Colombia’s ‘green gold’ coffee a major hit in ChinaJuly 18th, 2010 - 11:18 am ICT by IANS
Shanghai, July 18 (IANS) A coffee dubbed “green gold” produced in Colombia has become a hit in China, with people flocking to markets to buy the “light and silky” beverage.
Though neither strong as the Brazilian coffee nor sour as African, the Colombian coffee is quickly making its foray into the Chinese market and the ongoing world expo in Shanghai has literally opened doors to the Asian giant.
Thousands of visitors are flocking Colombian shops in the expo, many of them for tasting the famous Colombian coffee.
Coffee in Colombia is said to be more important than flowers, gold or emeralds. The plant was introduced to Colombia from the French Antilles in 1808 and was quickly loved by local people. After 200 years, Colombia has now become the second largest coffee producer in the world.
The best coffee beans are from the Andes highlands, where the mild temperature and humid air help grow the best-quality coffee, Tomas Arango, a producer, said.
Colombian coffee is mostly roasted, so it tastes mild and silky, unlike the strong-flavoured Brazilian coffee or the Italian Espresso. Termed “silky and light”, Colombian coffee can serve as a regular daily beverage and people can keep drinking without hurting their stomach.
“We held tasting seminars and tried to not only take coffee as a product but also to get the Chinese people involved with the culture of coffee,” Mauricio Prada, Colombia’s legal director at the Shanghai Expo, was quoted as saying by Xinhua.
Noting that the Chinese are “immemorial tea drinkers”, Jaime Valencia, a Colombian historian, said coffee was also getting popular in China.
“When you visit China, you will see Chinese people drinking coffee. Perhaps because it is a strong beverage, it is more stimulating. Although Colombia is not the biggest producer, it produces the best coffee in the world and the Chinese appreciate it,” Valencia said.
A coffee drink in Colombia symbolises an opportunity to meet family, friends, and even the opportunity to close a business deal.
“Colombian coffee is famous worldwide… Although much has not yet entered the Chinese market, the Shanghai Expo is opening this possibility,” said Li Wani, a Chinese diplomat working in Colombia.
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