What's Next For China? Try Coffee. Yes, Coffee!

Yunnan, famous for tea, is growing ever more coffee, with farmers drawn by higher returns; now its focus is boosting quality for domestic market.

Yunnan, the southwestern province famous for its scenery and its hearty black tea, literally means "south of the clouds". The tropical rainforest is lush terrain for growing tea, fruit and, increasingly, coffee.

"Here, coffee is business. A farmer can make more money growing it rather than tea," says Wouter De Smet, Nestle's manager for coffee agriculture service in Puer .

With a tea-drinking tradition, China's coffee consumption remains low, but it is growing. Per-capita consumption of coffee jumped from 9.6 grams in 1998 to 47.6 grams last year, a growth rate of 12.1 per cent per year, according to market research firm Euromonitor.

As with many trends, the key to coffee-drinking culture is young people. More youth are willing to pay for a cup of coffee at cafes, says Zhao Lu, marketing manager of Mellow Cafe in Kunming .

While coffee farms in China don't produce nearly the tonnage of those in Brazil, Vietnam or Indonesia, international food companies and home-grown coffee concerns are investing in them, hoping that Yunnan can become synonymous with fine gourmet brews.

"The recognition of Yunnan coffee is low worldwide, but the coffee is really good, and I hope to bring it to more people," says Wan Xuejun, chairman of Zhukula Coffee Dreamy Estate.
But the transition to a coffee culture has been bumpy. The Yunnan varieties have not been popular with Chinese coffee drinkers, says Tony Ai, a coffee consultant who runs a coffee roasting shop in Beijing. "Some of the coffee tastes a bit too sour." He prefers purchasing Jamaican and Indonesian beans, which are know for their quality. Yunnan coffee, he says, is more suitable for blending with other types of beans.

With the area's beans not known for their gourmet taste, Yunnan farmers are not selling to international companies, which suppresses their bargaining power. Most coffee growers sell their harvest to just a few companies. Many of the coffee farmers are struggling.

"The history of coffee in Yunnan is not that long," says Dong Zhihua, vice-president of the Coffee Association of Yunnan. "If you ask me whether the quality of Yunnan coffee is good or not, I would say it's good, but not very good."

Nonetheless, large food companies are banking on Yunnan's beans. Nestle, the world's largest food company, got involved in the coffee business in Yunnan in 1988.

It buys coffee beans from several locations in Yunnan, including Puer, the Xishuangbanna Dai autonomous prefecture and Baoshan .

The Swiss company purchased 11,500 tonnes of Yunnan-grown green coffee beans last year.
The company buys the beans from about 2,200 famers. It plans to increase its purchases of coffee beans to 15,000 tonnes by 2015.

"Smaller farmers are producing much better coffee quality as it's a hands-on business," says Dong.

Nestle offered to buy coffee beans at an average price of 17.4 yuan (HK$22) per kg last year, the lowest price in five years, following a slump in international prices amid oversupply.

International coffee companies including Starbucks and Maxwell Coffee also are eyeing the coffee beans of Yunnan, where Arabica beans are also grown.

Starbucks, which started purchasing Yunnan coffee beans in 2007, last year expanded its presence in the province by forming a joint venture with coffee supplier Aini Coffee.

It also established a farmer support centre in Puer,which has worked with local coffee farmers to develop four new coffee varieties in Puer, Baoshan and Lincang prefecture, a Starbucks spokeswoman said.

The ambition of global coffee companies is shared by the domestic players who want to bring Yunnan coffee to the world.

Wan, of Zhukula Coffee Dreamy Estate, is eyeing the market for high-end Zhukula coffee, which is cultivated in Binchuan county, in Dali.

Zhukula coffee was first introduced to a remote village named Zhukula by a French missionary more than 100 years ago, she says. Wan bought 23,000 mu (1,533 hectares) of land to grow coffee in 2011.

Although Wan's farm employs 130 farmers and is just starting, producing little coffee, she plans to expand.

Wan said Zhukula coffee was special and that it costs 160 yuan to 170 yuan per kg, adding that a premium coffee could be sold for 1,600 yuan to 1,800 yuan per kilogram. "I am confident about the high-end consumer market given the growing wealth of Chinese people," she says.

Wan is preparing to bring grown-in-Yunnan Zhukula coffee to consumers' homes. She plans to launch her own Zhukula brand coffee next year. The products will be sold in supermarkets and hotels, and gift sets will be designed for corporate clients, she says. Wan also plans to open coffee shops in Kunming and Beijing next year.

Despite the hopes of coffee sellers, Yunnan's coffee farmers are worried.

"The profit was not good last year as international prices were low," says Huang Dabao, 47, who began growing coffee in 2007 on his 20 mu field.

With a harvest of four tonnes of green coffee beans per year, Huang earned about 30,000 yuan last year. He sold his harvest to Nestle at prices ranging from 15 to 18 yuan per kilogram. The prices were better in 2011, more than 30 yuan per kilogram, he says.

"I hope my coffee beans can be sold at better prices this year, so that I can have more money to refurbish my house," he says.

Like Huang, many coffee growers in Yunnan are selling their coffee beans to Nestle and other coffee companies. The price Nestle offers for coffee beans is based on the price of New York-traded coffee futures.

According to customs data, Yunnan's coffee exports increased 38.2 per cent to 42,000 tonnes last year. In value, that was worth US$150 million, an increase of 12.5 per cent on year. Although 80 per cent of the province's production of 53,000 tonnes last year was exported, it made up just 0.75 per cent of global output, figures from Nestle show.

Local farmers should continue to improve the quality of their coffee beans and target wealthy Chinese consumers, Dong says.

"Although the coffee industry has further to go before becoming well developed, the domestic consumption market will be a big opportunity for coffee growers to sell their harvest at good prices," he says.

As always K-Cup coffee keeps getting "better"

Comments for Is the plastic used in Keurig K-Cups safe?

Dec 02, 2014Toxic Toxic Toxic
by: Anonymous 

I do a lot of fasting. When I fast I clean out my body super well. I can do 40 days, on organic juices. When I break my fast, I slowly introduce other foods. I am like a canary down the mines. My body can tell so fast if something is toxic.
These Keurig machines, and the cups they put the coffee in are very very toxic. I got instant headache, a feeling of extreme tiredness, restlessness, nausea and anger. I only had a couple of cups from a new machine. The carafe smells badly of plastic, and the hot water tastes like plastic. I would stay away from it. I am taking my new machine back to the store today. The convenience is sure not worth the toxic junk we get hurt by!!!

Nov 30, 2014Water won't heat no brewing
by: Anonymous 

I followed the instructions on here and did the slap thing. I did it once, turned the machine off for a long while and it worked! Now that I've read all the BPA and #7 info, which I didn't see on the instructions, I'm not sure I want to use the machine.

Nov 23, 2014Kcup prodution
by: Anonymous 

I work at a factory that produces k cups. They are inspected for dirt and cantamination. Half way
Then packed. I wouldn't use one.
Source: CoffeeDetective

3 Things you don't know about Coffee

Here’s a staggering number for you: In the US, 100 million people wake up each day and reach for their favorite coffee drink. This means java is officially more popular than BeyoncĂ© and Miley Cyrus' best twerking videos - combined. For you football fans: that's more than 7 seasons-worth of Super Bowl viewers, rolling over and grabbing a hot cuppa every day. And so, we chose to take a deep-dive on America's consta-buzzing coffee culture with this year's Zagat.com Coffee Survey, which was conducted from Feb. 12-18. What are we drinking? How much are we paying? Where are we buying? These answers and more are illustrated below - in pretty infographics. Have a look:

# 1: Regular coffee rules the day:
#2: The younger you are, the more you'll pay:
#3: The coffee maker might be America's best friend:
Source: Zagat

5 Coffee myths DEBUNKED!

Chris Vigilante, owner of DC-based Vigilante Coffee Co., fully admits that he originally got into coffee as a way to avoid the real world and elude the dreaded cubicle job. But what started as a long stretch of slackerdom while surfing in Hawaii has turned him into something of a java superstar among those who know coffee in DC.

Since returning to the area in 2011, Vigilante has spearheaded three coffeehouse pop-ups, his most current one at Hogo in Shaw. He intends to keep that one running until he can move into his permanent space in the upcoming restaurant/clothing store/coffee shop combo scheduled to open at 1351 H St. NE later this year. (Maketto, a project by Toki Underground chef-owner Erik Bruner-Yang, will also be under that roof.) 

“It’s a great time to be in coffee and have people appreciate it,” says Vigilante. “We’ve never had access to great coffee like we do now. It’s pretty damn similar to pot, wine or beer.”
Here are five myths and misunderstandings surrounding coffee that Vigilante would like to see debunked once and for all:

1. The freezer is best: “Everyone thinks they should store it in the freezer. It’s actually kind of the opposite. You can grow mold on the coffee if moisture builds up - and you don’t want to be drinking mold.”

2. Dark roast = more caffeine = more flavor: “Everyone thinks dark-roasted coffee has more caffeine. It’s the opposite - you actually roast out the caffeine when you heat it. The higher the temperature, the more you’re burning out the caffeine. I think people associate the stronger taste of the coffee with the higher caffeine content.”

3. Espresso is a bean: “It’s a process, not a type of coffee. You can make any coffee bean into espresso [by grinding it finely and brewing it in the style of espresso]. Some beans are roasted specifically to be brewed into espresso, but there’s no espresso bean.”

4. Coffee should be cheap: “Coffee is a commodity that's already undervalued, as far as I’m concerned. A lot of times farmers can’t make ends meet with the market price of coffee. Vigilante pays well above the market price for our raw green beans, and we pay based on quality - but it shows up in the cup. Consumers are used to paying low dollar, but that’s unsustainable. We’re eventually not going to grow enough coffee to supply everyone.”

5. Italians rule the coffee scene: “Everyone thinks Italians are the top dogs in coffee, and that’s not the case anymore. For Vigilante Coffee, we look to Japan, Australia and New Zealand for examples in the coffee industry. If you go to Japan or Australia, it will really blow your mind where they’ve taken the level of their coffee culture. The culture of Italy is more about quantity.”

Source: Zagat

Women who drink two cups of tea a day slash risk of ovarian cancer

WOMEN who drink two cups of tea a day can slash their risk of ovarian cancer by a third, according to new research.

ovarian cancer, tea ovarian cancer, women tea cancer, tea benefits, tea health benefits,

Scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have found that both tea and citrus fruits and their juices can dramatically lower risk of developing the deadly disease.

Their study reveals that women who consume foods containing health-boosting flavonols and flavanones - which are both subclasses of dietary flavonoids - significantly decrease their risk of developing epithelial ovarian cancer.

The research team studied the dietary habits of 171,940 women aged between 25 and 55 for more than three decades.

The team found that those who consumed food and drinks high in flavonols - which are found in tea, red wine, apples and grapes - and flavanones - which are found in citrus fruit and juices - were less likely to develop the disease.

Ovarian cancer is the fifth biggest cancer killer of women in Britain after lung, bowel, breast and pancreas cancers.

It is known as the "silent killer" because its symptoms emerge only after the disease has advanced significantly.

Each year around 7,116 women in the UK are diagnosed and it kills 4,271.

Less than half of women will survive their cancer for five years or more.

Prof Aedin Cassidy, from the Department of Nutrition at UEA's Norwich Medical School, who led the study, said: "This is the first large-scale study looking into whether habitual intake of different flavonoids can reduce the risk of epithelial ovarian cancer.

"We found that women who consume foods high in two sub-groups of powerful substances called flavonoids - flavonols and flavanones - had a significantly lower risk of developing epithelial ovarian cancer.

"The main sources of these compounds include tea and citrus fruits and juices, which are readily incorporated into the diet, suggesting that simple changes in food intake could have an impact on reducing ovarian cancer risk.

"In particular, just a couple of cups of black tea every day was associated with a 31 per cent reduction in risk."

Source: express.co.uk