State: Shan State
Farmer: Smallholders from Nwar Ban
Producer: The Lady Specialty Coffee
Elevation: 1350 masl
Variety: Red Catuai
Process: Red Honey – carbonic
Screen size: 15+
Tasting notes: Nougat,
The Lady is a processing facility created in 2018 by two leading lights of the Myanmar specialty scene: Thi
Ha Gyawalie and Su Nandar Linn. Both are responsible for running their separate family farms, but have
joined forces with The Lady to support and champion the efforts of farmers in Ywangan region, with its
limited edition lots produced exclusively by women.
Su Nandar Linn’s family owns Shwe Ywar Ngan Coffee, a farm, processor, and roaster in Ywangan,
Shan State. Her father, Win Aung Kyaw, has been in the coffee business since 1975, and played an
instrumental role in the development of Myanmar’s coffee industry, disseminating coffee cultivars and
new coffee production technologies. A certified Q grader and Q processor, Su Nandar Linn continues this
commitment to develop the country’s speciality industry through The Lady.
Thi Ha runs his family’s coffee estate Ruby Hills, based in Mogok. A Certified Q Grader and Processing
Professional (CQI), Thi Ha is also a board member of the Myanmar Coffee Association, a non-profit trade
association working to increase the prosperity of all sectors of the country’s coffee industry.
Shirani spent time with Thi Ha and Su Nandar earlier this year, cupping their early washed type samples
and seeing the first cherries for this coffee being put into the fermentation tanks. We are working on
building a close producer-importer relationship with them and very happy to be bringing this coffee from
The Lady to the UK for the first time.
This coffee is one of only three lots processed this year and the only honey-processed lot using the carbonic maceration technique. Cherries are collected
from 51 women farmers from Nwar Ban Gyi village and processed within 18
hours of harvest. After the flotation, whole fruit cherries are put in 500 litre
one-way valve fitted fermentation tanks for 48 hours, before being pulped and
put on the drying beds for further processing. The coffees are dried for 12-15
ABOUT MYANMAR AND ITS HISTORY OF COFFEE CULTIVATION
Myanmar, also called Burma, is located in the western portion of mainland
Southeast Asia. In 1989 the country’s official English name, which it had held
since 1885, was changed from the Union of Burma to the Union of Myanmar;
in the Burmese language the country has been known as Myanma (more
precisely, Mranma Prañ) since the 13th century.
Myanmar is bordered to its north and northeast by China, to its east by Laos
and Thailand, and its west by Bangladesh and India. Myanmar possesses
the largest expanse of tropical forest in mainland Southeast Asia with
substantial biodiversity, harbouring rare species such as the red panda and
the Myanmar snub-nosed monkey. Climate and terroir are perfect for coffee
cultivation in various parts of the country, particularly in the Shan hills
which stretch into the coffee growing regions of Yunnan and Thailand.
Myanmar has been growing coffee since the late 1800s, introduced by
British colonists. Following Myanmar’s independence in 1948, a concerted
drive to produce coffee occurred much later during the political reforms of
2011, when agricultural growth was encouraged as part of the government’s
opium eradication programme. The subsequent opening up of its economy
led to the increased focus on coffee as a commercial crop. Specialty
coffee production commenced from 2015, supported by development
initiatives from Winrock Foundation, USAID and CQI, with the first specialty
coffees exported to the USA in 2016 (Atlas) and to the UK in 2017.