Rubies, natural gas, pagodas and teak- just a few words of what pops into peoples’ heads when they hear the word “Myanmar.” Be prepared to add another word to that list; and it’s not one that you would expect.
It is an important part in many peoples’ lives, plus, it comes from beans. And to stop titillating, that word is “coffee.”
Myanmar coffee has recently traveled to showcase in the London Coffee Festival and the SCA Expo, thanks to U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) who funded a five-year project implemented by Winrock International in the form of the Value Chains for Rural Development.
The project aims to make rural villages more productive and profitable while also affirming equal economic growth amongst these impoverished settlements.
In order to commemorate the first export of Myanmar’s native coffee, a long standing coffee shop in Bo Nyar Nyunt neighborhood “Easy Café” earlier hosted a special event, bringing representatives from chosen MYANMAR coffee planting communities to come and have a look at their very own coffee brands on sale for the first time.
In total of 5 communities, 3 are from Shan State ; Ga Naing Yar, Lay Ywar, and Yay Win, Greenland Estate from Pyin Oo Lwin, and Ruby Hill from Mogok.
“We are in talks with them for the betterment of our respective communities,” said U Zaw Myo Oo from Yay Win community.
Javier Phua, the founder of easy café launched into the tale of how he had discovered these communities, with Mandalay Coffee Group being a great help.
“We will be working with these communities for the benefit of both sides, and we will be striving to create better living standards for them,” explained Mr.Phua who has been an active member in local coffee plantation scene
Myanmar Coffee Association (MCA) is a non-profit organization created for the betterment of Myanmar coffee and its erstwhile producers. Based in Mandalay, MCA was essential for the process of actually contacting and interacting with the farmers as well as providing samples.
As the Myanmar coffee market is just beginning to open up, all the separate coffees have yet to be expanded to a wider audience among the Myanmar people,
“Growth” is mainly what we’re planning on doing, to widen the market, broaden our base, and making sure that the farming communities get the support and credit they deserve”, Mr. Phua noted.
Those seeking to try coffee by local Myanmar producers, you can stop by at the 2 branches of Easy Cafe; on Bo Nyar Nyunt road and Na Nat Taw street.