From the hilly region of Ywangan in Southern Shan State, Amayar has been producing specialty coffee since 2016. Managed and operated by mostly women, its geographical location and climate are ideal for growing coffee.
The founder, Su Su Aung, comes from a long line of coffee farmers. She first started her career in coffee in the local market as a broker. Traditionally, growing methods were small-scale and inefficient. Realising the potential of coffee from Myanmar, she began seeking ways to improve the quality of the coffee, so she could pay the growers higher cherry prices.
In 2015, Su joined the coffee processing training run by Winrock International, under USAID, designed to develop agricultural solutions in rural regions. Under a grant, she received coffee mills and a generator, and begun sharing her knowledge with groups of women producers. She set up a milling and export company, called Amayar. Focused on enriching and empowering the lives of women in her village, she named the company after Amayar - meaning noble lady - a Buddhist legend who was famed for her wisdom.
Trained in processing, cupping, post-harvesting, price-risk management and roasting, Su started working with five villages with natural processing method, increasing production from 7 tonnes to 15 tonnes in the span of a year. By 2018, Amayar had its own processing, milling facility, and cupping lab, becoming a source of pride for the Ywangan community. Today, Amayar produces 40 tonnes of coffee yearly.
Coffee cherries are first sorted for over and under-ripe, and rinsed in water to remove any floaters. The cherries are then de-pulped, and then soaked in a tank for 20-24 hours fermentation. Thereafter, the coffee is dried on raised beds for 7-10 days. The result is a clean cup, with a pleasant stone fruit acidity, with a walnut and oolong finish.
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