THE STORY BEHIND FUYAN
Situated at the southwest edge of the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau bordering Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, and Burma, the hilly Pu’er region of the Yunnan province is historically famous for its tea production. Medium-sized mountains, valleys, and lush greenery fill the landscape, which also boasts ideal climate and elevation for coffee-growing–only taken advantage of as recently as the mid-1960s (though apparently a French missionary introduced coffee to Yunnan in 1892). Mass commercial coffee farming in the Yunnan province began to surge about thirty years ago, partly due to China passing economic reforms that opened their door to the rest of the world, and partly because tea is the nation’s preferred drink.
More recently, growers have been venturing into the specialty coffee market. Although the learning curve is steep, the Fuyan Cooperative shines among other coffee growers in the region because they are working hard to utilize traditional methods of coffee growing and processing through investment in better infrastructure and creation of improved quality control systems. Recently, the co-op installed a 4-5KM water line for both processing coffee and the villagers’ own personal use. They also constructed a large water holding tank; and afterward the government came in and built a second one.
They also have systems in place for tracking and measuring their progress, created by their incredibly knowledgable team. Furthermore, the co-op is pushing boundaries and taking risks by experimenting with new varieties—such as Typica, Red Bourbon, and Pacamara—and unfamiliar processing methods, like pulped natural and natural.
The Fuyan Village Cooperative’s hard work is reflected in the cup – its complexity, sweetness, and notes of red fruit make it stand out amongst other Chinese offerings. We’re excited to see how this coffee continues to progress over the years with the inspiring vision and drive demonstrated by this cooperative.