China Kaku

China is a relative newcomer to the Specialty Coffee scene. Although some coffee has been produced in China since the late 1800’s (having been brought there by French missionaries), production at scale did not begin until the 1980’s. In a relatively short period of time — with the help of investment from the Chinese Government, the United Nations and a large coffee-roasting company — the country has made great strides. By 2016, China was counted among the top 20 global producers.

What's more, internal consumption in China is growing rapidly. In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates 2023/24 consumption at 5 million bags, making it the seventh-largest consuming country worldwide. Specialty Coffee culture is booming, creating an added driver toward increasing quality.

Coffee production takes place in the western Yunnan province as well as in Pu’er, Baoshan, Dehong and Menglian. Most of the coffee produced in China is washed, however natural and honey processes can also be found.


The Kaku farm is located in the Menglian region of Southwest Yunnan. It is owned by Mr. Li, a second-generation coffee farmer who is passionate about growing coffee and his family legacy. The Kaku farm is one of few in Menglian, and one of fewer still that has weathered changing policies, fluctuating markets and the catastrophic frost of 1998. Through all of this, Mr. Li has become a local pillar of the coffee community and is deeply involved, providing education and medical assistance to local families in need.

In the Menglian region, coffee is picked by the local Wa tribe. For Donka coffee, picking is also done by the Akha, Dai and Lahu tribes. (The farm and washing station owners are members of the Han people.) The Kaku farm yields roughly 20 tons per harvest. The coffee is first pulped and then dry-fermented for 18 hours. Subsequently, the coffee passes through density channels to sort for defects. Finally, the coffee is spread on concrete patios to dry for approximately 10 days.

Cupping notes: Cranberry, black tea, butterscotch

Available bags: 11 (60kg) Please confirm availability with your trader.

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