A plug for a friend...
Akha Ama Coffee is a little organic coffee enterprise started by a young Akha guy (Lee), to support the farmers in his village & neighbouring communities in the Mae Suai area of Chiangrai province. It aims to foster & support sustainable farming practices & help the farmers gain access to both local & international markets for their crop. It is also seeking to obtain fairtrade certification for their products.
Akha Ama Coffee has a cafe at its office in Chiangmai city, not far from the ITM & SMH massage schools north of the old city area.
Address: 9/1 Mata Apartments, Hussadhisewee Soi 3, Chang Phuak, Muang Chiangmai 50300
Map with address in Thai (for local transport)
Phone: +66 086 915 8600
Akha Ama Coffee on facebook
A review here.
Lee has also started a series of coffee journeys, where visitors are brought on a 3D2N trip to his home village in the mountains of Chiangrai to trace the journey of coffee from seed to cup.
17-19 Dec 2010 (coincides with Akha New Year in his village)
28-30 Jan 2011
25-27 Feb 2011
Cost: 1900 baht
More details of what's involved here (conditions to expect & cost breakdown) & here.
A review of & photos (1, 2, 3, 4) from earlier journeys.
Would recommend this for coffee lovers who want to transform the way they look at their brew, & also those with an interest in the culture & food of the Akha ethnic group, the challenges they face as a marginalised group in Thailand, the life of ordinary villagers in rural Thailand, & sustainable farming practices...as well as for anyone who has wondered about what goes into the magic potion that wakes many around the world up & fuels countless hours of overtime work & all-nighters for deadlines & exams.