200 years ago, the governor of Nyaung Shwe set up an army based in Tet Kone. Initially, there were only 13 households in the village and residents grew trees as windbreaks. As legend has it, it is under the shade of those trees that coffee plants were first grown in Ywangan. When surrounding villages realized that income could be made from coffee, the coffee spread to the whole region.
Beginning in 2008, we began to work with several political refugees from Myanmar. Since they joined our team at Kaldi’s Coffee, we have learned so much about Myanmar and their culture. When we found out USAID was introducing a pilot project on the coffee sector in Myanmar, we jumped at the chance to be involved. Ywangan is home to many smallholders in the area. In 2013, there was a new emphasis brought to the area to try to increase quality and, in return, a better price for their coffee. There are dozens of small villages in the area and the Myanmar Coffee Association works with about 30 of them, representing over 400 smallholder farmers. This is the second year we have featured coffee from this village in the eastern part of Myanmar. It has the typical flavors of natural coffees, but also some interesting notes from the region, to make a complex cup. Enjoy!