The ManLao River Coffee Story

Pushing the boundaries for better coffee in China

ManLao River Coffee was born out of a sustainable coffee farming project in the foothils of the hymalyas. The project was designed to offer an improved livelihood to rural communities with unproductive land and poor market access. 

As the farm developed, ManLao River started to focus on improving the quality of the coffee it produced in order to show the world what Yunnan is capable of as a coffee producing region. 

With the grant on the original farmland now expired, ManLao River Coffee, in collaboration with Yunnan Agricultural University, continues to work with Yunnan coffee farms and producers to bring up the quality of the coffee produced in the region and to develop their reputations around China and internationally.

As well as producing, distributing and exporting green coffee, ManLao River has established a speciality coffee roaster in Kunming. Our goal is to showcase our favourite coffees from the Yunnan region while also introducing the Chinese coffee consuming community to the best the world has to offer.

Our History

1997
  • Coffee plantation founded as a poverty alleviation project 30km from China’s border with Laos
2008
  • Began Chinese organic certification process
  • ManLao River Coffee brand estalished after the name of the river the flows through the coffee plantations
  • Begins to export coffee to the United States
  • First Chinese coffee producer to become a member of SCAA
2009
  • 1st coffee plantation in China to become organically certified
2010
  • Began USDA & EU organic certification process
2011
  • Achieved Swiss SCS certification and became first Chinese coffee supplier to Starbucks
2012
  • 1st Chinese coffee to be used in World Barrista Championship (WBC) finals
2013
  • 1st coffee plantation in China to become organically certified to UDSA & EU standards
  • Supplied speciality coffee to Sweet Maria’s and Groundwork Coffee
2014
  • Guest speaker at Yunnan Coffee Expo
  • Ted Lingle, Former Chairman of SCAA, began visits and support for ManLao River Coffee
2015
  • Top Teir Green Coffee Sponsor of World Coffee Roasting Championship & World Cup Tasters Championship
  • 2nd place in CoffeeReview.com’s annual ranking of roasted coffees from around the world with a 96 point coffee
2016
  • Top Teir Green Coffee Sponsor of World Coffee Roasting Championship & World Cup Tasters Championship
  • Acheived CoffeeReview.com’s highest scoring review for a Yunnan coffee with 93 points
2017
  • Founding member of International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) China Chapter
  • Top Teir Green Coffee Sponsor World Coffee Roasting Championship with beans designated for the final round of competition
2018
  • Host of the Kunming Round of the Yunnan Coffee Cup 2018 China Brewers Championship
  • Supporter and Sponsor of Amateur Brewers Cup (ABrC)
  • Grant on original farmland expired leaving farmers with a significantly improved livelihood compared to when the project began
  • Established research partnership with Yunnan Agricultural University to improve farming and processing methods in Yunnan and develop new coffee products
  • ManLao River green coffee featured in New York Times roasted by Thanks Giving Coffee in the United States
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