Across China: Cave-themed café, coffee bean field trip enrich consumption scenarios in Yunnan

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KUNMING, April 2 (Xinhua) -- A café in southwest China's Yunnan Province offers coffee lovers a unique and unforgettable experience: the opportunity to enjoy a delicious cup of joe in an ancient cave formed tens of millions of years ago.

Under stalactites decorated with colorful lights and with the sound of bubbling spring water filling the space, the café in the caves of Gemstone Cave Scenic Area, Fumin County, is unique as it is situated in a natural mountain cave, hundreds of meters deep.

Because of its ingenious design, this café has become a popular place for visitors to rest, sip coffee and spend leisure time admiring the beauty of nature.

"Opened in October 2023, our cave café is favored by consumers opting for diversified and more personalized experiences," said Jin Qianqian, a barista working at the coffee outlet since it went into operation.

Zhang Jian, general manager of the scenic area, said that this café had gone viral on social media as soon as it opened.

Tourists all around the world including those from Japan and the Republic of Korea have paid a visit to the spectacular karst cave to enjoy pour-over coffee and explore the unusual venue.

Zhang introduces that the café attracts many visitors each weekend and holidays. Over 300 cups of coffee were sold every day during this Spring Festival holiday.

Up to now, over 30,000 consumers have visited this fascinating, innovative coffee shop. And the café owner is busy brewing up more experiences.

"In the future, we plan to hold music concerts and coffee competitions in this huge cave," Zhang said.

The café is just one of a slew of new coffee experiences available as part of an immersive coffee tour of Yunnan, China's main coffee-producing region.

As the coffee industry in Yunnan now attracts global attention, coffee practitioners have been exploring innovative ways to promote coffee-related tourism and cater for the fast-growing population of coffee consumers in China. Coffee shops set in manors, farms, ancient architecture or on rooftops, have all gained popularity among inquisitive tourists.

In Pu'er city, a coffee manor boasting an awe-inspiring mountain view is especially popular.

The manor's coffee brewing area, roasting area and other facilities are interwoven across 300 mu (about 20 hectares). A 60-yuan (about 8.5 U.S. dollars) ticket gives visitors access to nine kinds of pour-over coffee and hands-on experience of the whole process from bean to cup.

Xu Yan, a tourist from Hebei Province, north China, travelled more than 2,000 km to Xiaowazi coffee manor in Pu'er City on the weekend.

At the viewing platform, Xu enjoys the view of the drifting clouds and rolling mountains while tasting the freshly brewed coffee made by baristas. "Drinking coffee in the mountains is a unique experience, and the coffee here tastes sublime," Xu said.

In addition to the coffee manor, Yunnan also integrates coffee into its history.

In the downtown of Pu'er City, historic blocks like Daijiaxiang Street were once a choke point of the ancient north-south tea-horse trade route. Young entrepreneur Yang Fan knew that one of the century-old buildings would be the perfect venue for his café.

Old wooden beams, stone benches and other vintage paraphernalia can be seen everywhere in this old-fashioned café, which makes customers feel like they are in a traditional Chinese teahouse.

"We retained everything as before so that tourists can get a better understanding of the city's past," Yang explained. The ancient dwelling is now a refurbished café serving quality coffee, adding cultural values to the beverage.

"Compared to the common coffee shops, such a quaint and reminiscent café makes me more relaxed," said one tourist from Kunming, capital of Yunnan, who came to Pu'er for the weekend.

The tourist added that such experiences have won the hearts of consumers, and there are more and more people walking into coffee manors and special-designed coffee shops to start their own immersive, fragrant coffee journey. Enditem

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