At the moment most Chinese coffee is grown in the Yunnan province especially Arabica, however Robusta is started to be grown in Hainan, the smallest and most southern of provinces in the People’s Republic of China. This AA grade has a maximum of 5% broken beans or ‘boats’ and 90% of the beans are above screen 17 in size. The cherries are hand-picked rather than machine harvested. Coffee production in Yunnan, has grown from 11,580 tonnes in 2000 to 141,352 tonnes in 2015. The most popular variety of Arabica grown in Yunnan is the Catimor, it was chosen (originally by Nestlé back in the late 1980’s) because it had a high yield, was coffee leaf rust resistant and would suit the Yunnan climate.
Quality varies from farm to farm, usually due to a lack of standardisation in the washing process but as more and more coffee is exported the processing is improved and may well see Chinese coffee becoming distinguishable from other origins.
I have had this coffee dark roasted to enhance its body and improve the acidity. I am pleased with the results and have enjoyed this both as a filter coffee and as an espresso.