Since 2016, Little City’s Joel Shuler has worked with several international aid organizations, including USAID, Winrock International, and the Coffee Quality Institute, to help establish quality control systems for coffee growers in Myanmar. One group to implement some of these new systems suggested by Joel and many others was Beyond the Leaf Coffee, an organization dedicated bringing opportunity to the Pa-O people of Myanmar through agricultural education and fair wages. The rural Pa-O community of Tha Pye Gone has been cultivating coffee in the hills outside of Nyaung Shwe for generations. Among other traditions, the Pa-O people are known for their colorful headdress, which represents the head of the dragon from which all Pa-O people are descendents—a legend passed from generation to generation.
The first coffee from this community to be exported was available exclusively through Little City in 2016, and we continue to look forward to receiving this coffee year after year. Naturally processed and dried on raised beds, this coffee is unlike anything the Little City team has tasted before, wild and complex, with notes of cocoa, oolong tea, and tropical fruits.