This year, we are pleased to purchase coffees from Shwe Taung Thu Coffee once again. Shwe Taung Thu Coffee refers to a group of smallholder farmers producing specialty coffee in the Ywangan area of Southern Shan State, with the aim of bringing together fair-trade smallholder coffee farmers.
Specialty coffee production was traditionally low in Myanmar, until around 2014, when it was boosted by USAID and Winrock International investments, training producers on agronomy, market access and also business skills. Shwe Taung Thu is a product of the combined efforts of USAID and Winrock - serving as support for their participating members in providing access to finance, technical support and market linkages for their members.
This year, we are featuring Ga Naing Yar, a village made up of 51 households. Ga Naing Yar, meaning ‘Deep Forest Village’, is located deep within the mountains of Shan State. An origin with humble beginnings, its remote location limited its access to healthcare and education. The villagers were thus dependent on whatever agriculture resources were available. Since beginning to grow and process specialty coffee, the villagers were able to develop their community and send their children for further education, with the additional income.
With support from Winrock International and Shwe Taung Thu, the villagers of Ga Naing Yar introduced better coffee processing techniques, and provided structured and reliable feedback platforms. New drying racks and proper storage areas were also introduced. These helped improve the quality of coffees from Ga Naing Yar to a high-quality specialty grade coffee, fetching better prices that they could now improve their lives with.
Coffee here is predominantly natural-processed, with coffee dried to about 11.5-12.5%, which typically takes 20-25 days. The cup profile is fruit-forward, with a medium-high body. You will experience ripe red-fruits, such as red grapes and berries, and tropical fruits towards the finish, derived from the natural processing. We reckon this would make a lovely iced pourover!