Unroasted - Yunnan Old Seed


In stock. Ships next business day

About the bean

It's rare to come across a truly unique coffee taste. Typically, such coffees are ones we simply don't have much exposure to for various reasons - geographic accessibility, political upheaval, civil war. One such example is the Yemen coffees we fought tooth and nail to bring in, another is this offering from China: Yunnan Old Seed. 

China is moving onto the world coffee map with a growing thirst for coffee culture as China's middle-class millennials embrace the novelty consumption their relatively newfound spending power enables. Starbucks entry into the Chinese market has helped to develop an interest for the "coffee lifestyle" and the coffee shop experience; Starbucks even debuted its first 
single-origin Yunnan coffee in 2017.

Yunnan Province stands as the country's largest growing area with a focus on the cultivation of specialty rather than commodity-grade coffee. A typical, good-quality Yunnan offering can be compared to a washed Colombian. The Yunnan profile is uniquely fragrant with flavour notes of black tea, Baker's chocolate, aromatic spices, dried cherry and soft nut. Higher elevations are able to produce coffees with a more complex brightness, most notably malic acid (associated with stone fruit, apple and pear) and phosphoric acid (a pronounced sweetness with a tropical fruit taste).

A high-mountain fancy bean from an emerging coffee player.

Quick Notes

Region: Yunnan Province, China
Source: Xinzhai Coffee Co-op, Xinzhai Village (China's highest altitude coffee-growing region)
Species: Arabica
Cultivar: Typica
Drying Method: Dried on racks and then processed
Altitude: 1,200 masl.

This coffee was brought into Canada by us from the Xinzhai Coffee Co-op located in the far southwest of China, the country's coffee-growing powerhouse, which accounts for more than 95% of China's output (70% of that is exported). Co-op growers compare their most prized bean to the best gourmet coffee in the world. To read more about the Xinzhai Co-op, see "China's Remarkable Coffee".

Taste Test

Yunnan Old Seed is a high-mountain, fancy bean. When we first taste tested the Old Seed, we were surprised to discover the coffee gained complexity and expressed more flavour the darker we roasted. This time, we discovered a pleasantly nuanced and fine cup at a lighter (American) roast with notes of nut and tobacco; a smooth brew. For a standalone cup, we would recommend a light to light-medium roast, ideally brewed pour-over style. A darker roast works for espresso and light or medium-dark for blending. Play around, if you can. It's not often coffee from China comes our way!

Roast recommendation: To preference. For an explanation of our different roasts, see here: http://greenbeanery.ca/pages/roasting-chart.

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