Twinpalms Residences MontAzure
Connect with us

Thai Life

Phuket People: Raise a toast to a coffee roast

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Each cup of coffee served at Hock Hoe Lee has more than 50 years of history steeped inside. It’s a taste to be savored.

Three generations of one Phuket family have worked tirelessly to create the coffee served up today at Hock Hoe Lee, which has shops in town and in Rawai.

Back in 1958, when Chinese migrant Cheng Long came to Phuket by junk from his native land, he had a mat to sleep on and knowledge of how to roast coffee beans. That was all.

He scraped together enough money to rent a small ramshackle shophouse in the heart of Phuket Town’s downtown market.

It wasn’t long before inquisitive Thai-Chinese locals wandered in to sample Mr Long’s coffee, sniffing the plumes of sweet-smelling smoke pouring from the shop. They were hooked and word soon spread of the Chinaman’s magic beans.

He bought his beans from a friend in Penang, Malaysia. To suit demand, he roasted his beans with sugar and started selling cinnamon sticks too.

Hock Hoe Lee, meaning “Lucky” in Chinese, was the moniker Mr Long gave to his shop. As luck would have it, business spiraled and he ventured to Chiang Mai and Ranong to find homegrown beans.

After Mr Long died, his son Somboon took over his father’s business with great success. Today, locals know Hock Hoe Lee as “Boon’s shop”, the best place in town to buy coffee.

Although the roasting process has been moved out of the original shop to a site nearby, the place still holds much of the charm it did fifty years ago, with bags of fresh coffee piled high, the clang of machines sounding out all day and workers hurriedly bagging beans in bulk. It’s typical of Phuket Town’s hustle-bustle.

Today, the original shop still attracts locals who buy Hock Hoe Lee beans by the bagful, but the brand has sprouted another shop in Rawai and more are planned.

In 2010, Somboon’s daughter Jutamas and her husband Ruengrit decided to build upon the family’s coffee success and opened a new store in Rawai.

Sandwiched between Friendship Beach and Serenity Terraces, the modern shop is pulling in a different clientele: expats and tourists.

“We thought it was time to start making coffee to cater to foreigners,” Ruengrit said.

“The feedback has been great. Thai people walk into the new shop and are surprised to see we are serving espresso coffee and not just Thai coffee.”

“We use the same beans for our Thai and Western coffee, it’s just we roast Thai coffee on a much higher heat, with lots more sugar.”

Ruengrit said that due to the success of the new shop, more shops are planned for the near future.

The secret to the coffee’s flavor is also due to Hock Hoe Lee’s selection of the beans they buy. As far back as 1958, the family has been personally inspecting the farms they use, and the processes the farmers use to keep the beans fresh. They’ve been getting it right for a long time.

For great homegrown coffee with a Phuket history, get down to Hock Hoe Lee in Rawai. Prices are fair and there’s a great snack menu too. Beans by the bag are also on sale.

For more information visit

— Blair Christopher

- Legacy Phuket Gazette

Continue Reading
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Thai Life

Law and Order: Tangled Thai defamation laws

Robert Virasin



PHOTO: Rights defender Andy Hall goes on trial for criminal defamation & computer crimes

Living in the Land of Smiles you need to mind your Ps & Qs, as an expat, tourist, company or just about anyone actually. Thai defamation laws can be used to silence people, even in the most innocuous situations. It’s different from the West and, living here, you need to have a basic understanding of the differences in the way deflation and slander works in Thai law. As a media publication it can be especially onerous preventing us from publishing any number of stories that we would like to, button’t dare . Editor

Court cases over the past three years – the most notable the case against British national Andy Hall, Academic Dr Wyn Ellis, and local blogger Alan Morrison with his PhuketWan, reflect a peculiar aspect of the Thai criminal system. Unlike criminal court systems in most Western countries, a private person in Thailand can initiate criminal prosecution if they believe they are a victim of a crime.

In Thailand, people are able to access the criminal justice system through two channels. The most common way is for a private citizen to file a complaint with the police. The police gather evidence and submit the case to the public prosecutor. The public prosecutor determines whether to file formal charges after reviewing the evidence.

The second method is a private criminal prosecution. Under this method, crime victims have the right to file a case against the accused perpetrator. In cases where the victim is seriously injured or dead, the spouse or heirs can file the lawsuit. Generally, a private prosecution is faster, more focused and more efficient than a public prosecution because an attorney will assist in the investigation of the case to strengthen the victim’s charge.

Phuket Wan journalist Alan Morison and his Thai colleague Chutima Sidasathian outside Phuket Court

(Read about their case, in their own words, HERE.)

Private prosecution of criminal cases helps to overcome several problems with the current criminal justice system. Firstly, there are limits to the number of cases that a public prosecutor can handle. Private prosecutions alleviate the shortage of prosecutors within the public system.

Secondly, there are problems with undue influence which may make public prosecution of certain crimes or charges against certain individuals unlikely. Private prosecution of crimes allows those types of cases to move forward even if they become an embarrassment to high ranking officials or other powerful individuals.

And thirdly, some crimes are just not a priority for public prosecutors. Once a public prosecutor has charged someone with a crime, he cannot allow a perpetrator to plea bargain to lesser charges to settle the case. So the prosecutor may be reluctant to file certain charges because he/she is not willing to see the case through to the end. In these situations, an injured party can still move forward to seek punishment against their perpetrator.

However, the system of private prosecution also brings a host of problems. Allowing private criminal prosecution can alleviate the manpower shortage in the public prosecutor’s office, but it increases the burden on the court system. The processing of cases in Thai criminal courts can already take over a year.

There is also the problem with duplicate charges against the accused.

Andy Hall was acquitted of criminal defamation in a case filed by the attorney general’s office last year. However, he is now being tried on the same charges through the computer crimes act by a private company. The fact that a public prosecution has been initiated or completed does not prejudice a victim’s right to bring a criminal action on the basis of the same offence.

In addition, initiating a private prosecutorial action is generally limited to those who have the ability to fund private attorneys to file and prosecute their cases. Criminal legal prosecution can be very costly. There have been complaints that corporations and the wealthy have used private prosecution to silence critics. Criticising the wealthy and powerful can open up individuals to a costly legal action and possible imprisonment.

The private prosecution system is a tool. It can be used to bring about justice when government officials refuse to prosecute. However, it can also be used to intimidate to prevent disclosure of information or critical opinions. It is generally up to the courts to distinguish between justice and intimidation.

Additional reporting by Yutthachai Sangsirisap.

Continue Reading


Sansiri launches THE BASE Central – Phuket

The Thaiger



Sansiri launched another one of their ‘BASE’ branded condos with the launch of ‘THE BASE Central Phuket’.

Quoting from their media release, “The design is influenced by an enchanting lifestyle where the native people and Chinese from across the seas come together to create the Peranakan culture under the new concept ‘MARK MY BASE’.”

Poomisak Julamaneechot, Vice Managing Director of the condominium development project, San Siri Public Company Limited says, “Sansiri has continued under The Base brand in Phuket by launching this new project ‘The Base Central –Phuket’ with a budget for construction 1,660 million Baht.”

“The unique location at the heart of the island near Central Festival, and just one minute from the proposed new light rail station.”

“The project is under the branding of ‘Complete Your Living Experience’. The project will be available for initial registration and reservations on June 23-24 with prices starting from 1.99 million Baht.”

Check out some more about the new project HERE. (In English and Thai)



Continue Reading


Sadvertising: The art of making us cry and selling stuff

The Thaiger



“Sadvertising is a consumer advertising trend in which ad creators are using a certain set of strategies to play on people’s emotions and touch off feelings of sadness, melancholy or wistfulness. Touching or emotional advertising has become increasingly popular in recent years as companies work to create strong emotional ties around their products. This is based on a belief that advertising that elicits an emotional reaction from viewers is more likely to be shared, particularly online and over social media. By attempting to reach consumers on a deeper level, sadvertising represents an attempt to gain their attention in an increasingly ad-cluttered world.”

Sadvertising is something that Thai marketeers do very well. There have been some famous ‘Sads’, like this one…

One of the big ideas behind ‘sadvertising’ is the sudden shift in advertising across generations. Not too long ago, comedy and laughter were the most common advertising strategies. Sadvertising is a kind of logical progression, although it doesn’t really work the same way that comedy did. But sometimes you can combine the two…

While there is a lot of potential for innovating advertising to bring out a wider range of emotions, some experts point out that there are inherent limitations to sadvertising that do exist with comic advertising. While many forms of comedy can be considered harmless in advertising, sadness is, at its heart, a negative emotion based on negative outcomes, which is something that marketers have classically avoided.

That means that in sadvertising, marketers must walk a fine line between tugging at consumers’ heartstrings and making them feel depressed. And, mostly of course, they and make sure you have that happy ending.

Here’s one more (there are plenty of others). Have your handkerchief ready for this one…


Continue Reading

The Thaiger Newsletter

Keep up with all the day’s news. Subscribe here.

The latest news and information from Thailand.

* indicates required