Discover the Rich Flavours of Chiang Mai with Drip Coffee at Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai, Thailand

The commitment of Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai to sustainability is highlighted by the unique coffee experience that brings local flavours and the diversity of the destination to life at the Michelin-recommended Khao by Four Seasons. “The hilly tracts in and around Chiang Mai have earned a reputation for producing Thailand’s finest teas and coffees,” shares Resort Manager Anthony Tschudin. “Local hill-tribes are encouraged by the Royal Project to cultivate a variety of mid- to high-level arabica beans as a means to economic independence.”

Supporting Local Cultivars

In partnership with the Royal Project and other niche plantations, the Resort has been serving a range of locally sourced and craft-roasted coffees that truly represent the finest brews from Chiang Mai. “Coffees are grown in some of the most exotic destinations around the world.  From Colombia and Ethiopia to Vietnam and Thailand, each coffee profile is unique and distinct, and that is why we are keen to offer our guests the chance to sample the local coffees at their source,” he adds. Chiang Mai coffee is grown conscientiously on a smaller scale, where every coffee bean is hand-picked only when ready and then sun-dried in the clean open air of the hills. As a result, the aroma of these coffees is superior in flavour, with subtle suggestions of the elevation and environment in which they are grown.

Scaling New Heights

The two varieties of coffee on offer at the Resort have both been selected for their rich flavour profiles and their enhanced tropical notes. “Grown at an elevation of between 1,100 and 1,500 metres (3,600-4,900 feet) by local farmers on small plantations, these coffees are 100 percent organic, and hand-harvested just for the Resort,” shares Tschudin. The first of these coffees are sourced from the Thep Sadej Community, who reside amid the hilly slopes in the Doi Saket District. A special wildflower known as Dok Kor grows in abundance here under the shade of the jungle foliage and is favoured by the wild bee population of the region. As pollinators for both the Dok Kor as well as the coffee blossoms, there is an exchange of fragrances thanks to the bees that is transferred to the ripe coffee bean. “This one-of-a-kind flavour is what distinguishes this particular coffee from any others, with its taste of the jungle and the delicate floral notes from the Dok Kor flowers,” he adds.

A Hill-Tribal Connection

The second of our special Chiang Mai coffees comes from the Bo Kaeo region in Samoeng District, where the Bo Kaeo community includes a population of Karen tribal folk. The fertile soil here and favourable climate at 1,400 metres (4,600 feet) allows local growers to alternate between coffee and strawberry crops for their livelihood. “This Bo Kaeo coffee has a robust and earthy flavour with hints of vanilla and chocolate that resonate within our tropical setting,” explains Tschudin. Famous for their elaborate neck ornamentation, the Karens are a hill-tribe whose territory spans the mountainous regions between Myanmar and Thailand where they have traditionally lived as foragers. Through coffee production, this vulnerable group has generated a modest income and is on the path towards being more subsistent and prosperous.

“Engaging with the destination and the people of Chiang Mai in a sustainable way is a priority,” he insists. “Growers are fairly compensated and environmentally sound practices are followed in the production of this coffee, and that is what we seek to achieve here at Four Seasons – a reciprocal and beneficial relationship between us and the people of this region.”