Modern coffee cultivation in China began in 1988. In 2016 and 2017, China was among the top 20 coffee producers in the world. Ninety-eight percent of the coffee grown in China comes from Yunnan Province.

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China was always an important provider worldwide, and not only when it comes to coffee. However,  as a consuming country, it has the potential to destabilize the global industry. Especially now when it started to produce surprisingly large volumes of coffee. Growers are beginning to produce quality, over quantity pushing the boundaries of what is possible with the soil, climate, and varieties found there.

Coffee was introduced to the Yunnan province in 1892 by a French missionary. Coffee production wasn’t significant until around 2009. The rise began with the lower tea prices and a brief spike in the global price of coffee. The coffee industry still grows in Yunnan. Per capita consumption of coffee in China is still incredibly low, but this is also the potential to have an enormous impact on coffee production worldwide.

Right now China is beginning to get a good taste for its own coffee. The best Chinese coffee can be found only in China. Quality-based auctions are gaining popularity and higher prices are being paid for locally grown coffee. This makes China an unusual market, with a lot of potential.

But China also exports some excellent coffee, which is well worth looking for. Many of the plants are resistant to diseases rather than having good taste. However, the industry is evolving, and soon better and better coffee can be expected.

Taste Profile

The best cups from China have a pleasant sweetness and fruitiness, though many still carry a little woodiness and earthiness within. The beans have relatively low acidity.