Why I Love These 5 Chiang Mai Coffee Shops And Maybe You Should Too

smiling-coffee-snob Travel

Last updated on October 12th, 2020

While Bangkok is a huge city with a great coffee scene, Chiang Mai is where most of the coffee beans come from. Most of Thailand’s Arabica beans are grown in nearby villages, so you can’t get much more local than a Chiang Mai coffee shop brewing Thai beans…

Here you’ll find farmers that have their own cafes, barista champions, great locally grown beans, and virtually any type of cafe you can imagine.

There are hundreds of cafes in this coffee loving city, but these five are the perfect starting point. Each one not only serves great coffee, but also has something unique that makes it stand out from the others.

Nine One Coffee

Nimmana Haeminda Rd Lane 11, Tambon Su Thep, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

chiang mai coffee

Out of all the Chiang Mai coffee roasters on this list, Nine One is one of the few that is involved in the the entire process from bean to cup. The owner has been improving his Arabica farms for decades and has won a number of awards for the quality of his beans.

Plus, the cafes are some of the best in Chiang Mai. They feature a variety of roasts of their coffee beans—including the award winning micro-lots—in, espresso, pour over, Aeropress, and a number of other options.

The cafes also have a very friendly, cozy vibe, with attentive staff that clearly takes pride in what they do. Everyone has been helpful with information about both coffee and the farming process.

What’s most unique?

The farm-to-cup approach and the top quality beans stand out the most about Nine One Coffee.

chiang mai coffee

Cottontree Coffee Roasters

หมู่ที่ 5 45/38 Tambon Chang Phueak, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50300, Thailand

chiang mai coffee

Inside of a local apartment complex is another one of Chiang Mai’s great coffee shops. The interior space is large with a very open, minimal design. There are large coffee photos throughout the interior walls and a selection of coffee gear decorating the roasting area.

You have the choice of either local or imported beans for pour over coffee, plus the usual espresso based drinks. I really loved their serving style featuring colorful mugs and glass beakers for pour overs.

What’s most unique?

The roast quality and cafe design make Cottontree one of the most distinctive Chiang Mai coffee roasters.

chiang mai coffee

Ristr8o

15/3 ถนน นิมมานเหมินทร์ ตำบล สุเทพ อำเภอ เมืองเชียงใหม่ Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

chiang mai coffee

If you’re a latte lover, Ristr8o should be at the top of your list. The head barista is a latte art champion and you can choose from a number of different designs if you want.

They also feature different blends of beans for standard and championship style lattes, not to mention tons of other creative drinks. The menu is huge, well-designed, and offers detailed descriptions of everything.

The shop itself has a rustic, minimal design with lots of wood and coffee quotes. It’s not really a place to hang out for a long time, but you it’s one of the best places for espresso-based drinks in Chiang Mai.

What’s most unique?

Ristr8o has quality roasts and creative latte art.

chiang mai coffee

Akha Ama

9/1 มาตา อพาร์ทเม้นท์ ถนน Hussadhisawee Soi 3, Tambon Chang Phueak, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50300, Thailand

Yet another Chiang Mai coffee roaster involved from bean to cup is Akha Ama Coffee. This socially engaged coffee company grows all their beans organically in Mae Jan Tai village and supports the local Akha group by doing everything themselves, rather than outsourcing to other companies.

Their main Chiang Mai cafe has a cozy, laid back vibe with a mix of indoor and outdoor space surrounded by greenery. They have a variety of roasts and styles available for pour over, plus espresso based drinks.

They even have some specialty drinks and make their own bottled cold brew. Beyond drinking in the cafe, they offer all their coffee beans for sale in both small and large portions.

What’s most unique?

Akha Ama stands out for balancing social responsibility with quality coffee.

Posrest Coffee

2 Chiang Rai Rd, Tambon Su Thep, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

While the other cafes are all pretty famous, Posrest is a lesser-known, but great Chiang Mai coffee option away from the central tourist area.

They feature not only different coffee beans, but different roast profiles that cover the spectrum between light and dark. Choosing between dark and light roasts is a great way to customize your drink. They also have a number of specialty drinks.

The interior is all white with an upstairs seating area that has a great view over the coffee bar. If you can get a seat, this is a great place to work or hang out for a long time.

What’s most unique?

The variety of coffee styles and the cool design make Posrest stand out.

chiang mai coffee

This is why you’ll love Chiang Mai coffee

We’ve gotten to the point where there’s great coffee available in most cities, but Chiang Mai takes it to a whole other level. Despite having a population below 200, 000 people there are hundreds of coffee shops and a large number of them are specialty coffee shops.

Beyond that, most of the coffee beans are actually grown within an hour or two of the city. I’ve only shown you a handful of cafes, but if you’re a coffee lover who likes to travel, hopefully I’ve shown you that you need to visit Chiang Mai.