Sandeep and I left the kids with Pu and Ya for two days while we went trekking in Doi Inthanon, Thailand’s highest peak. Doi Inthanon is a national park, and the only inhabitants are the hill tribes that have lived there for 200+ years. Our guide, Ser, was from the Karen tribe, who he says originally came from Mongolia, through Tibet, and most recently Burman, before settling in the hills of Thailand.
Ser’s village, Mae Klang Luang, is a Karen village of about 280 people and 65 families. It grows rice for personal consumption and flowers and coffee for sale. During our two days we were treated to the best coffee we’ve had. Mae Klang Luang started growing Aribica beans in 1974 and has since perfected the art of coffee.
Here is a coffee plant growing between Ser’s house and his sister’s.
The beans are dried in the sun on mats made of bamboo, which is sourced locally.
They are then roasted in a bamboo hut. The hut is owned by Ser’s uncle, who runs a business selling the grounds.
The hand powered grinder requires upper body strength, which makes each cup all the more enjoyable. Yes, I ground my own cup.
The water is boiled in a kettle that is constantly heated over a few logs of teak wood. This kettles sits at the village coffee shop, where residents come throughout the day to enjoy a cup while watching the goings on.
The coffee is perculated through a cloth sieve into a tin can. The locals enjoy their coffee with sugar, which was the way how we enjoyed it.
That night we stayed at a neighboring village in very basic accommodations. In the morning, we huddled around the family’s boiling kettle and enjoyed our strong morning coffee. Fresh from the source and never more delicious.