Sin Net Chaung is a community in southern Shan State, Myanmar/Burma. This is our second year featuring this community, which last year marked the first coffee from anywhere in Asia to join our menu. We tremendously value all of our recurring relationships, but there is something particularly special about this one. It began in the spring of 2019, when our Green Buyer had the opportunity to meet with Soe Thinzar, Sales and Quality Control Director for Shwe Thaung Thu, an association of several coffee-growing community leaders in Shan State. Following this meeting and a brief tasting of some of the group’s coffees, we eventually sampled 2019’s offerings at our roastery, selecting this dry-processed lot from Sin Net Chaung.
Though not instinctively associated with specialty coffee, Shan State has received significant investment and attention over the last several years, from organizations such as the United States Agency of International Development (USAID), the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI), and our importing partners, Atlas Coffee. In 2014, Atlas traveled to Myanmar with Winrock, a nonprofit organization receiving funding from USAID, as part of a broader Value Chains for Rural Development project. Fundamentally, the goal of this project has been to improve farmer productivity, market connectivity, and access to financial resources.
In addition to falling in love with Sin Net Chaung on the cupping table, we were smitten with the community’s reputation for cleanliness and organization. Since winning Cleanest Village in Shan State, in 2018, Sin Net Chaung’s title defence has influenced other communities to implement similar practices. While the positive social/environmental impacts of this are most important, it is also worth noting that drying beds and coffee trees tend to benefit from such diligence as well.
For those who appreciate unique, vibrant, and downright funky coffees - Sin Net Chaung is as strong a recommendation as we can give. Its combination of tropical fruits, wintry spices, and creamy texture are seldom represented in the same coffee. In the cup, we taste papaya, cinnamon, and cream.