Coffee Culture in China

In China tea has been a part of the culture for thousands of years. By comparison, it has only been around 150 years since coffee first entered the region and only around 30 years since it became readily available. It is little wonder then that coffee still lags far behind tea in terms of the nation's preferences in China. Despite teas lengthy head start, coffee is rapid catching up in the middle class, urban hearts and minds of China's youth. In China tea has been a part of the culture for thousands of years. By comparison, it has only been...

Finding the Best Coffee for Your Taste in China

When I look at the questions that people ask online about coffee in China, perhaps the most common is "Where can I buy the best coffee in China?" This is a reasonable question considering that there are so many roasters in the country, but it doesn't help you with then selecting the best possible coffee for your own taste. There are so many varieties of coffee, methods of roasting, styles of blending and preparation techniques that it can be difficult to know which one will work in a given situation. Much like red wine pairs well with certain foods and...

Solving the Price Crisis in Coffee

THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED BELOW ARE THOSE OF MARK RESPINGER AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REPRESENT THOSE OF MANLAO RIVER COFFEE It seems that in the coffee industry are constantly bombarded with talk of coffee being in a price crisis. Often this is accompanied by discussions of making sure that we are paying farmers a fair price and that living wages are mandated at farms that we work with.  I think this logic is deeply flawed and is actually causing many of the pricing problems we are seeing in the industry today. Fair pricing schemes, like those of various NGOs and that...

Yunnan’s Coffee Growing Industry

According to 2018 data from the US Department of Agriculture's 2018, Yunnan Province produces more than 95% of China's coffee. This has helped China become the 13th largest coffee producer in the world and the 9th largest Arabica coffee producer in the world. During the 2017-18 harvest season, Yunnan produced 2.3 million bags (60 kg) of coffee beans from 120,000 ha (295,000 ac) with 1.14 million farmers. By 2020, the planted coffee area in Yunnan is expected to exceed 166,500 ha (410,000 ac), with annual output growing to 200,000 tons of coffee green beans. That equates to a total output...

Bronze Medal in 2019 Australian International Coffee Awards

We got a pleasant surprise today when we were contacted by Seven Miles Roasters in Australia to let us know that a honey processed organic coffee that we sold them from Yirong Manor in Menglian had won a bronze medal in the 2019 Australian International Coffee Awards! The competition was for single origin espressos and included coffees from all around the world. What is particularly exciting about this is that we were the only Chinese origin coffee on the list in a competition that rarely features China as an origin. A huge thanks and congratulations to our friends at Seven...

Brazilian Coffee meets China Coffee

Today we had a great meeting with Felipe Peixoto dos Santos (Yunnique Trading Company), who is importing specialty, single origin Brazilian coffees into China. He has left us a COE natural process coffee that we will be cupping when our team gets back from Hotelex in Shanghai. Looking forward to it! While Felipe was here, we wanted to see how a Brazilian, from the land of coffee, would enjoy our flower coffees. We prepared a Jasmine coffee blend for him to try and he left us with the following comments: I have tried for the first time the jasmine drip...

A Visit from India’s Ekata Coffee

Last week at the Pu'er coffee expo, we met up with Shameel CP from Ekata Coffee in India. They are a producer of high quality, organic and specialty robusta and arabica coffees. Their honey process robusta and organic natural arabica were both used by the runner up in India's National Barista Championship earlier this year. This afternoon he paid us a visit in Kunming to join us for a cupping of two natural arabicas, a washed robusta and a honey process robusta. Look forward to offering them to ManLao River's customers over the next few months. Shameel also tried our...

Discovering, Appreciating & Loving Coffee in China

As an expat in China, I spent many years struggling to find great coffee. Most was over roasted and often the beans were of an inferior quality, making it difficult to do anything good with them. Luckily, through my time in Kunming, I happened across a few cafes that sold fantastic coffees. To my surprise, I later found out that they were all supplied by ManLao River. When the opportunity to work with ManLoa River emerged, I jumped at being a part of such a great operation. Producing and roasting coffee is a real art that requires strict quality control...

STiR: Coffee with Chinese Characteristics

There is a great article in this month's issue of STiR about the changing preferences of Chinese coffee consumers. Our own head roaster, Joy Chen, provided feedback for story and it was great to read what our friends in coffee around the country were also thinking. Like so many things in China, the coffee consumption preferences are developing at an astonishing rate. It is amazing to think back to just a few short years ago when it was almost impossible to get a good specialty coffee in a Chinese cafe. Now it seems that the standards that Chinese consumers require...

IWCA Coffee Cupping

The International Women's Coffee Alliance (IWCA) is a fantastic organisation that promotes sustainable coffee and supports women's issues in coffee communities around the world. We recently had the privilege of cupping 15 coffees produced by IWCA supporting coffee estates around the world. We always love cupping good coffee, but it is always nice to know that what we are doing is a part of something bigger. Thank you to all the women who made this fantastic afternoon possible.

Your Basket