Forty-four-year-old Zhao Jiadong prefers his coffee served black.
“People like us who have gone through a bitter life no longer feel bitterness on the tongue,” said Zhao, a coffee farmer in Mangshi, in the Dehong Dai and Jingpo autonomous prefecture of Yunnan province, bordering Myanmar.
Zhao is one of some 300,000 in Dehong. Nearly 98 percent of the coffee beans in China are grown in Yunnan.
Over the past two decades, the beans, handpicked by the likes of Zhao, have made China-a historically tea-drinking and cultivating nation-one of 21 countries in the world claiming annual production of more than 100,000 metric tons of the crop.