Coffee has become an integral part of our daily routine, a source of comfort and energy many of us can’t imagine starting the day without. And when it comes to coffee culture, Chiang Mai, the vibrant and culturally rich city in northern Thailand, has much to offer. From bold and robust Thai coffee to international blends, from cozy and traditional roasteries to trendy and hipster cafes, Chiang Mai has something for everyone.
If you’re a coffee lover or looking for a great cup of joe to start your day, you’re in the right place. In this guide, we’ll take you on a journey through the world of coffee in Chiang Mai. From the best coffee shops and roasteries to the different types of coffee you can find in the city, we’ve got you covered.
So grab your favorite mug, and let’s get brewing!
Best Coffee in Chiang Mai
Regarding coffee in Chiang Mai, the city is brimming with cafes and roasteries catering to all tastes and preferences. Here are some of the best coffee shops you should check out:
- Ristr8to Located in Nimmanhaemin, Ristr8to is a must-visit for coffee enthusiasts. With its minimalist design, friendly staff, and excellent coffee, it’s no wonder why this cafe has become a local favorite. Their signature drinks, such as the “Kiss of Dawn” and “Godfather,” are a must-try.
- Akha Ama Coffee If you’re looking for a more traditional coffee experience, Akha Ama Coffee is the place to be. This cozy and rustic cafe is run by a local Akha tribe family passionate about coffee. They source their beans directly from their farm and roast them in-house, ensuring the freshest and highest quality coffee.
- Graph Cafe is a hidden gem in the city for a unique and artistic ambiance. With its mural-covered walls and creative decor, this cafe offers a great place to relax and enjoy coffee. Their “cold drip” coffee is a fan favorite.
Types of Coffee in Chiang Mai
If you’re a coffee lover, you know that many different types of coffee are available, each with its unique flavor and brewing method. Here are some of the most popular types of coffee you can find in Chiang Mai:
- Thai Coffee Thai coffee, also known as Oliang, is a sweet and bold coffee made by blending ground coffee beans with various spices and herbs, such as cardamom and coriander. It’s usually served with condensed milk and ice, making it a perfect refreshment for the hot and humid climate of Chiang Mai.
- Espresso is a strong, concentrated coffee brewed by forcing hot water through finely-ground coffee beans. It’s the base for many popular coffee drinks, such as cappuccinos and lattes. If you’re looking for a quick and powerful caffeine boost, espresso is the way.
- Cold Brew, Cold brew coffee is made by steeping coarsely ground coffee beans in cold water for an extended period, usually around 12-24 hours. This slow brewing process results in a smooth, less acidic coffee that is perfect for hot days.
History of Coffee in Chiang Mai
Coffee has been grown in Thailand since the early 1900s, but it wasn’t until the 1970s that coffee production began to increase in Chiang Mai. Today, Chiang Mai is one of the central coffee-producing regions in Thailand, known for its high-quality Arabica coffee beans.
However, the city’s coffee culture didn’t develop until much later. It wasn’t until the early 2000s that the first specialty coffee shops emerged in Chiang Mai, introducing a new wave of coffee culture to the city.
Traditional Coffee Chiang Mai Roasteries
Chiang Mai is home to many traditional coffee roasteries, some of which have been around for generations. These roasteries typically use traditional methods to roast their coffee beans, resulting in a rich and bold flavor unique to Chiang Mai.
One of the most well-known traditional roasteries in Chiang Mai is Akha Ama Coffee. Run by a local Akha tribe family, Akha Ama Coffee is known for its high-quality, single-origin Arabica coffee. The family grows coffee beans on their farm in Doi Saket, a small town just outside of Chiang Mai, and roasts them in-house using traditional methods.
Other notable traditional coffee roasteries in Chiang Mai include Huen Muan Jai Coffee, Kanjana Coffee, and Doi Chang Coffee.
Trendy Coffee in Chiang Mai
In recent years, Chiang Mai has seen a rise in trendy coffee shops that cater to the city’s younger and more cosmopolitan crowd. These coffee shops typically offer a wide range of coffee options, from traditional Thai coffee to international blends, and often have a unique and stylish ambiance.
One of the most popular trendy coffee shops in Chiang Mai is Ristr8to. With its minimalist design, friendly staff, and excellent coffee, Ristr8to has become a local favorite. Their signature drinks, such as the “Kiss of Dawn” and “Godfather,” are a must-try.
Other trendy coffee shops in Chiang Mai include Graph Cafe, Ponganes Espresso Bar, and SS1254372 Cafe.
Coffee in Chiang Mai Plantations
Chiang Mai’s coffee culture wouldn’t be complete without its coffee plantations. Many coffee lovers visit Chiang Mai to explore its lush and picturesque coffee plantations, where they can learn about the coffee production process and enjoy freshly brewed coffee.
One of the most popular coffee plantations in Chiang Mai is Mae Kampong Coffee. Located in the small village of Mae Kampong, just outside of Chiang Mai, this coffee plantation offers a unique and authentic coffee experience. Visitors can tour the plantation, learn about the production process, and enjoy freshly brewed coffee while taking in the stunning surroundings.
Other notable coffee plantations in Chiang Mai include Doi Tung Coffee, Choui Fong Tea and Coffee, and Baan Hom Tien Coffee.
The Future of Coffee in Chiang Mai
As Chiang Mai grows and develops, so does its coffee culture. With the increasing popularity of specialty coffee and the city’s abundance of coffee plantations, Chiang Mai has the potential to become a significant player in the global coffee industry.
The city’s coffee culture has also inspired many young entrepreneurs opening coffee shops and roasteries. This adds to the city’s vibrant coffee scene and creates new opportunities for the local economy.
Q: Where can I find the best Thai coffee in Chiang Mai?
A: Akha Ama Coffee is highly recommended as the best Thai coffee in Chiang Mai. Their traditional brewing methods and the use of high-quality beans create an unmatched unique, and authentic flavor.
Q: Are there any coffee tours in Chiang Mai?
A: Yes, there are many coffee tours available in Chiang Mai. These tours offer a great way to learn about the local coffee culture, visit coffee plantations and roasteries, and enjoy freshly brewed coffee.
Q: Can I find vegan options in coffee shops in Chiang Mai?
A: Yes, many coffee shops in Chiang Mai offer vegan options such as soy milk, oat milk, and almond milk. Some cafes even have vegan snacks and desserts.
Chiang Mai is a city that has something for everyone, and its coffee culture is no exception. From traditional Thai coffee to international blends, from cozy and rustic roasteries to trendy and hipster cafes, Chiang Mai offers a unique and diverse coffee experience. So the next time you’re in the city, be sure to savor the flavor of coffee in Chiang Mai and explore its rich and aromatic world of coffee.