Photo taken on Feb. 22, 2022 shows coffee beans at a coffee factory in Pu’er City, southwest China’s Yunnan Province. (Xinhua/Chen Xinbo)
KUNMING, April 6 (Xinhua) — One hundred and thirty years after the first coffee beans arrived in Pu’er City, southwest China’s Yunnan Province, the city has seen an improvement in the quality of grains and local livelihoods.
With the largest area of coffee plantations – 668,000 mu (about 44,530 hectares) in 2021 – and the highest coffee bean yield of 46,000 tons in China, Pu’er has one of the climates and most suitable geographies for coffee plantation and is known as the “coffee capital” of China.
However, the Pu’er coffee plantation has long been considered inefficient with low productivity, being at the lower end of the supply chain.
To reduce the price effect of raw materials, Pu’er plans to improve the quality of beans by developing specialty coffees.
Hua Runmei, whose parents were one of the first coffee growers in her village, worried about declining profitability resulting from price volatility.
After taking the pouring coffee course, Hua realized that in addition to washed coffee, coffee treated with honey or sun-dried would affect the flavor of the bean and add extra value to the bean. This encouraged her to take a step forward and make specialty coffee.
Hua then urged his fellow citizens to do the same. She established her coffee factory and now operates nearly 1,000 mu of the coffee farm with other coffee farmers.
The development of organic specialty coffee has helped his village raise the price of coffee to around 60 yuan (about 9.4 US dollars) per kilogram.
“This award helped change the story that a kilogram of coffee beans was worth less than a cup of coffee,” Hua said.
To prove the quality of its beans, Hua has since taken its beans to multiple exhibitions and coffee competitions. They provide a venue for coffee growers to compete and showcase their high quality coffee beans.
In the 2021 provincial competition for green beans, more than 95% of the beans in the competition were classified as specialty coffee.
Photo taken on Feb. 22, 2022 shows workers preparing coffee beans at a coffee factory in Pu’er City, southwest China’s Yunnan Province. (Xinhua/Chen Xinbo)
Pu’er is preparing to build a national center for the production and processing of high-quality coffee according to international standards.
The city now has around 26,700 hectares of coffee fields certified by world-renowned coffee brands, such as Nestlé and Starbucks.
As one of the first companies to set up its coffee farm in Pu’er, Nestlé is now promoting high-quality Yunnan coffee beans to the wider market with the growing demand from Chinese consumers.
“More than 70 percent of our beans have been exported overseas, but now 70 percent of them are sold domestically,” said Zhang Xiong, deputy director of China’s tea and coffee industry development center. Stink.
Following new market opportunities, the price of Arabica coffee in the province has risen to more than 30 yuan per kilogram. Individual farmers’ income from coffee plantation reached more than 4,000 yuan in 2021, according to data released by the industrial development center.
The price increase has also helped local farmers improve their livelihoods as part of the country’s rural revitalization campaign.
Paliang Village in Pu’er’s Menglian County has nearly 1,200 hectares of coffee plantations. The coffee beans harvested here are sold to the 54 nearby coffee processing factories.
In return, these coffee plants would train local farmers in coffee growing and harvesting, while working to increase farmers’ incomes.
Na Nu, an ethnic Lahu descendant in Paliang, sells her coffee fruits to a nearby coffee factory called Mengliandaya. She has earned over 40,000 yuan from her coffee farm so far this year.
“Na Nu is an exemplary coffee planter in her village,” said Dong Yanmei, the vice chief of Mengliandaya. “When I came to the village, the villagers were barely managing their coffee plantations and the yield per mu was low.”
Through training and improving coffee cultivation, Menglian County has now transitioned its coffee farm from low-grade coffee to specialty coffee. Every year, the company paid more than 5 million yuan to the villagers for coffee fruits. ■