Xinglong Overseas Coffee Farms

Xiao Ying in Xinglong’s “Overseas Chinese Farm” in 1959. Photo cred: Ginger Huang (黄原竟)

In a rather “obscure” part of Hainan Island lies a series of farms that are unique.  From the period of 1949 to 1979, through three successive waves, about 12,000 overseas Chinese from 21 different countries resettled in the area.  They were granted land and many of them brought different types of crops from the countries they were returning from.  A large group of them brought with them coffee seeds.

As the land began to bear its fruit the local population fell in love with its bounty.  Coffee became a part of their everyday lives.  They were sure the rest of the world was going to fall in love with Xinglong coffee.  Unfortunately, the love for tea is so strong in the surrounding culture that coffee never really broke through.  It was a precious crop enjoyed by the few but ready to be shared with the many.  There are two excellent articles entitled The Bitter Coffee of Hainan that give you a great glimpse into the sadness of the locals who wanted to see their coffee enjoyed by the greater population.  You can read those articles here and here.

All hope is not lost.  We have connected with these farms and been able to share in their affection for the coffee they have put so much blood, sweat, and tears into.  We have been able to encourage them it is still possible for the world to enjoy their coffee.  This past year we hosted a processing course for some of the farmers and they have a new hope and a new vigor.  With small changes to their growing methods we are helping increase their yield so there is enough volume to share it globally.  As soon as the Xinglong coffee is available you will want to seize the opportunity to taste what these faithful farmers have been longing to share!

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