Located in southern China, the province of Yunnan has been likened in climate to Colombia and Indonesia.
Ample rains come from western and eastern river valleys, moist and warm air moves up from the lower elevations of the Bay of Bengal and Beibu Gulf, and the mountains to north protect the fragile coffee plants from temperatures that are too cold.
What is Yunnan coffee
The Beginning of Yunnan Coffee
It is said that coffee plants were first introduced in Yunnan province in 1892 by a French missionary who brought seeds into the mountain valleys of Yunnan, more precisely to the village of Zhuku, Binchuan county, prefecture of Dali. The high altitude, mild climate and fertile soil offer an ideal environment for cultivating these challenging crops. Today there are different varieties that can be traced back to these first plants.
The variety of coffee grown in this region is mainly Arabica. These mountain areas, with their unique micro climate, are the perfect place to give birth to a coffee with a fruity fragrance, rich but not bitter, aromatic but not overwhelming.
Nowadays, the main coffee-growing areas within this region are Pu’er, Baoshan and Dehong.
The History of Yunnan Coffee
The first coffee plant s cultivated in Yunnan province came from seeds brought by a French missionary in 1892 and grown near the city of Binchuan in the mountain valleys of Yunnan. Today more than thirty varietals that continue to thrive can be traced back to these early plants.
During the 1950s Yunnan was growing about 4,000 hectares of coffee but this decreased to around 270 hectares in the 1970s. Acreage returned to 1950s levels by 1988 due to a partnership with the Nestle Company, UNDP and the Yunnan Provincial Government. In 1997 about 7,800 acres of coffee were being cultivated in Yunnan.
Resources have also been devoted to ensuring that the coffee plant varietals and cultivation maintains a high standard and also to ensure that the coffee farmers are able to bring their products to an international market.