Epoch 3 - Myanmar Behind the Leaf

Epoch 3 - Myanmar Behind the Leaf

Importer: FORWARD Coffee

Price Paid per LB after Roasting: $9.10

Volume Purchased: 60kg

Origin: Myanmar

Farm: Finca El Cerro

Process: Anaerobic Washed 

Harvest Date: February-March

Tasting Notes: red apple, prosecco, strawberry, fig jam, prunes

Behind the Leaf is a project in Myanmar that fascinates us. Run by three amazing individuals and located outside of a small township called Pinlaung, the founder of the project is an American woman named Melanie Edwards. Melanie has been living in Southeast Asia for over a decade. She first moved there with the intention of bringing a sustainable source of clean water to remote areas in Thailand and, soon after, Myanmar.

Melanie runs two operations that function simultaneously. The first is a micro-mill called Behind the Leaf. Behind the Leaf's aim is to organize nearby villages, so they can produce coffee at a higher tier of quality and to educate them on the potential that this crop can yield. Many of the nearby Pa-O villages are not connected to stable power sources and do not have roadways. They are truly off the grid. On top of that, Myanmar is the second-largest producer of opium in the world. People like Melanie and her team are working to connect with these indigenous groups, to help them develop a more sustainable life. 

One initiative that Behind the Leaf is doing is creating sustainable water systems. After working with a chemical engineer in Cambodia in the early 2000's, Melanie has learned how to build clay water filtration systems. Melanie's knowledge of these filtration systems, as well as the Christian church, was what originally led her to Myanmar. She felt she could benefit the people in rural communities by providing them clean water. People such as the indigenous group referred to as Pa-O. Here she founded a company with two Myanmar locals and began building and distributing these water filters. The water filters are built with rice husks infused into ceramic, to give it the proper porosity, and are paired with silver nitrate to act as the filter and strip toxins. The water that comes out the other side is noticeably clean and very nice to drink. 

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