Zhukula Coffee in Bingchuan County, Dali

Zhukula Coffee in Bingchuan County, Dali(宾川朱苦拉咖啡) is from Zhukula Village in Binchuan County of Dali. Zhukula(朱苦拉) is a word in Yi language and literally means “winding paths”. Located in Pingchuan Township, west Yunnan’s Bingchuan County, the Zhukula Village is 600 kilometers away from Kunming. 

The history of coffee grown in Zhukula(朱苦拉) village Binchuan(宾川) county Yunnan province has been over one hundred years. In addition to growing coffee, the villagers also have formed the tradition of making and drinking coffee. There are 1134 ancient coffee trees covering 13 acres(亩) in Zhukula, including 24 ancient trees over 100 years and the others over 60 years old. On February 1st 2016, the former AQSIQ approved the protection of geographical indication products for Zhukula Coffee.

Products Features

Zhukula Coffee is thick, but not bitter, fragrant, but not greasy, with slightly fruit sour. The ancient coffee forest in Zhukula village is the only agricultural form in China, even in the world, which was introduced in barren area of the dry and hot valley and has been inherited for more than 100 years. It is the most vivid and complete example of the world coffee industry, with high value of scientific research. In 1981, Professor Ma Xijin(马锡晋) a tropical crop expert, conducted a research in the ancient coffee forest and determined that Zhukula coffee belongs to Yunnan Arabica Coffee, which is the oldest and purest Bourbon Tepika breed. In terms of species, it is a kind of Tepika varieties(31% of red-top plants) and Bourbon varieties(69% of green-top plants ).

Habitat Environment

Binchuan county, Dali, Yunnan province is located in the transition zone of Central Yunnan Plateau and West Yunnan Mountain, which is situated in the hot valley on the south coast of the Jinsha River in the northest of Dali (25°32′—26°12N, 100°16′—100°59E), its east is next to Dayao county of Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture, connected with Nanxiangyun County. The west is bounded on Eryuan County, Dali, the north is next to Heqing County and Yongsheng County, Lijiang City. The land area is 2562.67 square kilometers, of which the mountain surface is 2135.63 square kilometers, 83.34% of the total area, the Dam area is 427.04 square kilometers, 16.66% of the tatal area. The domestic landform can be divided into the eastern Zhongshan Gorge, the western Zhongshan Hilly Area, the southern middle low valley, middle (Binchuan Dam) low hill area. The main rivers are Naxi River, Pingchuan River, Duobeijing River and Qingshui River, which all belong to Jinsha River. The length of the main tributary is 304.6 kilometers, the drainage area is 2518,56 square kilometers, 99,1% of the whole county area.

Historical Origin

In the 30th year of the Guangxu reign (1904), the French Catholic missionary Tian De Neng(田德能) teached in the Zhukula village and introduced Vietnamese coffee seeds. Since then Zhukula village started coffee planting. There are 1134 ancient coffee trees in Zhukula village, the average age of the tree is about 90 years, in which there are 24 ancient trees over 100 years. Therefor that ancient coffee forest in Zhukula became the origin of Chinese coffee. The villagers developed the habit of planting and drinking coffee every day, passed on the picking, dispelling, sun drying, crushing the shell, etc, ancient method of making coffee. The village still remains a complete set of coffee processing, production and drinking techiques . According to experts, that technique is the most complete preservation in China. Zhukula is the heritage of century-old coffee culture in China.

Production Situation

In 2012, Zhukula coffee had been planted in six local villages, nearly 14tons of annual production, and average income was over 7000 yuan. In 2017, Binchuan county coffee planting area was over 8000 acres(亩)

As a coffee lover, do you want taste the oldest coffee in Chinese Mainland—the Zhukula Coffee?

The Zhukula Coffee is named after the name of the village Zhukula where it has been planted for more than one hundred years. To tell the story of Zhukula Coffee to more coffee lovers, Yunnan Provincial Museum opened a Hundred-Year-Old Zhukula Coffee Museum in Kunming on September 6. 

In 1892, a french missionary Tian Deneng came to Zhukula to preach the Christian religion. Tian not only built a church in the village, but also introduced coffee seedlings to Zhukula. Since then, the local villagers began to plant coffee trees and drink coffee. Nowadays, there are 1,134 coffee trees in the village and 24 of them are more than 100 years old. 

According to Yunnan Provincial Museum, the Hundred-Year-Old Zhukula Coffee Museum will display the history of Zhukula Coffee to more visitors. It is also a cafe for drinking coffee. 

It will be open from Tuesday to Sunday every week. 
Translated byZhang Linyuan/张琳媛