Myanmar

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It all started when…

Myanmar has a long history when it comes to producing coffee. Even though most people are unaware of the longstanding The coffee fruit was first introduced in 1885 by British colonialists

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the big guys stepped in…

It wasn’t until USAID stepped in with an agricultural value chain program that the coffee production in Myanmar really set off. Through a five year rural development plan and the funding of non-profit organisation Winrock International, the industry rapidly evolved.

By sharing best practice farming guidelines, supporting the training of barista’s

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the challenges…

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where and how…

The majority of the specialty coffee is produced in Mandalay, the Shan State and the Hopong area. The farms in the well known Pyin Oo Lwin (Mandalay) are mostly privately owned estates, while the Shan and Hopong primarily consist of small holders.

Most cherries are naturally processed, sun-dried on drying beds in the absence of sufficient water and processing stations. The harvest season coincides with the dry season which diminishes the chances of damage through rainfall.

Myanmar has many coffee varietals but the most common is S795. S795 is a coffee cultivar important for being one of the first strains of c.arabica found to be resistant to coffee leaf rust. It is a natural hybrid between c.arabica and c.liberica known as S288 and the Kent variety, a hybrid of Typica and an unknown other type. This was the first cultivar to be planted in Myanmar due to its high yield, resistance to disease and complex smooth profile.

In the late 1980s, the Government of Myanmar commenced a major nation-wide coffee planting programme. New varieties were introduced from Costa Rica, with three tons of Catimor and Catuai seed imported in 1986. Both proved to be a success due to resistance to rust. In most farms you’ll find a mix of all three growing alongside each other including natural hybrids!