MYANMAR: Pha Yar Gyi Kone: Single Origin - 100% Arabica - NEWLY ARRIVEDRegular price £7.95
State: Shan State
Farmer: Smallholders from Pha Yar Gyi Kone village
Elevation: 1323 masl
Variety: Red Catuai
Screen size: 15+
Tasting Notes: Strawberry, blackberry, vanilla sugar
We're absolutely overjoyed to be bringing our very first coffee from Myanmar (formerly Burma). Like all the coffees we choose, we requested samples and roasted them and cupped them "blind" with a veriety of other countries and found this outstanding. So off the Far East we go and we know you're going to adore this coffee bursting with big berry, vanilla notes.
It's one of the most ethically sourced coffee we've ever had. The villagers operate on totally organic principles but don't have the funds to be certified organic. We're 100% confident with every link in the chain of from farmer to roast. And we know you're going to go ga-ga for this understated gem.
SCAA CUP SCORE: 86
Pha Yar Gyi Kone is one of three natural processed coffees we have purchased directly with Shwe Taung Thu. Named after the village in which this coffee is grown which comprises of 200 Danu households, the production of this coffee is managed by a core group of around 25 members. The group has donated some of their profits from last season’s coffees to the local school with the restused for child education and supporting their daily lives. This is an exceptionally clean and bright natural processed coffee, which really reflects this community’s meticulous attention to detail and dedication to producing the best quality coffee possible.
Ripe cherries are picked and delivered to a central collection point in the village. This is then hand sorted by villagers, retaining the best cherry and removing under and over ripe fruits. The cherries are then spread out to dry on raised beds. With weather variations through the season, drying takes between 11-32 days, with the cherry moved each hour to ensure even drying. Dry milling takes place through a local exporter.
ABOUT MYANMAR AND ITS HISTORY OF COFFEE CULTIVATION
Myanmar, also called Burma, is located in the western portion of mainland Southeast Asia. In 1989 the country’s official English name, which it had held since 1885, was changed from the Union of Burma to the Union of Myanmar; in the Burmese language the country has been known as Myanma (more precisely, Mranma Prañ) since the 13th century. Myanmar is bordered to its north and northeast by China, to its east by Laos and Thailand, and its west by Bangladesh and India. Myanmar possesses
the largest expanse of tropical forest in mainland Southeast Asia with substantial biodiversity, harbouring rare species such as the red panda and the Myanmar snub-nosed monkey. Climate and terroir are perfect for coffee cultivation in various parts of the country, particularly in the Shan hills which stretch into the coffee growing regions of Yunnan and Thailand. Myanmar has been growing coffee since the late 1800s, introduced by British colonists. Following Myanmar’s independence in 1948, a concerted drive to produce coffee occurred much later during the political reforms of 2011, when agricultural growth was encouraged as part of the government’s opium eradication programme. The subsequent opening up of its economy
led to the increased focus on coffee as a commercial crop. Specialty coffee production commenced from 2015, supported by development initiatives from Winrock Foundation, USAID and CQI, with the first specialty coffees exported to the USA in 2016 (Atlas) and to the UK in 2017.
SHWE TAUNG THU
The farmers group Shwe Taung Thu, translates to ‘Golden Farmer’. The group is made up of Danu and Pa-O smallholder farmers who are producing specialty coffee in the Ywangan area of Southern Shan State, in the eastern part of Myanmar.
The group provides leadership, finance, technical assistance and market linkages for its members with the objective of bringing fairer trade conditions for its coffees. Shwe Taung Thu came together in May 2018 during USAID’s ‘Value Chains for Rural Development’ project which supported small holder farmers to switch to high value specialty coffee, from lower value commercial grade coffee. Coffee (along with other crops such as soy, watermelon and ginger) has been promoted as a sustainable alternative to opium production as well as other riskier livelihoods such as mining.
Coffees produced by Shwe Taung Thu are named after the village where the coffee is grown and processed. Each community has its own working group which is responsible for managing the processing of the coffee within each village. The focus is exclusively on producing dry naturals - the climate and terroir is particularly suited to this process, with very dry heat during the harvest season providing excellent conditions for drying. Also, dry naturals do not need the high-tech machinery or water that is required for washed coffees, making this processing method implementable at a community level. This is particularly important as Ywangan is impacted by climate change with increasing temperatures and droughts becoming more prevalent. Due to the scarcity of water, villages are having to store water collected during the rainy season to use throughout the dry periods.