Ngu Shweli is the oldest coffee estate in the region, founded in 1997 when the owner, U Kyaw Sein decided to turn his hand to coffee after trying both peas
and jade mining. 215 of the farm’s 235 acres are given over to coffee, with the
rest being rocky land unsuitable for growing coffee. It is located in Pyin Oo
Lwin, formerly Maymyo, a scenic hill town known for its botanical gardens and
examples of colonial architecture. In 2004, it was honoured by the UN’s Food
and Agriculture Organization.
Shade on the farm is provided long term by the growth of Silver Oak and Macadamia trees, the latter being able to provide an alternative source of
income too, and whilst those trees grow, Erythrina is used as a faster growing
provider of coverage, accenting the estate with bright red flowers. He has his own nursery on the farm, useful as he does not stump the trees, preferring to replant with new seedlings. 80% of the farm is SL34, and 20% S795.
One of the first farms in the area to provide ripe cherries, the beans are picked
and processed on the farm if they are honey or natural. Experiments are still going on with the naturals, this year being dried initially on plastic sheeting before being transferred to bamboo ‘trays’.