Chinese farmers gain taste for coffee

China has traditionally been famous for its fragrant teas, but the country is emerging as a key Asian producer of a different beverage: quality arabica coffee.

"The mild taste and aroma is similar to the beans from Honduras or Guatemala,” said Wouter DeSmet, head of NestlĂ©’s coffee agricultural services team in China.

An increasing number of Yunnan farmers are turning to coffee, which offers higher returns compared with other crops. In 2012, farmers’ income from coffee was double that for tea grown on the same acreage, according to Mr DeSmet.

Known for its light body and fruity aroma, the coffee from the southwestern province of Yunnan has become a staple of European arabica blends, say international commodity traders and roasters.

Nestlé started operations in Yunnan in the late 1980s, offering training and purchasing coffee from growers. Since 2005, the number of its suppliers has grown from 147 to more than 2,000.
For the whole Yunnan region, known for its lush hills, more than 80,000 farmers grow the crop, with many now growing both tea and coffee.

The bulk of coffee produced in Asia – mainly in Vietnam and Indonesia – is robusta, the lower quality bean used in instant coffee.

Arabica, mainly used in cappuccinos and espressos, was introduced into Yunnan by a French missionary in the late 1880s. But coffee production only took off 100 years later with the investment of the Chinese government and the UN Development Programme.

Chinese coffee exports have grown steadily over the past decade, with volumes rising from 137,000 60kg bags in 1998 to 1.1m bags in 2012 – on a par with Costa Rica and just under 1 per cent of the world total.

Gigi Cheung, an independent Yunnan coffee exporter, said: “Demand for Yunnan coffee is climbing in international trade.”

In order to source their coffee, international coffee groups and commodity traders are starting to set up operations in Yunnan, which borders Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar.

Volcafe, the Swiss coffee trading arm of commodity house ED & F Man, is the latest company to enter a procurement and processing joint venture agreement with Simao Arabicasm Coffee Company, a local group. They follow Starbucks, which formed a joint venture with Yunnan based agribusiness Ai Ni Group in 2012.

The boom in production comes as coffee drinking in China is growing at about 15 per cent a year, compared with about 2 per cent for the world.

The growth has come from a low base. According to the Coffee Branch of China Fruit Marketing Association, the national industry organisation, average coffee consumption totals four cups per person per year in cities, which rises to 20 cups in Beijing and Shanghai.

Chinese awareness about the origins of coffee also remains relatively low, compared with mature coffee markets, said experts. “People don’t really care where their coffee comes from,” said Ms Cheung.

Is the plastic used in Keurig K-Cups safe?

Oct 10, 2014First of all
by: Florenzo 

The brewer and the K cup phenomon is entrenched embedded within the minds of a lazy 'I want it now' public. For those of us who truly enjoy a good cup of coffee, well, we understand it will not be coming from a Keurig brewer or K cup. But, we are in the minority as the American public has bought into lock stock & barrell into the K cup convenience. There are single cup brewers out there that don't deal with proprietory coffee
at usurous prices. Hell, you can even use the coffee of your choice and make it a strong as you like. I know this as a fact, as I use one. o you little Walter Mittys out there that swear that the Keurig K Cup revolution is the 2nd coming..
well..enjoy the inferiority.

Oct 10, 2014Plastic Grit
by: Anonymous 

The Keurig water reservoir on my Keurig Platinum model gets this heavy, gritty, clear salt-like material on the inner walls of the water container. I use nothing but bottled water to make coffee. There has to be a problem with something leaching out of the plastic. The gritty material has to be removed when the water sits in the container overnight.

Oct 07, 2014The aluminum and plastic
by: Anonymous 


Although there is no BPA in the k cups, plastic toxins can still leach into your coffee. In order to remove BPA they add other chemicals to it that also leach. It is all an advertising scheme to make the population feel better. I think the cups should be made from recyclable paper. As far as the Aluminum top there has been studies showing that Aluminum is linked to Alzheimers. The K-Cups in my opinion are not safe. I do have a Kuerig but have been rethinking going back to the old school way of making my coffee. I only use the Keurig ont he weekends for my daily cup of coffee but I just don't feel right about it anymore.

Oct 06, 2014This has GOT to be written by some coffee lobbyist
by: Anonymous 

Way to tow the company line.....pollution, carcinogens (other plastics no BPA) artificial flavors...mmmmm

Aug 24, 2014Awful melted plastic taste 
by: Anonymous 

I ingested much plastic-chemical tasting liquid today. Trying to "fix" new k45 elite! NO MORE.
Am sick to my stomach and pray will have no long term harm!
Get this product off the market!---or FIX it!
Comments from coffeedetective.com 

Free coffee at Chick-Fil-A November 3 through November 7 2014

Select Chick-fil-A restaurants will have a free coffee giveaway Nov. 3 through Nov. 7. The promotion marks the introduction of what they say is a speciality-grade Thrive Farmers coffee.

The offer is valid on either hot or iced coffee from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. No purchase or coupon is required.

No purchase necessary. Offer is limited to one free small hot coffee or medium iced coffee beverage per customer, per day.

To find a Chick-fil-A Restaurant, visit Chick-fil-A.com/Locations

Source: al.com