Sunday, August 19, 2012

Coffee from... Myanmar?

Yes, there is an awful lot of coffee in Brazil... and in Myanmar (Burma) too!

In anticipation of sanctions being lifted on exports from Myanmar, we have been sampling a new source of coffee from a company that is trying to work with promising producers who need a hand up to upgrade their equipment and find new markets for their coffee.

This Myanmar blend of Bourbon and Typica Arabicas is dry-process and sun ripened. The green beans came in looking beautiful... very clean and few defects. It roasted evenly, puffed to an impressive roasted bean size, and has its own unique flavor profile that is a nice cross bewteen Indonesia-style Arabicas and Vietnamese Bourbon style of Arabica.

We've been loving it as a single-source blended Arabica (grown on one farm cooperative) or pairing it with some Dalat peaberry Robusta for a very broad flavor profile that seems to appeal to everybody. It's been my go-to coffee or blend (I like to play with beans) for the last couple of weeks but I have decided to lay off it for a bit so that we can have enough of the 25-kilo test run to go around for such time until Hillary decides to let Myanmar residents begin to create their own wealth by exporting. Right now the State Department is allowing US businesses to go in and rip-off (I mean purchase) Myanmar assets and land but we won't allow the individuals or small businesses there to generate income from exporting to the USA. Politics is so wonderful....

I spoke today with SE Asia clothing importers who have a wonderful shop in Rockport MA who tell me that they could "see the progress day by day" when they were in Myanmar recently, the effect of the lifting of sanctions by European and other countries. This most disadvantaged country has great prospects for an improved standard of living soon. Hopefully we will resolve the issues with the ruling military government for the benefit of all, including those of us who want to drink some delicious Myanmar coffee.

As always, we buy direct from the producers, and we pay the asking price. This form of direct trade is far better than buying through the commodities market or Fair Trade, which only assists certain producers to get a somewhat higher market price. Direct trade often puts 200% as much money directly into the hands of the coffee farmers, and we are proud to be Direct Trade buyers.

We have made 4-ounce packages available of this limited 25-kilo trial at Myanmar Coffee (we've limited sales to one per customer for the time being). We would very much appreciate YOUR comments on this Myanmar coffee, and it will help us know what volume to bring in when exports are enabled again.