Variety: Catuai Region: Shan State Altitude: 1300 m Process: Natural Tasting Notes: Savory and complex, with basil, dried fruit, and dark chocolate notes
The Shan State is nestled in the mysterious, foggy foothills of Myanmar. Mysterious because the region is largely unmapped. The place is an enigma wrapped in mist and obscured by thick trees.
What is known (or, what is currently being discovered by beverage connoisseurs) is that the plateaued region is full of excellent coffee.
Bio regions in Myanmar vary widely from tropical waters on the coast to windswept, snowy Himalayan foothills. The Shan state seems to be in the “sweet spot,” in terms of altitude and temperature—perfect for growing fine coffee.
Oat Twin Village is in the southwest corner of the Shan, an area occupied by the Danu people. There are 230 households in the Oat Twin Village Family Cooperative. Together they farm and harvest coffee cherries in 150 acres of wooded forest. The farmers of the Shan take their work seriously—all the more so since they’ve begun to receive international recognition from coffee lovers. The farmers hand-sort the picked cherries multiple times, over and over again to make sure the only perfectly ripe ones are moving onto the dry beds.
With the help of CQI (Coffee Quality Institute) and MCA (Myanmar Coffee Association) in the last few years, the farmers have learned to use drying screens. But the extent to which they ensure the cherries dry just right is something they have taken into their own hands. All the arduous work and meticulously is what make this coffee remarkably clean, sweet, and juicy.
With its exceptionally clean aftertaste, this coffee defies common expectations of what a naturally-processed coffee “should” taste like. It creates a vibrant and sweet cup of coffee when brewed, resembling that of sweet red wine with a lingering finish of black tea notes. When concentrated in an espresso, expect to taste a fruit-bomb candy with a syrupy body and hints of dark chocolate.
Oat Twin represents the true potentiality of what Myanmar holds for the future of specialty coffee.