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The Best Robusta Coffee In Thailand

Our search for the best coffee in Thailand leads us to our first review of Robusta bean Thai coffee, as all our previous Thai coffee reviews were of Arabica bean coffees. Today we sample the Robusta bean coffee grown in Tambon Mo Kro (โมโกร) in the Umphang (อุ้มผาง) District of Tak province. Like the large coffee growing regions of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai province, Tak is in Northern Thailand. However, Tak is located in the lower western region of the North, bordering Burma. Its mountains are about 1200 meters above sea level.

The Mo Kro sub-district of Tak province has the largest coffee plantations in Tak, most of which are tended to by members of the Hmong hill tribe (even though the Karen hill tribe has more members in the sub-district). The Karen hill tribe is the largest hill tribe people in Thailand (pop. 500,000) and includes the famous Padaung women who wear brass rings around their necks, while Hmong tribe women are well-known for their intricately embroidered pleated skirts and chunky silver jewelry.

The coffee plantations of Mo Kro are interspersed with banana, avocado, and macadamia trees. There are both large and small coffee growers, all of whom grow their coffee beans in a forest friendly and sustainable way — the other tree crops providing shade for the coffee beans. A small 5 rai (2 acre) coffee plantation can yield 500 kilograms of coffee beans per year, bringing in a profit of approx. 300,000 baht, which is very high income for the area.

Many of the Thai coffee beans grown in Mo Kro are Robusta beans, which are then dark roasted locally. Arabica beans tend to produce a smoother and fruitier Thai coffee, often with chocolate undertones, while Robusta beans produce a more bitter and stronger brew, with upwards to twice the caffeine of Arabica bean coffee.


Mo Kro Robusta Coffee - Tak Province, Thailand
Robusta Bean Thai Coffee from Tambon Mo Kro, Amphur Umphang, Tak Province (Thailand)


Mo Kro Robusta Thai Coffee Review

The two “organic” Robusta bean coffees that we tried from Mo Kro were indeed richer and more bitter than the Arabica bean Thai coffees we’ve reviewed, but they were bitter in a good way. The complexity of flavor was less, but there was definite nutty undertones. And the taste stayed in the mouth longer, again in a good way (if you are a coffee lover). The extra caffeine was definitely noticeable, but there were no jitters. The extra energy was more head focused, with increased clarity and a boost in motivation to get the day started right away. Neither of the Mo Kro Robusta coffees we had were branded coffees, so you need to look for the location (โมโกร อำเภออุ้มผาง จังหวัดตาก) on the coffee packaging. In the end, we rate Mo Kro as certainly producing some of the best Robusta coffee in Thailand.


David Alan