Shan coffee shines at local competition

Myanmar coffee growers. Photo: Myanmar Coffee Association
Myanmar coffee growers. Photo: Myanmar Coffee Association

Myanmar coffee has made a giant leap over the past year, with the winner of the third annual Myanmar Coffee Association Coffee Quality Competition scoring a record-breaking 89.58 points – more than two points higher than last year’s winner – on the Specialty Coffee Association scoresheet.

The winning coffee was grown in Ywangan, Shan State, and submitted by Mandalay Coffee Group. In addition to winning the overall competition, it also won in the dry natural process category. Judges described the coffee as “clean and complex,” with the flavors of “orange, lemon, strawberry and red currant.”

The quality of the coffees entered in the competition rose across the board for a second straight year, with 26 of 72 coffees achieving 85 points or better on a 100-point scale.

The majority of those achieving 85-points were dry natural processed coffees produced by smallholder community farmers.

The competition is a project of the USAID-funded Value Chains for Rural Development project, implemented by Winrock International and organized by the Myanmar Coffee Association and Coffee Quality Institute (CQI). It was hosted at the Shwe Danu and Value Chains project office and coffee lab in Ywangan, Shan State.

Coffee submissions were initially evaluated by a team of national judges from February 23 to 28. Qualifying coffees were then assessed by three international judges and five national judges from March 1 to 5.

The judges used a Specialty Coffee Association protocols and a competition format established by the Coffee Quality Institute. The national cupping team was led by Charlie Habegger of Blue Bottle Coffee (USA). The international team was led by head judge Dr. Sunalini Menon of Coffee Lab International (India), with Raw Material Coffee co-founder Richard Corney (New Zealand), and Sustainable Harvest Relationship Manager Dane Loraas (USA) as judges.

Top-scoring samples from the competition and others from participating communities will be on-hand to taste at the London Coffee Festival from April 6 to 9 and at the SCA Global Coffee Expo in Seattle on Saturday, April 22.

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CITY: YANGONCATEGORY: FOOD & DRINK

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