, social and business development models, and ongoing dedication to our coffee growers, every day we strive to bring you the finest Arabic quality coffee while offering a sustainable business model which we hope will inspire others to act responsibility for the good of the entire planet.