|About This Coffee
Coffee bean farmer, Hu XiXiang, comes from a line of farmers and has dedicated the last 25 years of his life to perfecting the art of coffee bean farming.
As best we can tell, the first legal and successful export of a full container of China Specialty Coffee from Menglian, Yunnan occurred in 2015 under a partnership between Mangzhang Coffee Farms, Yunnan Coffee Traders and Pablo & Rusty’s Specialty Coffee Roasters.
While participation in big-name specialty coffee events is certainly a good sign, let’s face it, we still need to know what China Specialty Coffee actually tastes like! What makes it unique? Why is it now being taken seriously as an Emerging Single Origin? I put these questions to Tim Heinze (Yunnan Coffee Traders) and Hu Xixiang (Mangzhang Farms), who are generally regarded as the progenitors of large volume specialty coffee production in Menglian, Yunnan. Tim is a CQI Q-Arabica instructor and also one of only a handful of CQI Q Processing instructors in the world. Hu operates one of China’s longest running (continuous) coffee farms. They make a great team and are in a good position both experientially and professionally to give an opinion on China coffee. Following is a summary of their feedback.
“Given the advancements of post-harvest processing, the association of a given flavour profile with a specific origin can now be challenged. Current processing techniques can significantly direct the flavour development of coffee (for better or for worse). Accepting this, there are still regional characteristics that hold up under different processing methods. In general, Yunnan washed coffees (Catimors) are characterized by a high body. This feature cannot sustain a coffee in isolation; however, when rounded out with other desirable qualities, it creates a unique profile that is gaining a reputation for Yunnan as an Emerging Specialty Origin. In particular, the latitudinal position of Yunnan results in cooler evening temperatures at higher altitudes, which produces a high level of sweetness. So, the overall experience in the cup for a Yunnan coffee is one of high sweetness and classic citric acidity balanced out with a full creamy body.”
*Information from Yunnan Coffee Traders