10 Questions with KC: Kyle Kennington of Lanna Coffee

So, I first heard about Lanna Coffee from Annalaura, (I call her AL) the member of the G-Free Foodie team in charge of keeping us on track (small girl, big task!) I tasted their French Roast coffee at the Fresno Food Expo and was impressed (I’m picky about coffee) but when I chatted with Kyle about the difference Lanna is making in Thailand, I was stunned. Stunned.

Here’s a a little more info about coffee that makes a difference, and why the Lanna crew is doing what they’re doing – I’m gonna go brew another cup. KC

Lanna Coffee

1.  Tell me about Lanna Coffee?

Lanna Coffee is a non-profit coffee roaster based in Fresno, California whose mission is to support the production and marketing of coffee grown by villagers in Thailand in an effort todevelop their economy.  We hope to achieve this by creating awareness around the coffee they grow by the purchasing, roasting, and distribution of their product.  We will know we have accomplished our mission when the world knows Thailand as a coffee producing country, allowing an entire people group an opportunity for prosperity.

2.  What is significant about coffee and why do the Hill Tribes need our help?

Coffee is a world wide traded commodity just like oil or corn, in fact it’s the second most traded commodity in the world.  The ironic part about coffee in the US is that outside of Hawaii, it’s very difficult to get it to grow here.  This means that most of our coffee is coming as an import from countries like Thailand. To the villagers in these countries, coffee is their way of sustainability as a people and the major source of their livelihood.  Without coffee, these villagers are falling subject to sex trafficking as well as drug trafficking.

3.  How often do you visit Thailand?

We work alongside an organization that is in Thailand year round.  All of their staff members are hill tribe natives, working to improve the lives of their own people.  Lanna USA sends a representative once a year, usually around the first of the year, to Thailand to work alongside the organization as well as check on progress of the project.

4.  Have you always loved coffee?

I actually wasn’t a coffee fan until this endeavor, but soon fell in love with it.  Thai coffee is such a unique coffee, it makes it very difficult not to like it.

5.  What roasts do you offer and do you have a favorite?

We offer 4 different roasts, all from the same bean; Breakfast, House, Espresso, and French.  House is my personal favorite, but each of our profile’s really carries a unique flavor which makes it really hard to choose.

6.  How do you take your coffee?

Black from a French Press.  The unique and distinct flavors in coffee are meant to be enjoyed.  You can’t get the full flavor when you add anything to it.

7.  And what’s Lanna Club?

Lanna Club is the best way to get Lanna Coffee.  It is a subscription program that allows you to have great coffee delivered to your door every month without you having to ever think about it.  You can choose from any 4 of our roasts, whole bean or ground, at any quantity in 1 or 2.5 pound bags.  Lanna Club is what we want to base ourselves as a business on because it brings consistency in sales which means consistency for the villages in Thailand.

8.  Where do you hope to see Lanna Coffee in 5 years?

In 5 years I’d love to see Lanna as a self sustaining entity.  The awareness it’s bringing to Thailand is working towards moving them out of poverty.  Once we accomplish this, we can then take the same model and duplicate it in other coffee growing countries around the world.

9. Where can we buy Lanna Coffee?

By choosing to purchase through Lanna Coffee, your choosing to help further our mission of bringing freedom to Thailand.  Make your coffee go “Beyond The Cup”.

10.  Anything else we should know or mention?

Those were some great questions.  Thank you again for your support, I can’t wait to read the article.  Check out Lanna Coffee for more information.

photos courtesy: Lanna Coffee