Year was 2005, and wandering through the jungles of Pang Paek, Mae Hong Son, we stumbled across a local Lisu village. This is the furthest north region of Thailand which borders Burma and is a mountainous area with thick jungle, lush canopies and thousands of varieties of indigenous fruits, vegetables and plant-life.
One of the farmers in the village kindly gifted us some natural process green beans, as chefs, inspired us to play around with roasting in the traditional ways: clay pots, woks suspended over open flame and cast iron pans. While these methods decidedly needed refinement, it gave us a general insight into the complexity of this Thai Arabica, and a humble understanding of the importance of quality equipment. The inspiration to investigate this commodity which further motivated Left Hand Roasters to build hand-made custom roasters.
Since then the company culture of Left Hand Roasters has evolved in the twelve years since that first gift of Thai coffee. The focus of Left Hand Roasters is to empower individual farmers in the communities of Northern Thailand and encourage them to be self-sustaining through education and support, while providing them with the distribution channels for success in the global market. Farmer driven refers to the direct trade of Thai coffee that gives the credit to the farmers and supports the communities surrounding them. With conscious practices such as reforestation, organic farming, and regenerative permaculture as farmer requirements for partnership, Left Hand Roasters is moving towards sustainable, fair trade products that highlight the hidden potential of Thailand’s untapped commodity: the coffee bean and their byproducts.
The “left hand” is referred to as the hand of alchemy, a seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, and combination [of forces.] Left Hand Roasters was founded on the principles of its coffee’s alchemy, with handmade roasters used to heat, manipulate, and transform the beans to highlight their complex, yet subtle flavors and aromatics. LHR follows the left path that leads away from conformity and into unique company culture as a social enterprise.
Our goal is to refine the vertical integration of coffee in Thailand, procure delicious, fair-trade and sustainable products and share them with the world.