“Every person should develop towards the essential truth of his or her being, and not be trapped in the cloak of ignorance. The capacities and gifts that each are born with should be used to the best of each one’s ability.”
—HRH Princess Srinagarindra
While the 31st Watershed Conservation Unit of the Royal Forest Department was requesting for help to solve the deforestation problems in the watershed forests of Doi Tung, Mom Rajawongse Disnadda Diskul, then Principal Private Secretary to the Princess Mother was also looking for an area with suitable climate for the Princess Mother’s health so she won’t have to fly to and from Switzerland due to her age.
Once the Princess Mother and Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani Vadhana have inspected the hills of Doi Tung, the Princess Mother stated, “I will reforest Doi Tung,” and made the location her new home. And so began the Doi Tung Development Project and the reforestation process.
Café Doi Tung was initiated in 1988 as part of the Doi Tung Development Project (DTDP) under the royal patronage of the Princess Mother.
Coffee is one of many cash crops that can substitute opium cultivation and reduce the deforestation problems in Doi Tung. It can help provide the locals with a holistic approach to create year-round sustainable income. The products of Doi Tung have been recognised by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and carry the UNODC seal.
Doi Tung Coffee is a single-origin coffee harvested only from the hills of Doi Tung, totally free from toxins and ochratoxin (believed to cause tumours) and was granted a Geographical Indication (GI) registered with the Department of Intellectual Property, Ministry of Commerce in 2006.
Today, coffee is the world’s second-highest traded commodity next to oil. The two types of coffee species commonly brewed are Robusta coffee—easier to care for and highly resistant to diseases with 3.8% caffeine content and offering strong bitter brews with a sour aroma; and Arabica coffee—cultivated in higher altitudes offering a low caffeine content of 1.2% while giving a rich and more delicate taste with sweet aroma which makes it more popular worldwide.