Traditional Thai Coffee - An Insight Into The Experience

Thailand captures the heart of every foreigner that sets foot in this magical kingdom and as you would expect, coffee plays an important role in traditional Thai society. The best arabica coffee beans are grown in northern Thailand, so coffee drinking has been an integral part of Thai culture for centuries.

Regional Variations

Much like many countries, there are different ways to drink coffee in the Land of Smiles; in the south, the farmers drink coffee from a glass, with sweetened milk and they eat Thai doughnuts as breakfast. Thais love sweet things, and it seems that every coffee street seller has ‘nom Mali’ on her stall.

If you want to capture old Siam, order some กาแฟ โบราณ and make it the Thai way. Coffee has dominated the beverage market in Thailand for decades and if you are fortunate to be invited into a Thai home in the northern part of Thailand, you will have the opportunity to try their single origin arabica. The Thais are very proud of their coffee expertise and the drink is consumed with gusto.


They do not use China in Thailand; it has always been a handle less glass that is half filled with coffee, then heavily sweetened milk is poured into the glass, which sinks immediately to the bottom of the glass. In some parts of Isaan, the men drink their coffee black, with lots of sugar. The vendor pours the milk and stirs vigorously, clacking the spoon against the glass and doughnuts will not be far away, wherever you happen to be in Thailand.

Thai Language

Here are some Thai phrases related to coffee: 

  • Kaefae rohn - Hot coffee
  • Kaefae yen - Iced coffee
  • Kaefae sai tung - Coffee in a plastic bag; this is common in the countryside when people ride their bicycles to the fields in the morning.
  • Bah Thong Go - Thai doughnuts
  • Mai sai nam taan dai mai? - Please don’t add sugar.
  • Sai nam taan, dai mai? - Please add sugar.
  • Kaefae dam - Black coffee.
  • Kaefae o-liung - a Thai coffee that is very dark and sweet.

There are coffee shops everywhere in Thailand, with large franchises and small independent vendors, so you can always enjoy a coffee when on the road.

Iced Coffee

Once the morning has passed, people usually drink iced coffee, for obvious reasons, while most Thais drink hot coffee first thing in the morning. It is customary to receive a glass of water when the coffee arrives, which you can sip between coffee. There are different ความ เข้ม กาแฟ and some are stronger than others.

Major Coffee Consumer

Thailand must be one of the top global consumers of coffee and with a population of around 62 million, that’s an awful lot of coffee! Most Thais prefer arabica to robusta, as the taste is less bitter and the best arabica is grown in high-altitude regions of the north.

If you are planning a holiday in the Royal Kingdom of Thailand, get ready for a unique coffee experience, plus there are so many other wonderful things about this unique nation. If this is your first time, it certainly won’t be the last! You can probably find a few YouTube videos of people drinking coffee in Thailand, which shows you the diversity of ways to drink coffee.

Read also:

Let's Travel To Thailand

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