Myanmar Coffee To Make its Way to Australasian Markets

As Myanmar enters the realm of specialty coffee production, it’s time to take business into the primary Australasian coffee markets of Australia and New Zealand.

Up until recently, Myanmar’s coffee has been traditionally categorized as standard-to-low grade, but had potential to produce very high quality coffees due to its altitude and climate. The Coffee Quality Institute’s Trade Consultant Andrew Hetzel with the assistance of Winrock Trade Specialist Alex Dahan and public-private partner Matt Graylee of Raw Material Coffee, conducted a coffee road show to showcase Myanmar’s new high-end beans.

Australia and New Zealand are perfect places for Myanmar’s coffee to be sold not only because of its proximity, but because most of the coffee drinks consumed in those countries are espresso drinks which makes the chocolaty and berry-like characteristics exhibited by Myanmar’s dry natural processed smallholder coffees, and even some of its fully washed coffees, better received than the sharp, high-grown citric coffees from other countries, such as Kenya.

The road show’s purpose was to get high valued potential buyers on board to purchase Myanmar coffee in 2017. Companies visited included: Mecca Coffee, Single Origin Coffee Roasters, H.A. Bennetts Importers, AESP, Sensory Lab, Padre Coffee, BeSpecialty, John Burton Importers, Campos Coffee (20+ attendees), Veneziano Coffee Roasters (25-30 attendees), and

La Marzocco showroom (30+ attendees).

The coffee markets of Australia and New Zealand are arguably the most advanced in terms of overall quality and consistency, making them highly influential as worldwide trendsetters. The ICO estimates the total consumption of coffee in Australia at more than 1.5 million bags in 2014. With an estimated population of only 24 million, that equates to annual per capita consumption of approximately 3kg per person.

Coffee road shows bring “type” samples, representing coffees typical of a place or “stock lot” samples, representing actual coffees warehoused and available for sale directly to coffee buyers’ offices. Buyers for large companies spend a significant amount of time traveling to origin countries and international conferences, so the roadshow is a great convenience for those interested in new beans.

CQI Trade Consultant Andrew Hetzel raved about the event's success and expects Myanmar coffee to appear in Australia and/or New Zealand in 2017.