In recent years we have closely followed the development of Asian coffees, evaluating numerous samples and providing feedback in a small effort to help our friends at Indochina Coffee grow their supply chain. Having seen the quality and processing improve so dramatically we are excited to finally showcase this exceptionally clean coffee from Myanmar.
This coffee hails from the area of Ywangan within the Shan state of Myanmar. Numerous smallholders contribute their daily picking of coffee cherries which are then transported to Mandalay for sorting and processing. As a natural processed lot the sorted, intact cherries are then moved to raised drying beds to allow slow sun-drying over 17 to 21 days.
Most Ywangan producers have relatively small farms of less than 3 acres so, in working together, the neighbouring farms contribute to a larger collective output. The predominant variety produced here is Red Catuai with smaller amounts Caturra, Typica and Catimor hybrids also replacing the fields of poppies that once supplied an opium trade. In return, coffee has begun to provide these farmers with a more consistent and legitimate source of income, offering hope for a country that is still navigating its way out of decades of oppression and unrest.
Whilst rarely seen in the Northern Hemisphere, Myanmar has actually been growing small amounts of coffee for much of the 20th century. Until recently the majority of this was consumed within the Asian continent and only recent political changes have encouraged investment from NGO’s and exporters leading to the founding of Myanmar’s own Coffee Research and Training Association in 2014. This has brought about a profound impact in improving quality and overseas interest as we have witnessed cleaner and more consistent cup profiles.
Easy going tasting notes of bakers chocolate, cane sugar and red apple acidity have already made this coffee a new favourite with our staff. And whilst we still love our classic coffee locations, we are also excited to promote emerging origins that may soon prove to be the future of sustainable specialty coffee production.