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A LEL CHUANG, MYANMAR

Region: Southern Shan State

District: Ywangan

Village / Farm: A Lel Chaung

(part of Shwe Taung Thu farmers group)

Altitude: 1282 masl

Variety: Red Catuai

Process: Natural Season: 2019

Tasting notes:

Intense red fruits, sweet, bright acidity, medium body.

A Lel Chaung is one of two natural processed coffees we have purchased directly from Shwe Taung Thu Co-operative. Named after the village in which this coffee is grown, A Lel Chaung is one of 18 communities that make up the co-operative and comprises of 180 Danu households. This is the third year they have produced specialty coffee. This is an exceptionally clean and bright natural processed coffee, which really reflects the meticulous attention to detail – three groups of seven villagers work on rotation to hand sort the cherry.

Shwe Taung Thu, which translates to ‘Golden Farmer’ came together in May 2018 to provide leadership, finance, technical assistance and market linkages for its members who had received support from USAID’s ‘Value Chains for Rural Development’. This project, working with partners Winrock International and the CQI aimed to support small holders to switch to high value specialty coffee, from lower value commercial grade coffee – this was previously promoted as an alternative to opium production as well as other riskier livelihoods such as mining.

Processing information

Ripe cherries are picked and delivered to a central collection point in the village. This is then hand sorted by villagers, retaining the best cherry and removing under and over ripe fruits. The cherries are then spread out to dry on raised beds. Due to the weather conditions, cherries were drying quickly, in around 11 days.  By covering the beds at the hottest part of the day, drying now takes place in around 17 days, providing more time for the flavours to develop.  Dry milling takes place through a local exporter.