Mapping Chinese coffee culture in the land of tea: the case of Yunnan Province
In this article we aim to map the rapidly emerging coffee culture in the province of Yunnan, renowned as the land of tea in China. We first look into the historical development of coffee production of Yunnan province, taking up 99% of the total coffee production in China. Yunnan coffee culture is the oldest in China since the introduction of coffee by a French missionary at the beginning of the 20th century. Most of the beans are of the Arabica species that is much sought after in specialty coffee houses. Not only in terms of production but also coffee consumption is rising in line in Yunnans capital Kunming. We conceive coffee culture shaped and driven by a web of interconnected actors, constituting an increasingly intricate global/regional network. Coffee culture in the 21stst century China has paved the way for the emergence and proliferation of new coffee experts operating in the vast area between coffee farmers and coffee consumers of the global coffee chain. These new jobs include baristas, coffee consultants, coffee entrepreneurs, coffee auctioneers, coffee machine makers, etc. In addition coffee expertise and related coffee business have shown a high level of fluidity and flexibility in China. The young generation of coffee entrepreneurs display a personal interest in the consumption of coffee and are opening coffee shops on their estate. Although for some coffee culture was present while growing up the majority of entrepreneurs start from scratch not having any connection with coffee whatsoever. They develop from consumer to prosumer to coffee expert. In other words production and consumption become entangled in the burgeoning coffee market in China. Our findings are based on an extensive literature study of both Chinese and English sources and recurrent ethnographic fieldwork in Kunming, Dali, Puer and Menglian since 2013.
Source (journal)
Journal of international economic studies
32 (2018) , p. 103-115
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Publications with a UAntwerp address
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Creation 23.08.2018
Last edited 15.07.2021
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