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Chiayi farmers promote unique blend of coffee, handmade sugar

Chiayi farmers promote unique blend of coffee, handmade sugar

Taipei, May 5 (CNA) When hand-made cane sugar is blended with organic coffee grown on the mist-shrouded mountains of Chiayi county in southern Taiwan, the result is a unique beverage that presents a new and potentially lucrative business opportunity for farmers.
Located on the western slope of Alishan at an altitude of 1,100 meters, Jueifeng village in Meishan township enjoys an average yearly temperature of 20 Celsius degrees, which has proved to be perfect for the production of quality "high-mountain tea" and organic coffee.
The local farmers also grow white sugarcane, as they have been doing since the early days of Japanese colonial rule. The cool damp mountain weather also contributes to the sweetness and fragrance for which Jueifeng sugarcane is known.
From this cane, the villagers make sugar by hand, the same way their foreparents did.
"It smells lovely and the taste is rich, " an official at the Meishan township farmers' association boasted.
Many years ago, some local farmers began growing coffee trees, mostly the Arabica species that is thought to produce better coffee than other major commercially grown species, said Huang Shih-yu, the chief executive of the association.
With coffee beverages becoming more and more popular in Taiwan, Jueifeng coffee, grown organically on a small scale, has been highly praised by local coffee lovers for its special high-mountain taste and aroma, Huang said.
It was only a matter of time before farmers began mixing freshly-brewed coffee with the local cane sugar, and before long came up with a campaign to promote the blend as "fragrant coffee, " he explained.
With this beverage, traditional Jueifeng farmers are making inroads into the modern market, he said.
According to statistics from the Meishan farmers' association, some 40 hectares of mountain land in the township, mostly in Jueifeng, are dedicated to coffee plantation. The coffee is priced at between NT$500 (US$15) and NT$2,000 per pound for whole beans.
(By Elizabeth Hsu)




Updated : 2021-08-06 05:42 GMT+08:00