When Jane Luo and her husband began growing coffee on Yirong Farm in 1987, their coffee was among the first coffee grown in Menglian prefecture, in Yunnan. Today, over 30 years later, their daughter, Jean Luo is working with her mother, Jane, to take the next step forward and expand their business into exporting. Jane’s partner, Song, is also involved in managing Agronomy and Farm Operations.
The farm has also emerged as a community leader for economic opportunities, especially for minority nationalities, including the Va, La Hu and Dai nationalities. Yirong Farm’s focus on coffee production has spurred numerous industries that have been major job creators, allowing many households to purchase their own transportation and build houses for their family.
This certified organic coffee uses compost to fertilizer coffee trees, eliminating the need for chemical pesticides. The farm is watered year-round by a mountain spring. While coffee is the main crop grown at Yirong, the farm also cultivates tea, a common agricultural product in Yunnan, and corn.
Cherry is selectively handpicked and then pulped on a mechanical aqua pulper. Pulped coffee is then fermented in tile-lined concrete tanks for 24 to 30 hours. After fermentation, parchment in cleaned in washing channels and laid to dry on raised beds for 30 to 38 days. Despite not being well known for coffee production, Yunnan has the ideal conditions for specialty coffee production. We are building out an increasing number of coffee projects as our presence in Yunnan increases. We see a lot of potential producer-partners who have previously sold their coffees to blenders. With some investment in training and infrastructure, a lot of hard work and a robust quality control system, we just know that coffee producers in Yunnan can shine.
On the cupping table we’re getting lots of dried fruits like raisin and cranberry, alongside some sweet chocolate and oddly fir - seriously, there were connotation of Christmas trees but certainly not in an unpleasant way - it’s hard to describe!
We paid 47% over the commodity price of coffee to our importer for this bag. The importers we work with pay a premium to farmers based on the quality they produce and are not driven by market prices.