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Yunnan brewing unique blend of coffee, tradition

China Daily | Updated: 2024-04-23 13:45
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Visitors enjoy coffee at a cafe in the Gemstone Cave Scenic Area in Fumin county, Yunnan province, on March 16. JI ZHEPENG/XINHUA

KUNMING — A cafe in Southwest China's Yunnan province offers coffee lovers a unique and unforgettable experience: the opportunity to enjoy a delicious cup of joe in an ancient cave formed tens of millions of years ago.

Under stalactites decorated with colorful lights and with the sound of bubbling spring water filling the space, the cafe in the Gemstone Cave Scenic Area in Fumin county is unique as it is situated in a natural mountain cave, hundreds of meters deep.

Because of its ingenious design, the shop has become a popular place for visitors to rest, sip coffee and admire the beauty of nature.

"Opened in October 2023, our cave cafe is favored by consumers opting for more diversified and personalized experiences," said Jin Qianqian, a barista who has been working at the shop since it went into operation.

Zhang Jian, general manager of the scenic area, said the cafe went viral on social media as soon as it opened.

Tourists from around the world, including from Japan and South Korea, have visited the spectacular karst cave to enjoy pour-over coffee and take in the awesome scenery.

Zhang said that the cafe attracts many visitors each weekend and holidays. Over 300 cups of coffee were sold every day during the Spring Festival holiday this year.

Over 30,000 people have visited the shop since its opening, and the owner is busy coming up with ways to enhance customers' experiences.

"In the future, we plan to hold music concerts and coffee competitions in this huge cave," Zhang said.

The cafe is just one of a slew of new coffee experiences available as part of an immersive coffee tour of Yunnan, China's main coffee-producing region.

As the coffee industry in Yunnan now attracts global attention, coffee practitioners have been exploring innovative ways to promote coffee-related tourism and cater to the fast-growing population of coffee consumers in China. Coffee shops set in manors, farms, ancient architecture or on rooftops have all gained popularity among inquisitive tourists.

In Pu'er city, a coffee manor boasting an awe-inspiring mountain view is especially popular.

The manor's coffee brewing area, roasting area and other facilities are interwoven across 20 hectares. A 60-yuan ($8.50) ticket gives visitors access to nine kinds of pour-over coffee and a hands-on experience of the whole process, from bean to cup.

Xu Yan, a tourist from Hebei province, traveled more than 2,000 kilometers to the Xiaowazi coffee manor in Pu'er on a recent weekend.

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