Join the Roasters Guild for an Exclusive Trip to Yunnan, China


The next Roasters Guild Origin Trip will be to Yunnan, China from February 4-10, 2018! This tour will begin and end in Kunming, located in Yunnan Province, southwestern China.

A Note From Steve Lee

Coffee production in China has had a relatively brief and interesting history, that is little know to many of us in specialty coffee. Planted back in the late nineteenth century by French Missionaries, coffee production didn’t really take off until the late twentieth century as part of a government-led project in conjunction with the UN and the World Bank to develop coffee on a viable commercial scale. Currently, China sits at the base of an ever increasing specialty coffee growing industry. Yunnan, which produces about 95% of the coffee production in China is at the forefront of this change from commercial to specialty, and it is here that we are about to venture with the Roasters Guild.

And who doesn’t love an adventure? This is a great opportunity to see an emerging coffee origin and get in on the ground floor of the specialty coffee industry in China. Teaming up with the Yunnan Coffee Exchange, this trip will visit farms and explore the potential and actual qualities of coffees from several different growing regions within the Yunnan province. This trip is planning to explore developments of processing and different varieties, such as Typica, Catuai, and Geisha, that are helping Yunnan move forward and make headway in the specialty coffee market.

In addition to coffee production, Yunnan is also the birthplace of tea, with a larger array of natural occurring varieties than any other area (similar to how Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee). Coffee and tea grow symbiotically in this region and many farms in the area produce both. This trip will also provide the opportunity to visit the China Tea Expo Garden and the opportunity to see and learn more about the history, culture and production of tea.

One glance at the itinerary, and one can see that this will be a highly educational and unique experience. So, this is an invitation to visit the relatively unknown and to truly go on a coffee adventure.


Steve Lee
Events Committee Vice-Chair, Origin Trips
Roasters Guild Executive Council


What's on the Itinerary?

This trip will showcase coffee production and post-harvest activities, as well as other activities including:

  • The opportunity to cup a wide selection of coffees from the region and learn more about different varieties of coffee
  • Regional cupping with industry veteran and leader, Ted Lingle
  • “Vertical Cupping” using coffee grown in Dali, China
  • Visit Dry Mills in Munai River
  • Visit Beaton Café, Xin Zhai Café 
  • Roasting competition at YCE
  • Coffee Cupping at Mu Qi Niao Tasting Center
  • Farm visits will include:
    • White Tiger Mountain Coffee – Baoshan region | White Tiger is located in a subtropical dry warm valley climate at the base of the Gaoligong mountain protection area. This 6500 mu farms receives an annual rainfall of 700-1000MM and is frost-free all year round. Its unique geological landscape endows a wealth of biological resources, and provides a special climatic condition to the growth of coffee. Farm elevation ranges from 1020 – 1000 meters. The farm grows Catimors (P3 and P4), Typica and S288. Coffees are processed using the washed method.
    • Baoshan Beaton Coffee Co. – Baoshan region | With 1500mu planting base of organic specialty coffee and a total of 40,000mu under cultivation, the base is located in Conggang village, Lujiang Dam. There are 460 coffee farmer households. Its elevation ranges from 700 to 1700 meters with annual average temperature of 20℃, annual precipitation of 700-1000mm and frost free all year round. Main varietals are Catimor, Typica and Geisha.
    • Aini Garden – Simao region | Manzhongtian Manor, located in Manzhongtian Village, Yixiang County, Simao District. This golden region for coffee plantation is endowed with superior geographical location where its average elevation is 1500meters. They have two farms, one organic (6000 mu) and the other 50 percent organic (9000 mu).
    • Manlao River – Simao region | With a total base area of 14421 mu, the main varietals are Catimor 7963, a few P3 and P4. Base location is just south of the Tropic of Cancer at elevations ranging from 900ms to 1400ms. This region belongs to subtropical wet monsoon climate with ample precipitation (average annual precipitation of 1700mm). The area features strong solar radiation, small annual temperature difference (average annual temperature of 18 ℃) and zero frost frozen.
    • Linrun Trade Co – Simao region | Linrun is an organic farm, converted 3 years ago from a conventional farm. EU organic certification is expected this year. They process a volume of 20% Yellow Catuai of good genetic quality with the balance Catimor. The plantations register heights up to 1500 meters over sea level.
  • Other tour highlights include:

    • Tour of the Yunnan International Flower Auction (KIFA) | KIFA is the second largest flower auction in the world (2nd to the Netherlands). This highly automated and split second auction system handles as many as 5 million stems of flowers each day. Flowers are one of the most important agricultural products in Yunnan along with tea and coffee. Sunday February 4th.

    • China Tea Expo Garden | The garden is built on Yingpan Mountain, 29 km away from downtown. From the aspects of origin and evolution, development and changes, plantation and production, national origin, processing and packaging, history and culture, collection and marketing, cooking and tasting, the garden demonstrates a grand sight of Pu'er tea in a three-dimensional way. A tour of traditional tea processing, dinner and a traditional China dance program are included.

    • Visit to Starbucks farmer support center and mill


What's Included with Registration?

The registration fee includes 7 nights lodging (arriving on February 4th and departing on February 11th), including hotel taxes and service charges, as well as meals and ground transportation. Coffee education itinerary, guides, and tour coordinators are also included.

Attendees are responsible for reservation and payment of their own flight arrangements as follows:

  • February 4, Arrival in Kunming, China (KMG)  
  • February 11, Departure from Kunming, China (KMG) 

During the trip we will fly to Baoshan (BSD) and Pu’er (SYM) - these arrangements will be made for you.

Space is limited, so reserve your place now and take part in this one-of-a-kind experience!