Hopong Long Hay - Myanmar
Syrupy cup, with mellow acidity supporting farmers in coffee away from opium production.
Fed up with secretly producing opium for druglords while being prosecuted by authorities on the one hand, and selling poorly processed coffee to brokers and middlemen on the other, the Hopong farmers took a major leap of faith and fully embraced specialty coffee to become truly independent. Incredibly, they learned that neighbouring communities were producing specialty sundried natural coffee with help from Winrock, an NGO. With loads of commitment and inquisitiveness, they managed to learn from these other communities how to elevate quality, secure better incomes and gain visibility in the international specialty coffee market - all with hardly any outside funding or training. These beans are perfectly selected with absolutely no defects, due to the many hands-on deck at the farm carefully selecting each cherry by hand.
Hopong Long Hay - one of many communities which share the land around Indigo Mountain.
The coffee is grown at Indigo Mountain in the Taunggy District.
With the help of This Side Up, the farmers get paid a premium for their work.
1100 - 1600 meters, these high altitudes encourage sweetness in the profile
795, Catimor, Caturra, Catuai & Bourbon - these varietals are typically found in this region.
The coffee cherries are naturally dried on raised African beds.
An Innocent Flower?
Many coffee producers in Hopong have resorted to planting a hidden plot of poppy plants, as a last measure to supplement their income.
Right behind Afghanistan, Myanmar is the second biggest source of opium production in the world, with the Shan State (where Hopong is located) being the main hub. Papaver Somniferium, commonly known as ‘poppy plant’ has a growth cycle of 120 days. In the last phase, the petals of the flower fall away and leave a green pod the size of an egg that produces opium. The sap inside the pod is extracted by the farmer, which quickly turns into a gum like substance. The opium is then wrapped in leaves and ready to enter the black market.
"We hope to encourage this area to stop growing poppy!"
Through our friends at the sustainable green importers 'This Side Up' we are paying a premium price to the coffee communities in Hopong. Offering our producers in Myanmar an additional incentive by paying a premium, will give them the trust to step away from the illegal poppy plants. To accelerate this progress we have decided to support the eradication of these unsafe practices in the communities we work with. That is why we are donating an additional coffee tree, that will replace poppy plants, with every bag you buy from us.