China Black River
Feb - May
1300 - 1850
We begin our journey in Lincang, a county within China’s most Southwesterly province, Yunnan, which for centuries has been world-famous for the high-quality green tea which is grown here.
Traditionally, the area has been settled and farmed by the Wa people, an ancient warrior tribe whose village entrances are still adorned with the skulls of the eternally revered water buffalo. Luckily for us, their head-hunting days are (largely) over, and today many of the Wa apply their profound knowledge of their terrain to growing excellent coffee.
Like its brother tea, fine coffee thrives in this ideal environment: a temperate climate with a perfect balance of rain, sunshine and frost-free winters ensures stable growing conditions throughout the year. High mountains with steep slopes allow for maximum exposure to sunshine, and the rich soils provide an abundance of the right nutrients that our coffee thrives in.
Coffee is extremely important to a vast number of families in Lincang county: at least 44,000 households are involved in growing coffee here, and only the very best cherries and green beans get selected for export. Each household looks after only 2.5ha of coffee trees on average, which allows them to give their coffee their full attention and dedication.
Thanks to the guidance of Lingfeng Coffee, our farmers use herbicides and pesticides only very sparingly. As their families drink the groundwater from their land, they pay particular attention to keeping their water clean and to preserving it as much as they can.
Growing great coffee cherries is a crucial element to producing great coffee, but it is only the first step. Equally as important is how the cherries are processed after harvesting so that the maximum flavour and freshness in the beans is fully preserved until the beans are ready to be roasted.
In each of the wet mills have gravity separators, demucilagers and mechanical drying beds that help maximise the content of ripe cherries processed and minimise as well as equalise the moisture content of our parchment. Water usage is consciously minimised and waste water treated on the spot, so that it can be safely released back into the environment. Once in the processing factory, the parchment travels through a set of de-stoners, screens and colour sorters before the green beans get packaged for export.
Black River coffee is a fully-washed bourbon-style Arabica from the highest altitudes of Lincang county.
The citrusy characteristics come out strongly in this well-balanced, pleasantly acidic coffee which lingers in your mouth with its mellow and round body.