Coffee-themed tours brewing interest in southwest China

(Xinhua) 10:56, January 17, 2024

KUNMING, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Strings of red coffee fruit are drawing crowds of tourists to Pu'er, a renowned tea producing area which now is making a name for itself as China's coffee capital.

In Dakaihe Village of Simao District, Pu'er, curious sightseers are posing for photos in front of a conspicuous coffee-colored "Moon Meditation House." The house, a work of art made from leftover ground coffee and other recycled items, is situated in a coffee garden and has become a popular place for visitors to rest, sip coffee and spend leisure time admiring drifting clouds, rolling mountains and evening stars.

Liu Ziyue, from southern Guangdong Province, stayed in the house for an entire afternoon. "It's wonderful to enjoy a cup of coffee from beans that are harvested and brewed right here," Liu said.

Even outside the peak tourism season, the coffee garden still receives more than 500 guests daily, noted Hua Runmei, who runs the coffee garden. Some of these guests are professional baristas and cafe owners who visit the venue to experience new fermentation methods used to produce coffee with distinct flavors.

Pu'er's terrain, altitude and climate make it a perfect place to grow coffee. Currently, over 95 percent of coffee in China is produced in Yunnan Province, with over 60 percent of Yunnan's coffee coming from Pu'er. In 2022, the coffee planting area in the city had totaled 45,267 hectares, and the output value surpassed 5 billion yuan (about 703 million U.S. dollars).

With the coffee industry in this region now attracting global attention, and given the fast-growing population of coffee consumers in China, local coffee manor owners have been steadily exploring innovative ways to boost coffee-related tourism.

In a farm run by Aini, a leading coffee company in Yunnan, 1,000 hectares of different varieties of coffee bushes grow vigorously, where visitors can view a production line to see for themselves how freeze-dried coffee is mass-produced. They can also pick coffee fruit and make a cup of Pu'er coffee by themselves.

Xia Mengjie, from Hunan Province, spent two whole days at this venue, learning about coffee culture and also making coffee in the process, thereby immersing himself in the magnificence of nature.

"Nature and modern industry blend so well here that it feels like time has slowed down," Xia said.

The popularity of coffee farm visits is powered by efforts made by authorities in Yunnan in recent years. Authorities in the province have worked hard to promote the integration of the coffee and tourism industries, launching a package of tailored coffee-themed tour routes and products.

Data from the Pu'er bureau of culture and tourism showed that during this year's New Year Day holiday, Pu'er had received 435,500 tourist visits while raking in tourism revenue of 309 million yuan, increases of around 35 percent and 38 percent year on year, respectively.

According to Zhang Qiying, deputy director of the bureau, coffee-related tourism activities, such as picking coffee beans, making coffee, and cupping, are developing into an attractive tourism package in Pu'er, favored by consumers opting for diversified and more personalized experiences.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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