Across China: Yunnan's iconic tea city seeks new opportunities in coffee boom-Xinhua

Across China: Yunnan's iconic tea city seeks new opportunities in coffee boom

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2023-08-02 17:09:15

KUNMING, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- At a coffee shop in Pu'er City in southwest China's Yunnan Province, barista Zi Mengjun makes a point of enthusiastically introducing the cafe's signature drink "Cold-brew Coffee with Tea Aroma" to each and every customer.

To create this magical cup, which blends the flavors of tea and coffee, Zi starts by washing locally-grown Pu'er tea leaves, brewing them in water, and then finally pouring the boiled tea over cold-brew coffee.

A delightful mixed fragrance soon fills the air, tempting both tea drinkers and coffee lovers to take a sip.

"It features a unique taste," Zi says with a sense of pride.

Renowned for the tea variety named after the picturesque city, Pu'er has long been closely associated with China's tea culture.

Official data shows that in 2022, the tea planting area in Pu'er totaled 2.09 million mu (about 139,333 hectares), which produced over 140,000 tonnes of tea leaves and recorded a comprehensive output value exceeding 39.2 billion yuan (about 5.49 billion U.S. dollars).

This same idyllic environment of Pu'er has also been proven perfect for growing coffee -- a booming industry in China thanks to the ever-growing demand of local coffee drinkers.

According to official statistics, Yunnan is China's largest coffee-producing area, whose output accounts for almost the entire national output, and more than 60 percent of its tea comes from Pu'er.

In 2022, Pu'er's coffee planting area reached 679,000 mu, and the output value of the coffee industry exceeded 5 billion yuan.

Manya Coffee is one of the local brands in Pu'er that is riding the wave of both the city's rich tea culture and booming coffee industry. Through a combination of locally-grown coffee beans with Pu'er tea, the company has created a series of drinks that blend the two flavors.

In 2022, the company's annual revenue reached 46 million yuan, with 16 brick-and-mortar stores opened both in and outside of Pu'er, according to Zhang Rui, assistant to the chairperson of Manya Coffee.

"Centuries ago, merchants on horses shipped Pu'er tea to other parts of the world through the ancient Tea Horse Road. Likewise, our objective today is to deliver our own flavor to more areas globally," said Zhang. Enditem

(Reporting by Liu Zhaoxi, Chen Sida and Cao Pengyuan)