Coffee and Tea Farming in Yunnan, China - Mr. Li

I met Mr. Li a couple of weeks ago on the Yunnan coffee and tea farm he manages in southwestern Yunnan, China while on assignment with Yunnan Coffee Traders. We arrived early enough to enjoy a late lunch with him and his wife.

While waiting for lunch to be ready we got an initial tour of the farm and were able to spend some time photographing the tea picking that was happening on the hills a few hundred meters from their home.

We found this little guy playing among the tea bushes while his mother was picking tea. He was having a great time running around and exploring as his mother worked.

While we were photographing the tea pickers, his wife was cooking an amazing lunch of chicken soup, fried snap peas, cauliflower, and rice.

Mr. Li and his wife grow all their own food on the farm. They are able to sustain themselves almost entirely on what they grow including vegetables, chickens, pigs and the fish from their fish pond.

Lunch was filled with smiles, laughter and conversation. The food was plentiful and the tea flowed freely.

Coffee cherries are run through a machine that removes the fruit. The beans that remain are placed in a tank to ferment before the process continues. This is just one of the various different processing methods used to prepare the beans.  This farm also does other methods, semi-washed and pulp-naturals.  But we didn’t get to see those processes in action on the day we visited

When we arrived, the fermentation process was complete and the beans were ready to be washed and set out to dry.

The fermented coffee beans are dumped into the washing trays where water flows through the beans carrying away the remains of the fruit and other unwanted remains of the depulping process. The beans are stirred with wooden paddles until they are clean.When we arrived, the fermentation process was complete and the beans were ready to be washed and set out to dry.

Once all the rejects are cleaned out, the clean good coffee beans are loaded on the cart and spread out on the ground to dry.

photo of Mr. Li inspecting tea on a farm in Yunnan, China

It was an incredible privilege to spend the day with Mr Li and his wife. Their hospitality and friendliness was only surpassed by their genuine joy at just being together. It was fun to watch them work together, talking and laughing and smiling. 

Their farm produces some of the finest coffee and teas in Yunnan.