Chocolate On The Road: Thailand

5/5 - (1 vote)

“Squirrels will devour all of your cacao pods and leave them hanging from the cacao trees like bats, as you probably already know. The uncle will remark something along the lines of “Oh, I cannot battle with it anymore.”

-Paniti Junhasavasdikul, Co-founder of Kad Kokoa Chocolate

Thailand is a nation with a lot of untapped potential. To find jobs and a better life, millions of people from the neighboring countries of Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia migrate to this nation. However, the Thai chocolate and cacao sector is lacking in many respects while having a great deal of untapped potential. Despite the fact that there are more cacao growers in Thailand than ever before, the nation still doesn’t produce a significant amount of chocolate.

Or perhaps the lack of chocolate production in Thailand can be attributed, at least in part, to the country’s rapid population increase. In this episode, we speak with five individuals who are engaged in the production of Thai chocolate in one capacity or another, from the tree to the bar. We discuss the challenges they are up against, the aspirations they have for the future, and what they are trying to deal with those pesky squirrels.

Simply click this link to be sent to an article version of this episode.

Topics We Cover

  • the development of cacao in Thailand, starting in the south and working up to the north
  • cacao varieties that may be found on Thailand’s farms
  • The perspective of a local chocolate farmer on cacao either as a crop or as a cultural instrument
  • The necessity of trust and long-term evidence in order to convince Thai farmers to trust local chocolate manufacturers to the point where they would even cultivate cacao.
  • What sets Thai cocoa different from other kinds
  • the culture of chocolate that currently exists in Thailand and the way that it has impeded the emergence of Thai handmade chocolate
  • issues with cacao cultivation in Thailand, or more specifically, problems with cacao processing in Thailand

Show Timeline

0:00-1:30~ Country & contextual introduction

1:30-6:30~ Background on the history of cacao cultivation in Thailand, both its rise and fall, and its unexpected Caribbean origins

6:30-17:45~ Diving into the start of Kad Kokoa’s journey, spurred by the death of their beloved King and a desire to do something to give back to their country, and the challenges they’ve faced in the intervening years

17:45-25:30~ Building a cacao farming community in Chiang Rai, from the ground up. (Nui, Cacao Farmer)

25:30-33:20~ Mae of Bean Blah Blah expounding upon what she’s seen and learned in her years of teaching about cacao & chocolate across Thailand

33:20-36:06~ Final thoughts on value-added chocolate products in Thailand, & the end of the episode.

More About Our Guests

On this page, you’ll find more information about traveling to the Chumphon Horticultural Research Center.

Nuttaya Junhasavasdikul and Paniti Junhasavasdikul are the co-founders of Kad Kokoa Chocolate, a direct-trade chocolate maker based in Bangkok, Thailand. Check out Kad Kokoa’s Website, as well as his Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Cacao farmer Nopphon “Nui” Pimonsakulraksa is a member of the Chumphon Collective, which is an organization comprised of cacao and coffee growers located in northern Thailand. You can see more of Chumphon Collective’s work on Instagram and Facebook.

Mae Punjher is the person behind the craft chocolate blog Bean Blah Blah, which is written in Thai. Check out Mae’s Website, as well as her Instagram and Facebook accounts.


Which chocolate is famous in Thailand?

Kad Kokoa. This chocolate store, which has won several awards, is a well-known brand in the Thai chocolate sector and is responsible for redefining the culture of Thai chocolatiers. Kad Kokoa does not use any additives in the process of creating chocolate since the company focuses on the flavors that are naturally present in the cacao bean.

Is chocolate popular in Thailand?

It doesn’t get very cold in Thailand, so their iced hot chocolate and chocolate ice cream cones are some of their most popular items. During the hottest months of March and April, you’ll see even more people buying these items.

What is the 1 best chocolate in the world?


National Geographic has recognized this chocolate maker from Switzerland, which has its headquarters in Zurich, as producing the best chocolate in the entire world. Teuscher offers a one-of-a-kind chocolate experience that your palate is going to absolutely adore.

What are the 3 main chocolates?

Although there are many varieties of chocolate, the most common ones are white chocolate, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate. Other types of chocolate include bittersweet chocolate, cocoa powder, ruby chocolate, and chocolate liquor.

Can you kiss in public in Thailand?

Thailand. It is considered quite impolite to kiss someone in public in Thailand, unless you are in the privacy of your resort or hotel room. It is socially acceptable to hold hands in more metropolitan cities like Bangkok.

What is Thailand’s national dessert?

The dessert known as Mango Sticky Rice, which is called Khao Niao Mamuang in the Thai language, is often considered to be the national dessert of Thailand and can be found being served at virtually every restaurant in the country.