Yunnan coffee traders

Yunnan Coffee Traders is China’s largest exporter of Yunnan Specialty Coffee. In 2018, we exported coffee to the UK, Australia, USA, Singapore and many other countries.

History of Yunnan Coffee Traders

A French missionary brought coffee to Yunnan province in the late 19th century, marking the crop’s introduction to China. However, the modern Chinese coffee cultivation industry began in 1988 when the Chinese government, World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme jointly initiated a program to introduce coffee growing in the region. Nestlé also arrived early in Yunnan to encourage the cultivation of coffee. Hogood Coffee, the largest domestic instant coffee maker, was founded in 2007 and has been responsible for cultivating much of the coffee in the Dehong region. Hogood capitalizes on relaxed land use policies in Yunnan which have allowed farm land consolidation through contract farming schemes; seedlings are planted by Hogood and harvested by farmers of the beans that are in the end purchased by Hogood. In 2013, Yunnan Coffee Traders became the region’s first dedicated specialty coffee exporter; they are now (2018) the largest exporter of Yunnan specialty coffee in China.

Mangzhang coffee farm, Menglian, Yunnan, China

As best we can tell, the first legal and successful export of a full container of China Specialty Coffee from Menglian, Yunnan occurred in 2015 under a partnership between Mangzhang Coffee Farms, Yunnan Coffee Traders and Pablo & Rusty’s Specialty Coffee Roasters. Leading up to this time, we were busy running around trying to convince industry folks to.Two current achievements for China Specialty Coffee include selection as the “Portrait Country” in the 2018 Specialty Coffee Association Trade Show (USA) and host to the inaugural Specialty Coffee Symposium in Pu’er, Yunnan (China) – with industry legends such as Atlas Coffee, Sustainable Harvest and the ICO’s Jose Sette all giving keynote addresses.

Some of the Yunnan Coffee Traders team:

Tim Heinze, Hu Xixiang, Joshua Jagelman

  • Tim Heinze (Yunnan Coffee Traders, 提姆海因策), he describes Yunnan coffees, he answered, “a good quality Yunnan coffee profile will be balanced, sweet, and have some unique fragrance reflective of region and processing choices. It’s also possible to find some complex acidities (malic and phosphoric) in the higher elevations.”
  • “I am the son of a farmer. Ever since middle school, I knew I wanted to devote my life to farming. My life is indebted to the land, and I wanted to spend my life giving back to it,” says Hu XiXiang(胡锡祥).
    Not only did he face the challenges of unstable market prices and uncertainty with weather, the greatest obstacle was inexperience with coffee production and processing. He has continued to invest profits back into the farm and other coffee opportunities and in doing so, he has come to play an important role in China’s development as a major coffee producer.
    Hu’s experiences mirror those of many farmers in Yunnan: they are susceptible to vast fluctuations in market prices, plus they lack access to diverse markets. But the newness of coffee growing presents additional challenges for Chinese farmers. Many still struggle with minimal experience and knowledge of coffee production across the entire process—from seed to farm gate. Long-term planning and management present a challenge even more daunting. Farmers like Hu are working to mitigate these challenges for Chinese farmers and continue expanding the country’s coffee production
  • Joshua Jagelman (约书亚·贾格尔曼)
    Helping importers and roasters export Yunnan coffee with consistent quality, profile and supply.

So, how did China coffee go from being the darling of the instant coffee industry to emerging as a genuine Single Origin in less than a decade? Three key activities took place:

  • The ‘Catimor myth’ was challenged;
  • Quality improvement technologies were introduced at the wet mill;
  • And access to professional development was made available to farmers.