This lot from Ywangan comes through Mandalay Coffee Group (MCG) and consists of combined daily lots grown by predominantly Danu and some Pa-O hill-tribe smallholder farmers in the remote mountainous area of Ywangan, Southern Shan state, Myanmar. MCG was formed in 2014 and is owned entirely by citizens of Myanmar. It works with these smallholders, providing support as well as processing the coffee and bringing it to market. The company is based in the town of Pyin Oo Lwin, Mandalay Division.
For this season, MCG worked with over 50 smallholder farmers, each of whom cultivates approximately 0.25-3 acres of land, with coffee plants intercropped with a variety of produce such as avocados, jackfruit, papaya, macadamia and djenkol beans. The different types of trees act as a buffer to the spread of leaf rust and provide much needed shade, for both the coffee and the families who welcome the shade around their homes. Most of the farmers do not use fertiliser, but there is a big difference in quality and yield from the wealthier farmers that can use manure from their cattle.
Within 48 hours of picking, the hand sorted cherry is collected in trucks and transported to MCG’s processing mill in Pyin Oo Lwin, about 5 hours’ drive away. Coffee that is rejected for the specialty export market is usually dried on the ground and sold in the domestic market, meaning there is very little waste.
On delivery of cherries from Ywangan to MCG’s processing facility in Pyin Oo Lwin, workers handsort the best cherry, removing under- and over-ripe fruits, and spread it to dry on raised beds. With weather variations through the season, this lot usually dries for anywhere from 11-32 days, with workers carefully moving the cherry each hour to ensure even drying.