Few Words about our Pa-O and its people
As for all our Specialty Coffees, traceability is of paramount importance to us. This is particularly true for Pa-O, one of our new arrivals and first coffee from Southeast Asia.
The Pa-O, also known by the Burmese as Taungthu, is an ethnic minority settled in the Shan State of Burma. The literal meaning of their name is “people of the hills”. According to their tradition, the Pa-O people were born from the union of a Zawgi (Shaman) and a female Dragon, a theme represented by the shape and colour of their turban. They mainly live off agriculture, however the specialty-grade quality of their coffee is only a recent discovery.
Long before their coffee became available to us, the Pa-O people used to smuggle it, taking more than a few risks. Fortunately, this is no longer the case thanks to our exporter Behind the Leaf Coffee (https://www.behindtheleafcoffee.com/ )
Located in the Ta Ngo village, their coffee farm and factory only use reproducible and sustainable technologies in the areas of water, sanitation, agriculture and building. They also provide relevant training and education to the locals.
Our natural-anaerobic coffee is the result of the work of 730 small families and comes from five different Pa-O villages, respectively Wa Lee, Wa Ran, Pein Nay Gone, Pingalar and Ta Ngo. For this reason, the beans are a mix of several different varieties (S795, Caturra, Catuai, SL28, SL34) that can’t be separated and contribute to the uniqueness of its flavour. Its characteristic fermented notes are the result of the anaerobic fermentation of the whole cherry, which causes Co2 to build up within the sealed fermentation tank and create a strong pressure, allowing for some of the fermented cherries flavours to be literally squeezed into the bean! The cherries are then dried to 10-12% moisture and rested in airtight bags or parchment for at least one month, and then dry-milled and finally hand-sorted by 30 women.
We chose a light roast (just about first-crack) with the precise intention of preserving all of these singular notes and allow you to enjoy them to the fullest. This coffee is ideal for a morning or afternoon V60, but thanks to the in-cherry fermentation it also makes a complex and interesting espresso. These and all our other recipes coming soon - stay tuned!
- Fabio Ungaro