Cambodia’s Coffee History


The Annamite Mountains that extend through both Vietnam and Laos also make up the Cambodian northeastern “highlands” of Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri Provinces. The predominant red soil of these provinces is excellent for a multitude of crops including rubber, most tropical fruits, black pepper, cassava, cashews, and of course coffee.


The Who and The Where


Three Corner Coffee Roaster currently sources its Cambodian Robusta coffee from plantations in Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri Provinces.


Regional Coffee History


Coffee culture in French Indo-China is a comparatively small factor in international trade, although production is currently on the increase with Vietnam holding second only to Brazil in its green robusta coffee exports. The first experiments with coffee growing were begun in 1887, near Hanoi in Tonkin.


Our Production Process



Our quality control begins with how we store the green coffee beans before they are roasted.  The coffee cherries are harvested during the months of October and November,then dried over the following few weeks to within 12% moisture, and de-husked. Keeping the moisture content of the green coffee beans at 12% will allow them to remain fresh, with full flavor and aroma, during the year and up until a possible two years. The current storage method for other coffee roasters in Cambodia only involves placing the green beans into a well ventilated, dark room. The changes in humidity, however, will add to or detract from the moisture of the green beans causing them respectively to mold or to lose the very flavor and aroma needed to make a great cup of coffee.


Preliminary Quality Control

The next step in the green bean processing is what primarily ensures that the coffee produced by Three Corner Coffee Roaster is at or above the quality levels of the best international brands.  Our staff painstakingly search by hand through every kilo of green beans to ensure that only the best beans get sent to the roaster.  No over-ripened, bug-eaten, over-dried,  or un-husked beans, no trash such as stick stones, and nothing else that might negatively affect the taste of our coffee.


The Roasting Machine

The third step in our production process is the roasting.  We choose to roast single-origin beans only, meaning that only beans from a single location are roasted at a time.  We maximize the flavor potential of each bean in order to provide the best possible flavor for each style of roast or blend. To gain an incredible consistency and quality of roast we choose to use a fluidized-bed (hot-air) roaster.  Our roaster, based upon the Sivetz model, was designed, tested, and built in Cambodia under the direction of Kirk Richter, the owner and Director of Development.  Sivetz original design was patented in the 1970′s and is currently the most efficient, consistent, and hygienic method of roasting coffee available.


The Post-Roasting Process

Immediately after the roast, which includes a cool down cycle, we will seal the coffee in airtight glass containers to be frozen.  Freezing the coffee before it has the chance to take on any moisture or release any CO2, which is its precious aroma and flavor, causes the degassing of the CO2 to be slowed down.  The necessary freshness of the coffee really depends on the person drinking the coffee, some like it roasted that day, some like it at least less than a week old, and others don’t mind drinking it just as long as it isn’t expired yet (sometimes up to two years). Our research and testing has shown that the freezing process adds longevity to our coffee’s fresh-roasted flavor. Connoisseurs have done taste testings to determine if the flavor deteriorates when freezing immediately after roasting, but when compared with fresh-roasted coffee, statics even showed that they preferred the coffee frozen for one month to the fresh-roasted coffee. We will never keep coffee in the freezer for more than two weeks before packaging it, and the production date stamped on our bags is the actual roasting date.


Final Quality Control

Since we at Three Corner Coffee Roaster desire to have the best coffee available from the Southeast Asia region, we use three-ply bags, with a one-way degassing valve that helps to release CO2, helping to safeguard the coffee on its journey from our roastery to your cup.  Each final product is double checked by the women of the White Lotus Project for packaging mistakes or other defects, and each package is sealed with an assurance that this is truly a high quality Khmer product.