Twelve years ago, Ye Ping, a young woman from the Wa ethnic group in southwest China's Yunnan Province, started to grow coffee together with other women in her village.
|Ye Ping [Menglian Tianyu Coffee Farmers Cooperative]|
Despite the various difficulties and obstacles they encountered in cultivating it, the women didn't give up, but tackled the challenges head-on. Last year, the coffee beans that Ye cultivated were presented as a gift to representatives of members of the UN Security Council.
Before they started growing coffee, none of Ye and her fellow villagers had known what coffee was like, causing some of them to be uncertain about the business prospects. Some villagers expressed their concerns. They asked what they could do if they end up failing to sell the coffee beans because they cannot use it as feed for pigs or for food.
But Ye was strong-minded, and despite these doubts, told herself that she would one day succeed in growing coffee and prove herself right. She sowed the seeds and took good care of them. Even when a severe frost hit her coffee farm at the end of 2013, Ye didn't flinch, but worked even harder to improve her planting skills and accumulate experience. Eventually, she succeeded in growing coffee.
|Photo shows coffee beans produced in Menglian, Yunnan Province. [Menglian Tianyu Coffee Farmers Cooperative]|
Ye didn't know what coffee tasted like until 2018, when she drank it for the first time in her life during a training class. Through the class, she also learned how to taste coffee.
"If we don't drink coffee, we won't be able to introduce it to other people. Only by drinking coffee can we effectively improve the quality of our products," Ye said.
Ye also found that in order to increase their incomes through coffee planting, they had to produce high-quality coffee beans. In 2018, the coffee Ye had cultivated won first prize in a coffee competition. Through years of efforts, Ye has explored methods to produce coffee of superb quality, selling it at a higher price than imported coffee.
|Yunnan coffee beans and other products from China are shown at the UN. [Menglian Tianyu Coffee Farmers Cooperative]|
In 2020, coffee products from Yunnan were displayed at the 3rd China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai. In May 2021, the coffee beans grown by Ye were presented as a gift to representatives of members of the UN Security Council.
Ye said her dream is to let people around the world know that China can produce high-quality coffee.
"Life is a bit like coffee. At first you may find it bitter-tasting, but then you'll find sweetness in it," Ye said.
(Source: People's Daily Online)
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