Lara Goes Local ②:A cup of culture & a kick of caffeine

By Lara Netherlands, Wu Duosheng, Wu Ruolin, Chen Shumin / HICN / Updated: 20:56,12-August-2021

Need a kick in your day along with an adventurous outing? The Fushan Town Center of Coffee, Culture and Customs is the place to go to! Indulge in a cup of local happiness in one of the cradle lands of Chinese coffee, and get lost seeking the fascinating features of this quaint little town in the north of Hainan.

When I first arrived on Chinese land, Hainan greeted me with her fresh air and a humid kiss on my cheek. It was as if the palm trees beside the road spoke to me and said, “Welcome home” as I made my way to Haikou city. At that stage, I was unaware of the wonderland around the island waiting for me to discover its treasures.


I was surprised to learn that, besides the long history of Chinese tea culture, Hainan houses one of China’s coffee hubs which tells the story of how the production of coffee has gradually evolved and become part of local customs – another feature which echoed my warm welcome home by the tropical island that took my breath away.

Since the first coffee seed was planted on the island by an overseas Hainanese merchant returning from Malaysia, coffee started to infiltrate the lives of the people.

The Fushan Town Center of Coffee, Culture and Customs boasts many attractions. Little coffee shops are scattered beside roads and pathways. The environment has a touch of European scenery with its vintage street lights, and sidewalk benches where you can catch your breath under shady trees. A snack street offers some local goodies for the peckish, leading up to a library where you can get lost in a book for the afternoon.

Another attraction is the original Fushan Coffee franchise further downtown. The owners proudly carry on their legacy of their father, Xu Xiuyi, who first started their family business. Upon my arrival, Xu Xiang (one of the owners) welcomed me with her warm and friendly smile, and was delighted to show me around. Beside the coffee shop area, coffee trees are nestled in the rich red soil of the plantation. The factory which processes the coffee beans can also be found on sight. You get to see the whole process of how their coffee is produced - from the bright red coffee cherries to the fragrant and earthy brew poured into your cup.

Behind every cup of perky Fushan Coffee stand three generations of the Xu family who toiled to plant and prepare the beans. In Fushan, they grow Robusta coffee beans, which originated from the Indonesian island of Java. In Yunnan province in southwest China, which grows the lion’s share of coffee in the country, the variety is mostly Arabica coffee, which originated in Ethiopia.

In 1933, Chen Xianzhang, a Chinese who had immigrated to Indonesia and was working in the agricultural industry there, returned home, bringing back the magical Robusta beans with him and they adapted to the local conditions. In 1976, a Fushan resident, Xu Xiuyi, convinced his family to invest in his newly opened coffee plantation, and they founded a joint company.


Xu Xiuyi’s son Xu Shibing inherited his father’s business, and it began to develop and expand. By 1986, the company had a registered geographic trademark, and in 2010 it was named a “nationally protected geographic mark product”.

In 2012, to boost its coffee culture, Fushan started the annual Fushan Cup International Barista Championship, the highest barista competition in China. It has been held eight times since then, bringing together experts from around the world to discuss the fine art of brewing excellent coffee.

Hainan’s opening up did not start with the duty-free shopping facilities, or the pilot free trade zone or the free trade port. It already had a history of adopting international features as local customs when overseas Hainanese returned home, bringing with them foreign knowledge, technology and customs.

Whether you get a kick out of caffeine or exploring an unfamiliar place, Fushan will leave a memorable impression on you. Click on the video to follow my adventure in Hainan’s Fushan Town in Chengmai county!



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