Name: Gui Ben
Producer: Yunnan Coffee Trader
Origin: Xishuangbanna, Yunnan
Varietal: Catimor P3/P4
Altitude: 1400-1630 metres above sea level
Flavours: Pineapple, Sugar, Fruit and Nut Chocolate
Importer: Indochina Coffee
Where's it from?
This coffee originates from Shigaoqing and Guiben, an area traditionally famous for its exceptional tea.
Based in a remote part of Yunnan, east of Pu’er City and close to the Laos border, the region is home to many ethnic minorities including Hani, Miao, Dai and others.
The production of this coffee is spearheaded by Mr Tian Cai, who is the Farm Operations Manager for Yunnan Coffee Traders (YCT), with family member Mr Tang managing the farm on a day-to-day basis. They belong to a small group of farmer families in the Guiben region of Yunnan province.
Cherries are grown by these farms as well as purchased directly from nearby smallholder farmers. Mr Tian Cai and Mr Tang’s principal motivations with the production of speciality coffee are two-fold
- bringing sustainable livelihoods to their families and those of the local smallholder farmers in the surrounding area as well as returning the land back to being more biodiverse - many farms focus on one cash crop such as bananas. As a result, they are planting macadamia trees, mangoes, oranges among the tea and coffee fields. Only organic fertiliser is used, supplied by YCT.
Mr Tian Cai is an inspirational and talented coffee producer who is personally invested in both the people and the land. He’s the reason why these coffees are some of the best Chinese speciality coffees we’ve cupped since we started the business. We are really proud to be working with him and the rest of the YCT team to bring these wonderful coffees to a wider audience thanks to our importers, Indochina, the potential here is huge.
Indochina has worked in partnership with YCT since we first began roasting in 2016.
As a pioneer of the Chinese speciality coffee industry in Menglian County, Yunnan Province, YCT operates farming, mill, research, and training facilities. Its mission is three-fold:
• create opportunities for Yunnan farmers to engage in sustainable production practices
• employ industry best-practices for sourcing, processing, wholesaling, and exporting coffees
• supply coffee to importers and roasters who care about sustainability, traceability, and transparency
Coffee was first cultivated in China in the late 1800s on a small scale, introduced by French missionaries in Yunnan. Production at scale didn’t take off for nearly 100 years, despite government initiatives back in the 1960s. It was in 1988, as part of another government-led project assisted by the United Nations Development Program and the World Bank, that coffee began to be commercially produced for export through companies such as Nestle. The focus on speciality is relatively recent, with the
past decade seeing smaller coffee farms and producers improving their knowledge and skills e.g. processing techniques to produce better quality coffee.
Yunnan province - a mountainous and fertile land in the southwest of China, is responsible for over 97% of China’s coffee production. Over half of this production is concentrated around Pu’er – a region famous for the centuries-old tradition of tea. The people of Yunnan are a hugely diverse mix of different cultures and languages, with most of China’s officially recognised 56 different ethnic groups residing here. It’s not just diverse in terms of the variety of its people either, the region also boasts an array of flora and fauna (including elephants and tigers), snow-capped mountains, deep valleys, vast plateaus, subtropical jungles, beautiful lakes and majestic rivers (including the mighty Mekong).
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