We eagerly share with you a story that is ever unfolding before us, a story of our China coffee and its growing popularity in the craft coffee industry. This coffee was brought to us by Yunnan Coffee Traders (YCT). We love partnering with YCT because they are paving the way for a powerful, ethical, and eco-friendly craft coffee presence in China.
In 2015, Yunnan Coffee Traders successfully exported what is believed to be the first full container of specialty coffee to have come from the Yunnan region. Since then, they have been tirelessly working in their community and promoting Yunnan's delicious coffee to specialty coffee roasters around the world.
Being the trailblazers that they are, they’ve had to endure an uphill battle to introduce specialty Chinese coffee to the public. Fortunately, there is a growing interest in coffee from Asia and we believe that there are few, if any, doing better work than YCT.
In their ongoing research and partnership with their farmers, YCT practices what they preach. They are constantly pursuing sustainability and positive environmental and community impact. Currently, they partner with 8 different washing stations, their farmers, and their families. Their hope is to deepen those connections through further farmer training, increased market access, and intentional relationship development.
One way in which they impact local farmers is through their Q Processing classes. The Q certification is something that we’re fond of, having one of our own certified Q Graders at Non-Fiction. The Q system, created by the Coffee Quality Institute, was developed to create a standard by which coffee quality could be measured so that cutting edge teaching could occur all over the world. The Q processing course, in particular, operates to enhance coffee farmers’ abilities to produce exceptional coffees. Yunnan Coffee Traders has hosted several Q courses for locals and even producers from other countries.
Our Chinese coffee comes from the O-Yang Coffee Farm, which stretches across the mountains of the Pu'er region of Yunnan. The owner, named after the farm, is Mr. Ou Yang. YCT first partnered with Mr. Ou in 2017. Uniquely, Mr. Ou is personally engaged with the coffee’s cultivation and processing. He is able to produce and process roughly 15 tons of coffee annually on his farm. We’re honored to partner with Mr. Ou through the relationship that YCT formed.
The partnership that YCT has developed with local farmers in Yunnan cannot happen without having a foundation of trust with them, which simply takes time. Fortunately, the Yunnan Coffee Trader team lives and works in Yunnan among the locals and the farmers. We believe there is no better way to build a relationship than to position yourself in such a way where community happens organically.
There is still so much good to be done in Chinese specialty coffee, and we’re confident that our partners are putting the community’s and the industry’s best foot forward. It’s our honor to partner with the YCT team and to showcase their one of a kind coffee to the world.
All photos by Bryon Lippincott for Yunnan Coffee Traders