International Women's Day 2023
This International Women’s Day, we want to recognise the women who make our coffee possible and support their economic empowerment and social development.
This filter is from Myanmar where our partner Behind The Leaf employs women from the surrounding township to process coffee sourced from nearby farms and for the next two weeks we will be donating £5 from every sale of our coffees from Myanmar.
This year Behind The Leaf have been focussing on a singular initiative, their 'Coffee Drying/Vegetable Growing' bunk bed system. Implemented in 2019 the innovative solution means BTL's, mainly female, workforce can plant and cultivate fruits, greens and vegetables under the raised mesh beds where coffee is placed during drying season. Allowing for a more circular approach to the available space, this system was an instant success. In the middle of the pandemic, when things were uncertain and livelihoods for many in the villages was dire, the harvest from the bunk beds was kept in a freezer for nearby villages, instead of being sent to the markets to provide for the community.
The economic downturn in Myanmar has been far-reaching and devastating. More and more families have moved into the surrounding villages looking for work. BTL have used their harvest to provide for the new families struggling to make ends meet. More food was harvested this past year with less left to go to seed in order to meet demand and BTL even produced thousands of ceramic water filters to ensure many of the new faces in the community had access to clean water as well.
"The needs all around us are overwhelming and these are really difficult times, but we are doing our best" says Melanie of BTL, "I’m still amazed at how this challenge brought so many people together. I have loved seeing the Christian and Buddhist communities working together. The hearts of the people are golden."
But the year is not over, the staff at BTL are turning the coffee waste from processing into beautiful compost for the gardens. The rains will start in May and they will need to be ready to plant more vegetables. The work never ends.
Notes has followed Behind The Leaf's story for over 5 years, watching with amazement as their coffee community has grown from a business to a community with the aim of bettering livelihoods at the centre of their ethos. We are privileged to consider them our partners, to showcase their hard work through the coffee and to give back again this year for International Women's Day.
About Wa Ran
The fermentation is inoculating dried natural coffee cherries with the local-made fermentation starter for Kayah rice wine. Basically, ground up the "yeast balls" and sprinkle them on the coffee cherries before placing them in an anaerobic environment, Coffee Tumblers, for 3 days and 2 nights.
Working on some research, BLT (Behind the Leaf) discovered that these "yeast balls" have been cultivated for thousands of years, starting in China. Today, these solid-state starters can be found in every country in East Asia, Southeast Asia and South Asia and the beauty is they are all different, but their purpose is one and the same- liquefaction and saccharification of rice in the making of an alcoholic beverage. At least that is how it originated, much like in the coffee industry when fermentation was for the one purpose of breaking down the mucilage in pulped coffee to get to the end product. But now in the "speciality" world of rice wine making and coffee making, it's learned that the fermentation and starters used can also aid in fragrance and flavour.
The starters in other countries, including the ones in Myanmar, are all secret recipes and include mixed cultures that are complex and have a symbiotic interaction. There are moulds, yeasts and bacteria as well as their metabolites which are cultured onto a starch-rich substrate (rice dough) in a solid-state fermentation process. Many times, in the making of these mixed cultures there is the introduction of oriental herbs, leaves with essential oils, and medicinal roots that are believed to help prevent the growth of undesirable microorganisms and stimulate the growth of beneficial yeasts and moulds.
Candied Orange | Lemon Sherbert | Floral
The Finer Details
Behind The Leaf
|Process||Anaerobic Natural (Rice Wine Yeast)
|Variety||Catuaí, Caturra, SL28, SL34 & S795|
|Type||Beans and Ground|
250g Roasted Arabica Coffee from Myanmar
100% Arabica Coffee
Please store in a cool, dry place away from direct light
Roasted in London, UK by
Notes Coffee Roasters,
Unit 2 Blackwall Trading Estate,
14 Lanrick Road, Blackwall,
London, E14 0JP.
48 HOUR DELIVERY ON UK ORDERS
FREE SHIPPING FOR UK COFFEE ORDERS OVER £20
100% SECURE CHECKOUT