Origin: Yunnan

Raw coffee beans.

Step into the countryside of southern Yunnan Province in China, and you're greeted with acres of rolling green hills, rice terraces and the stunningly surreal karst landscapes the region is known for. Yunnan is considered to be one of the most diverse regions in the country, both in ethnicity and biodiversity, and is home to thousands of species of plants.

The coffee plant's history in the country is relatively young—it was first brought over by French missionaries in the late 1800s, and only began to be widely produced in 1988. The vast majority of this coffee—about 95%—is produced in the lush Yunnan Province.

Fast Facts:

  • Yunnan Average altitude: 6,560 feet / 2,000 meters
  • Coffee coverage: 120,000 hectares
  • Coffee output: 130,000 tons
  • Varietal of choice: Catimor (a Caturra-Timor hybrid)
  • Characteristics: Medium Body and Medium Acidity


In 2012 Starbucks opened its Yunnan Farmer Support Center in Pu'er. The goal was simple: help farmers in Yunnan improve the quality of their coffee, while establishing C.A.F.E. (Coffee and Farm Equity) Practices to help ensure socially and environmentally responsible coffee production.

Recently an initiative by the Starbucks Aini Coffee Co. joint venture began offering farmers in the region the prices that higher-quality beans command, resulting in a dramatic boost in coffee quality and spurring the production of exquisite, world-class lots. One such lot, China Yunnan Yellow Honey, is now proudly featured in the newly opened Shanghai Starbucks Reserve™ Roastery.

Grower picking coffee beans.