Myanmar is an Asian country that produces excellent Burmese Coffee. Although they are not widely known in the US, there is a good reason. It’s simply because none of the mainstream brands have been manufactured here. This is because the country has remained virtually closed to foreign trade for decades now. In fact, during the rule of General Than Shwe, foreign goods were not even allowed into the country. For decades, only the Japanese businesses that were operating in the country were allowed entry.
Then along came The United Nations Conference on Trade, which launched a series of initiatives that were designed to open up access to the nation’s markets. These measures included allowing for free access to agricultural products, including coffee. However, it did little to open up the market for Burmese coffee. As a result, most Western coffee brands still seem hesitant to grow and manufacture their beans here.
So what is the explanation behind this? The simple answer is that very few coffee growers are permitted entry to the country. Consequently, when they do grow and cultivate their coffee, they buy cheap supplies from the Burmese suppliers – at very low prices. Consequently, the cost of production becomes too low to make any profit. In addition, many companies that are established in the country have found that they are unable to establish their own brands in the local markets – especially the local coffee market.
The second explanation relates to supply. If you go to your local coffee shop and take a look at the shelves, you will see that they are mostly empty. This is because the coffee market in Myanmar is a relatively new one. To begin with, the infrastructure was lacking and it took some time before coffee shops were established and popular. Many people are still dependent on their brokers for their daily cup of coffee.
Thirdly, the lack of investment in the coffee industry in Myanmar is astonishing. You would be surprised to know that despite the fact that many brokers do not advertise their services in the local markets, the number of establishments has actually declined dramatically over the past ten years. Even now, there are only about 15 shops in every city. Compare this to the twenty or thirty coffee shops in cities like Tokyo and Singapore. Worse, there is no sign of an increase in the number of investment opportunities for coffee farmers in the country. Consequently, the number of potential buyers has actually decreased.
What can you do? You can find a great cup of Java online. Look for reputable brokers and ensure that they have the necessary certifications to sell your Java in the country. Furthermore, ensure that your Java comes from a farm that is certified by the Specialty Coffee Association of Myanmar. By following this path, you will enjoy a truly good coffee, at unbelievably low prices.