Journey to Lay Ywar with our roaster Josh.

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Our Roaster Josh, takes you on a trip to Lay Ywar, Myanmar.

Over five days we visited three regions in the Shan State – Pyin Oo Lwin, Ywa Ngan & Pinlaung. We visited 9 farms in total (3 of which we have purchased from), Myaing, A Lel Chaung & Lay Ywar (all from the Ywa Ngan region).

As a roaster, you develop a sense of affinity and familiarity with each coffee that evolves over time as a substantial amount is spent profiling, analysing and obsessing over the smallest detail. It is in that moment, when standing face to face with the producers of a coffee that you know so intimately, that everything falls into place. The whole picture is realised. It was incredibly humbling and a little surreal to be met by beaming smiles, overcoming the language barrier and realising the amount of hard work and dedication put into our common goals: achieving outstanding quality coffee.

Meeting the producers and travelling to origin was an incredibly informative experience, not only in expanding my understanding and knowledge around picking and processing but also the coffee supply chain. After starting in the coffee industry as a barista and working with a finished product, to becoming a roaster, I realised that being able to experience coffee at origin was the missing piece in the puzzle.

There are many great stories that you hear about people traveling to origin, from personal stories involving producers to innovative processing methods but its not until you’re standing there taking in the sights, sounds and smells that the reality really hits home. The smell of drying coffee is something that I remember vividly, that I could best describe as a mix of ripe, tropical fruit and sharp fresh olive.

We shared a little moment of mutual admiration and the producers’ sense of pride and achievement, that coffee from their village was being enjoyed internationally was evident.