German presents Yunnan coffee to the world

By Gateway   |    2024-07-03 11:13:48

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Eric Baden, a German national, brings his badges wherever he goes.

"This badge was given to me for my service as a judge at the Yunnan Coffee Bean Competition…" Baden points to the badge on his apron, explaining, "It is a great way to promote Yunnan coffee."

Baden first came to China in 1998 and once lived in cities such as Xuzhou, Beijing, and Shanghai. Twelve years ago, he entered the coffee industry and then founded "Coffee Commune" in Shanghai.

Since its inception, "Coffee Commune" has been dedicated to helping Yunnan coffee farmers produce high-quality beans. While buying green beans from the farmers, Baden also shares roasting techniques. "By using systematic roasting and anaerobic fermentation, Yunnan coffee gets a unique Pu'er tea-like flavor," Baden said.

Why is a German so fond of Yunnan coffee? "Ten years ago, I met some Yunnan coffee farmers who were struggling with selling green beans at very low prices, and I wanted to help them." He recalled the initial village he worked with, which "had no roads, electricity, or clean drinking water." But now, the villages have seen tremendous changes. "Seeing the coffee farmers' lives improve more and more is what keeps me going."

To bring Yunnan coffee to the world stage, Baden has taken Yunnan coffee beans to various international coffee competitions in recent years. "We promote Yunnan coffee by participating in competitions, gradually making the world aware of China's unique coffee flavors."

"Chinese people drink Chinese-style coffee," Baden has this phrase printed on coffee cups. "It's not a gimmick. America has American-style coffee, and China has its own coffee beans and culture. Yunnan coffee can represent China on the world stage." In his view, China's coffee culture is a new field for young people to explore and develop, with more and more beverage shops blending tea and coffee cultures to create unique flavors.

The broad market prospects of China's coffee industry have also bolstered Baden's entrepreneurial confidence. Data shows that in 2023, the number of coffee-related enterprises in China reached 384,859, increasing by 60,236 in a year.

Shanghai, the home of "Coffee Commune," and Yunnan, China's coffee origin, are the two places Baden frequently travels between for work and life. Using his "coffee consultant" role, he encourages more Shanghai coffee shops to promote Yunnan coffee. He also invites coffee enthusiasts to visit Yunnan factories, understanding the entire process from "coffee seed to a cup of coffee."

Baden has a "small goal": to impact 10,000 Yunnan coffee farmers. "There's still a long way to go, and many small coffee farmers need help. The Chinese market is vast now, and I want to share the story of Yunnan coffee with more people."

Source: China News Service; trans-editing by Guo Yao

German presents Yunnan coffee to the world