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  • Writer's pictureUna Zhu

Project for Bluebottle Shanghai China

At the beginning of 2022, I have the honor to photograph with Blue Bottle Coffee!

Special thanks to my clients and Studio Stare production house.

Bluebottle is a role model in the Specialty Coffee filed, while the trend of the table to farm; and beans to cup is focused on the freshest taste and top quality. Yunnan is the largest coffee plantation region in China.⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣

Torch is a coffee organization that is deeply rooted in the coffee production area of Yunnan and together with dedicated coffee trainers and processing experts from all over the world. Martin led a team of coffee-obsessed people to start a sustainable coffee industry in the local area from education on cultivars to the final cup.

I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to document the coffee regions in China!

The shrubs grow on the steep hillsides. Farmers hand-select and pick up all red or even purple-red fruits. They proudly call these red-purple fruits Red cherries.

The best fruit comes from trees that are at least three to five years old. Some farmers have trees that are nearly 100 years old.

The dense coffee shrubs grow naturally. When we travel through the plantation, we have to poke through layers of fruits and branches. When you squeeze it lightly, the fruits will pop out. Those are the fruit of coffee!

The cultivation knowledge of farmers and their lands are passed down from generation to generation, and their families have grown up in the mountains. The older generation of coffee farmers strictly followed the custom of taking care of their land, and during the shooting, we invited an old man to take pictures on a piece of land next to us, and he told us, you can't go, this is someone else's land. I looked around and was curious, hmmm there's no visible territorial distinction, or do those lands look the same to me

For every 6kg of fresh fruit, 1kg of green beans can be processed. A coffee farmer can pick up to 40-50kg of all-red fresh fruit per day.

Although this plantation did not have any name or any commercial atmosphere, they could see at a glance that the tree was not their own, and for them, every vegetation was respected and guarded, and if the tree did not belong to them, they would not even step on it. A good cup of coffee starts with respect for the land.

Karim coffee, which is grown in large quantities in Yunnan, is usually cleaner, slightly sweeter, and very rustic in taste. Torch uses the double anaerobic fermentation process to give these beans more flavor.

Start by picking and screening ripe, healthy fresh coffee fruits. They are then usually placed on a tanning bed and then swept flat and dried by a rake. Once the fresh fruits are fully dehydrated and in good germ condition, they are transported to a hulling plant to remove the peel and parchment.

After that, the shelling process is a different flavor, and each bean is telling its own story.

And This is only the very first part of the coffee story, with their professional roastery, and baristas full of passion, the bluebottle coffee is really transferring my knowledge of coffee.


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