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  1. #1
    Newbie ultramarine's Avatar
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    Decent coffee for home brewing: any recommendations?

    I am at my wit's end with the coffee offerings one encounters in supermarkets. It's all so bad or overpriced. All the Bon Cafe varieties are a crime against caffeine. Suzuki is not much better -- over-roasted Asian style I guess and overpriced to boot. This is on ongoing problem with many Thai-made coffees -- the roasting is not to my taste. It's all burnt tasting. Like they roast it at too high a temperature for too long. No wonder they add all that sugar.

    I had some luck with the Tesco Columbian (210 a pop, mind you) but it is not consistent. Bought two different bags of the stuff that were stale and horrible so I didn't want to waste my money again. Who is doing quality control for them? Jeez.

    So what am I missing? Are there some reliable purveyors of coffee that can give me some decent medium roast Arabica ground beans that I can make at home? Not looking for super-duper Espresso like Lilly as I only have a French Press so it shouldn't be that complicated.

    Any ideas welcome.

  2. #2
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    I have treid most around and now use Doi from The Chiang Mai region i think. I get it from the local Thai cash and carry here and is 195 baht a bag. it hits the spot and is better value than most others around.

  3. #3
    splendid and tremendous
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    I read in an article which I had to edit, that Chiang Mai boasts some of the finest coffee on the planet.

  4. #4
    Have you got any cheese Thetyim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ultramarine
    I had some luck with the Tesco Columbian (210 a pop, mind you)
    You were very close to finding a gem there.
    I have just opened a packet of Tesco Guatemala Single Estate coffee.
    It's one of the best coffees I have ever found.
    Grab a packet if you can find it, it's well worth a try.

  5. #5
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    ^ How much is it?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thetyim View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ultramarine
    I had some luck with the Tesco Columbian (210 a pop, mind you)
    You were very close to finding a gem there.
    I have just opened a packet of Tesco Guatemala Single Estate coffee.
    It's one of the best coffees I have ever found.
    Grab a packet if you can find it, it's well worth a try.
    Never seen it in Thailand. You must be in downtown BKK or a tourist town.




    You might check Makro ultramarine but I'd guess they have the same stuff as tesco and big c. You can also try a a coffee shop near you and ask to buy a package of their stuff. Some will sell it to you.

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat Dillinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro
    Some will sell it to you.
    at around 400 baht for a small bag.

    I quite like the boncafe myself

  8. #8
    Newbie ultramarine's Avatar
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    Thanks for the ideas, guys. Thetyim, I will give the Guatemalan Estate a shot. I think it probably costs around 200-250. Tesco is probably going to have more choices than Makro or Big C because they can access the international house brands that originate out of the UK.

    I tried a made in Thailand brand once but it suffered from the same burnt quality as Suzuki. I can't remember if it was the Doi brand out of Chang Mai. I may reconsider that one.

    Dillinger -- what type of Bon Cafe do you like? I find even the higher priced ones are disappointing. The morning one is pure robusta. The Mocca is grim. Espresso semi-drinkable but I prefer a medium roast.

    Any indie cafes that sell their own beans? I know that Elefin on Suk Soi 1 does but they are such a huge rip off. 350 baht for 250 g. The coffee is pretty good though.

    In the end, decent arabica coffee seems to surrender to the same economics as most other farang food items here. It's basically double what you would pay at home. Oh well.

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat Dillinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ultramarine
    Dillinger -- what type of Bon Cafe do you like? I find even the higher priced ones are disappointing. The morning one is pure robusta
    It is the morning one, yes, however I do like the geen Nescafe 3 in 1 rich too

  10. #10
    Newbie ultramarine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dillinger View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ultramarine
    Dillinger -- what type of Bon Cafe do you like? I find even the higher priced ones are disappointing. The morning one is pure robusta
    It is the morning one, yes, however I do like the geen Nescafe 3 in 1 rich too
    Oh God. There are rumours that Nescafe 3 in 1 was actually invented by IG Farben in the 20s. That is nasty stuff.

  11. #11
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    It's Lavazza gold or red for me...in a mocha pot.

  12. #12
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    If I remember right, sometime way back on TD someone posted a link to a website that would send coffee to you in Thailand. It was a Thai company. You'd have to search the old coffee threads for that.

  13. #13
    ENT
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    Quote Originally Posted by somtamslap View Post
    I read in an article which I had to edit, that Chiang Mai boasts some of the finest coffee on the planet.
    I think so.

  14. #14
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    A local farmer grows Robusta beans at his farm in Trat province. He roasts the beans himself and will ship either 100% Robusta or a Robusta/Arabica bean blend.The Arabica beans come from a from a sister farm in the Chiang Mai area.

    If you want a particular blend or roast he will accommodate. He will also ship beans or ground throughout Thailand.

    The beans are picked, dried, roasted, bagged and shipped in house within weeks, if not days. The aroma, crema and taste are just right IMHO.

    None of this stored in nitrogen for 5 year product.

    It keeps my headache away

    1. A good view.
    2. A good brew.
    3. A good screw.
    Last edited by OhOh; 08-11-2013 at 02:05 PM.
    A tray full of GOLD is not worth a moment in time.

  15. #15
    ENT
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    Sounds like the stuff I scored in Chiangmai, Arabica, but grown by Karien close to Burma border, closer to Mae Hong Son, than Chiang Rai or Chiangmai, which also does grow some excellent Arabica.

    The Karien "Copper Kettle"(?) or Copper Drum"(?) brand is good, IMO.

  16. #16
    Newbie ultramarine's Avatar
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    Thanks for the ideas. It's telling that one has to make special arrangements with growers to obtain decent coffee. Oh well -- it is what it is.

  17. #17
    ENT
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    You can buy dried, green coffee beans from the Karien hill coffee growers.

    It's all organic, buffalo sh*t only for fertilizer, no insecticides etc, each coffee hill produces a different coffee, so it's good to do your own QC testing, tasting and roasting.

    I'll be around there in a couple of weeks for a look.

  18. #18
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    As far as I know, Chiang Mai produce quite a lot of coffee, but mainly export it for blending only.

    I usually buy the Suzuki ground coffee. Other than the slightly anaemic Tescos "Colombian", its the only coffee that I can get that is consistently in supply and quality.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by somtamslap
    I read in an article which I had to edit, that Chiang Mai boasts some of the finest coffee on the planet.
    Was it written by a Thai...

    Starbucks hits the spot.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo
    Starbucks hits the spot.
    I had coffee at Starbucks only once in my life, in Cebu-Philippines. A good thing they did not ask me how I liked it. My answer would be like I am going for a nescafe next to get rid of the taste. It was horrible, by far the worst ever even compared to instant which I hate with a passion.

    Was I just unlucky?
    "don't attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by incompetence"

  21. #21
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    It's not the taste Takeovers, it's the brand - less is more; less taste costs more, it's iCoffee...

  22. #22
    ENT
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    Bleugh!!!

  23. #23
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    Delta Coffee from the Bolivan Plateau. Grown, roasted and packaged by the same bloke. He will post to you whenever he visits Ubon (every few weeks.) 350 baht a kg + postage. I get it sent to me in Australia. Great stuff.

  24. #24
    Thailand Expat Jesus Jones's Avatar
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    Coffee sold at Vista Cafe is quite good for the price. They include roast dates which many sold in Tops etc don't.

    I like their peaberry at 220bht

  25. #25
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    Nescafe 3 in 1 ...just had hot water.......it's the bollocks


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