Myanmar is an emerging coffee origin, at least in terms of specialty coffee production. In just a few short years the country has seen exponential growth the in the quality of their output, which we detailed early this year. And now, Myanmarese coffee is close to eclipsing a new milestone: a 90-point coffee. At the third annual Myanmar Coffee Association Coffee Quality Competition, the winning coffee scored a record-breaking 89.58 points.

The winning coffee was a dry natural processed coffee from the Ywangan micro-lot grown by the Mandalay Coffee Group. According to the press release, “judges described the coffee as ‘clean and complex,’ with the flavors of ‘orange, lemon, strawberry and red currant.’”

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This score isn’t just an inflated number for the sake of drumming up some press:

Three international judges and five resident national cuppers assessed the coffee samples using SCA cupping protocols, and a competition format established by the Coffee Quality Institute. The national cupping team was led by Charlie Habegger of Blue Bottle Coffee (U.S.A). The international team was led by head judge Dr. Sunalini Menon of Coffee Lab International (India), with Raw Material Coffee co-founder Richard Corney (New Zealand), and Sustainable Harvest Relationship Manager Dane Loraas (U.S.A.) as judges.

And it’s more than just one coffee from Myanmar. 26 coffees of the 72 judged scored 85 points or higher, a 150% increase over last year. Some of the top scoring coffees from this year’s Myanmar Coffee Association Coffee Quality Competition will be available to sample at the London Coffee Festival taking place April 6-9th and at the SCA Global Coffee Expo in Seattle later that same month.

Change has come quick in Myanmar coffee. The rapid growth is not only a sign of good things to come from an emerging specialty coffee market but for how other origins can perhaps experience similar results in such a short amount of time.

Zac Cadwalader is the news editor at Sprudge Media Network.

*top image via Andrew Hetzel

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