Although it may not appear so, sitting at your local restaurant on Samui and staring into you cup of java, Thailand is in fact a coffee nation, ranked third (after Indonesia and Vietnam) in Southeast Asia, for annual raw coffee production. While there are many species of coffee trees in the world, only Arabica and Robusta have major economic significance, both of which are grown in Thailand.
Here are the coffee facts… At present, Thailand produces approximately:
- 80,000 tons of Robusta coffee, of which 40% (ca. 30,000 tons) are processed locally and about 60% (ca. 50,000 tons) is exported.
- A few hundred tons of Arabica coffee, which are almost entirely processed locally.
The only European Coffee Roaster in South East Asia, Boncafé humbly established itself in Singapore in 1962, under a small zinc-roofed building at Jalan Rajawali (Jurong) which housed its roasting plant with only four staff.
Under the vision of Mr Werner Ernst Huber, a Swiss National living and working in Singapore as a commodities trader, Boncafé has grown from a humble supplier of refined coffee products to a fully fledged coffee institution that celebrates the history, knowledge and expression of Man’s relationship with coffee. It began with a chance encounter with the wife of an expatriate newspaperman who ruled that it was impossible to find a “decent” cup of coffee anywhere in Singapore. Today, Boncafé is a successful enterprise and caters to many expatriates and holiday goers on Koh Samui. Drop into their shop, and make your coffee experience one you can take with you on your holidays.