Over the past several years a lot more energy has been put into coffee as the economy has opened, and access to foreign capital and investment has become more viable. A lot of this has come from private NGO’s who have been brought in to facilitate improved agronomy, harvesting and processing practices. Team RAW were invited to Myanmar by Andrew Hertzel of the Coffee Quality Institute.
Myanmar produces both fully washed and naturally processed coffees. Because of their dry heat during harvest season, the climate is particularly good for natural processing. Relative to other, more humid, coffee producing nations, the dry heat minimises the potential formation of negative bacteria and fungi on the outside of the cherries as they dry. This is important, as processing coffee naturally can be risky for producers, as, if coffee buyers detect any taints, producers will receive a lesser price than had they processed the coffee as a washed. Having a nice dry heat shortens the natural drying cycle of the coffee cherries and reduces negative ferment which can affect the cup if the process takes too long. This results in a clarity and vibrancy to this coffee which is hard to find in other producing nations.