Spend your summer studying coffee, Chocolate, and Cannabis in Chiang Mai!
The primary focus of this summer program is on coffee production and consumption. We will also look into artisanal chocolate (cacao) production in Northern Thailand, as well as the new emerging medicinal cannabis production industry.
Coffee, chocolate, and cannabis are three significant crops traded and consumed worldwide. This course focuses primarily on coffee, but also brings in chocolate and cannabis to better understand links between sustainable agricultural practices around important cash crops for small holder farmers.
Coffee is both global and intensely local. This course examines coffee at both levels — from the local production in smallholder agriculture to production, trade, and consumption.
Chocolate production can be either sustainable or exploitative of both people and ecosystems. We will also look at how cacao is grown, processed, and the final production of artisanal chocolate.
Finally, Thailand is the first country in Southeast Asia to legalize cannabis for medicinal use, recognizing its longstanding role in traditional medicine. We will examine the challenges to production, including the role of small farmers, research institutions, clinical use, and the legal issues surrounding the emergent cannabis industry.
The majority of this course will focus on coffee, and we will trace how coffee moves from “bean to cup” — examining the ecology, economics, production, and consumption of coffee. Building on 20 years of teaching about smallholder agriculture in Thailand, this course will experientially study coffee growing in the small upland farms of Northern Thailand, and then move into the production of coffee beans, roasting, and brewing. We will also examine the social and economic context of coffee production, and the business of coffee and cafes. The course is in partnership with Rx Cafe Chiang Mai.
Participants in this course will also have the option to be certified in professional course modules through the SCA Coffee Skills Program.