Yunnan is now the world’s 7th largest producer of Arabica coffee according to US Department of Agriculture as well as the most important coffee producing region in all of Asia. About 90 percent of Yunnan coffee is currently exported as commodity grade by large scale companies. At the same time there is considerable interest among producers for increasing the percentage of Yunnan coffee entering the specialty market both within China and worldwide.
During a recent trip to Pu’er, Coffee Quality Institute and Yunnan Coffee Exchange’s top members came together with Roast Magazine for an event called ‘Roast Talk’. This event demonstrates the importance of Pu'er as a coffee origin in the world, especially the major coffee region in China. It creates a communication and exchange platform for coffee enterprises and coffee people from both home and abroad.
Along with the influential talks given at the conference, YCE held a “Lighting of the ball” ceremony, signifying the launch of Roast Magazine in China.
CQI’s work in Yunnan is aimed at suggesting procedures which will lead to an increase in specialty coffee classification of the coffees produced without a decrease in yield.
Along with the development of Yunnan coffee, more techniques, knowledge, and suggestions on the enhancement of quality will be introduced in Yunnan. As an origin-based third-party platform, YCE will provide better services to coffee growers and enterprises and to create value along the entire supply chain.
Attendees from China included vice governor of Yunnan Province - Mr. Dong Hua; Head of Department of Agriculture of Yunnan Provincev - Mr. Wang Minzheng; Vice secretary-general of Yunnan Provincial Government - MR. Sun Tao; Secretary of Pu'er Municipal Committee- Mr. Wei Xing; Vice mayor of Pu'er - Mr. Yang Weidong; General Manager of ECOM China - Mr. Zhou Jiawen; Chairman of Yunnan Coffee Exchange - Mr. Cao Ronggen; General Manager of YCE - Mr. Shu Yang.
Specialty coffee is defined by the Specialty Coffee Association of America as a coffee achieving a score of 80 or above in standardized cupping sessions along with minimal green coffee defects. Achieving this level of quality is dependent on the environment in which the coffee is grown, the variety of coffee planted, agricultural practice, and picking and processing technique. CQI is working with the YCE to improve coffee quality in order that a higher percentage will reach specialty status. This event was important for Yunnan, as they join the specialty coffee world.
A note from Connie Blumhardt of Roast Magazine:
“The recent roasting forum event hosted by the Yunnan Coffee Exchange demonstrates the commitment from the Chinese coffee industry to create standards to ensure success for this emerging market. The event featured high caliber coffee industry professionals from around the world conveying education strategies to create a solid structure for growth. The event focused on education ranging from the green coffee farmer to the barista. It was my great pleasure to attend the event and watch this market unfold into a world leader in specialty coffee.”