Starbucks To Grow Its Own Coffee Beans In China

In March 2011, Starbucks will celebrate the 40th anniversary of its first store. And while the company has since grown into the beverage behemoth we all know today, it has never attempted to actually grow its own coffee beans. That’s all about to change as the Starbucks CEO announced yesterday that they are going to be going the DIY route in China.

“We’re going to actually plant trees and grow coffee in China, in the Yunnan Province,” CEO Howard Schultz said during a visit to Beijing.

Starbucks has been selling coffee in China for 12 years and has opened up around 1,200 outlets in the country during that time. So Schultz sees the decision to launch the bean-growing operation as “a comprehensive strategic commitment to doing business in China, in a way that’s locally relevant.”

Apparently the growing conditions in Yunnan make for some damn fine coffee, so Starbucks plans to not just use the beans it grows there for the local markets.

“We’ve discovered a part of the area there that can produce the world’s best coffee,” said Schultz. “And in three to four years, we will bring coffee from Yunnan to the world.”

In addition to opening their own farming and processing facilities, Starbucks says it will aid other Yunnan coffee farmers in improving the yield and quality of their crops.

Starbucks to start growing coffee in China, CEO says [CNN via]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Alvis says:

    “We’ve discovered a part of the area there that can produce the world’s best coffee”

    They found the field Dunkin Donuts coffee comes from?

  2. obits3 says:

    Starbucks, now made of China…

    • ihatephonecompanies says:

      That’s made *in* China. It’s made *of* lead…

      • Bohemian says:

        Well since China has some horrible issues with tainted soil due to lack of regulation I think I will pass on Chinese coffee just as I pass on Chinese vegetables. There were (probably are still) problems where they were burying old electronics and it was poisoning the ground water and soil with lead and other heavy metals.

  3. rpm773 says:

    Perhaps giving a new meaning to the term “I’ll take my coffee ‘unleaded’.”

  4. Telekinesis123 says:

    Made in China coffee beans, I make a prediction they won’t advertise this on their cups.

    • Portlandia says:

      No, they’ll simply call it “Produced in Yunnan” and prey on America’s general lack of knowledge of geography and make it sound like some exotic coffee growing region being discovered by Amazon Exlusive.

  5. BigDave says:

    I’ll have a Venti, decaf, premium unleaded, with whipped melamine!

  6. Venality says:

    I make my own coffee beans in China.

    • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

      I make my own China at home.

      Thank you Civilization V

  7. banndndc says:

    why china? there are a host of LDC’s already known for producing great beans that could certainly use the investment, compete on price etc while being higher quality. (oh, and be tariff free)

    seems like a missed opportunity for some great pr. but it’s probably part of some deal to expand in china.

  8. u1itn0w2day says:

    um um good. Coffee beans grown in the one of the most polluted areas on the planet right now. With some of the cheapest labor as well

  9. Blueskylaw says:

    Starbuckslandia will go the way of Fordlandia which went the way of the dodo.

  10. swarrior216 says:

    Are there any places here in America they could have used that would make for some damn fine coffee?

    • Southern says:

      Probably, but not even illegal immigrants will work for 25­¢ an hour to harvest them.

    • Clutchcargo says:

      Not really, we don’t have a good environment to grow coffee trees in the continental US.
      The only place in the US is Hawaii. Labor and land is not cheap there.

    • neilb says:

      Hawaii produces some of the best coffee in the world. Kona/Hilo/smaller island coffee is about 5x the wholesale price of any other bean, even if purchased on the island.
      No other US climate is appropriate, though Mexico makes some great coffee.

  11. jeffjohnvol says:

    I’m not a green freak, but I have friends that have experienced first hand the horrible environmental conditions in China. I would never eat or drink anything grown over there.

  12. neilb says:

    What took so long? Much of our commercial robusta coffee comes from Vietnam. Indonesia produces great coffee. There are plenty of Asian lands that would be great for coffee plantations. Hawaii has a huge transplanted coffee economy. History has shown that it can be done, as long as demand is high and corporate money is flowing.

    I hope this does not depress coffee prices so that current coffee producers suffer (but we know that it is almost guaranteed to do so).

  13. Inkheart says:

    What about Hawaii? I hate Starbucks, but still. Kona coffee is delicious and actually grown in the US. Come on, Starbucks.

  14. HappyFunTimes says:

    Even more reason to only go to Dunkin Donuts.

  15. LuckyLady says:

    I actively avoid food made in China. I will actively avoid this coffee, too.

    By the way, have you ever noticed how many snacks at Costco are actually from China? That’s one beef I have with the otherwise pretty good Costco.

  16. no_wallmart says:

    Knowing what they use for fertilizer over there, I think I’ll get my coffee elsewhere.

  17. SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:

    “I grow my own coffee beans at home.”

  18. MustWarnOthers says:

    Does this not have anything to do with disgustingly cheap labor working the beans?

  19. jrobie says:

    So this is going to be like the opposite of fair trade coffee? Starbucks decided it wasn’t quite evil enough so it hopped into bed with the world’s largest oppressive government? Between the literal poisons in Chinese goods, and the oppressive conditions under which they’re made, I think I’ll have to start getting my coffees elsewhere.

    At least until Caribou starts a plantation in North Korea…

  20. oldtaku says:

    Finally we’ll have an answer to the long-running debate over whether coffee is good for you or bad for you. Poison coffee should put that one to bed.

  21. oldtaku says:

    Finally we’ll have an answer to the long-running debate over whether coffee is good for you or bad for you. Poison coffee should put that one to bed.

  22. oldtaku says:

    Finally we’ll have an answer to the long-running debate over whether coffee is good for you or bad for you. Poison coffee should put that one to bed.

  23. JohnJ says:

    Oh goody, coffee from a country (China) that specializes in adulterated everything.

  24. ChunkyBarf says:

    Back when I was picking beans in Guatemala …

    Back when I was in that barber shop quartet in Skokie, Illinois …

  25. Droford says:

    If China has good coffee bean growing conditions now, I wonder how much coffee from China is already in the supply chain for other companies?

    Theres no way *bucks just magically discovered this place and no coffee was being grown there already by someone.

  26. riku256 says:

    and I’ll stop going to Starbucks. Comon, if you’ve ever traveled to China and saw how their food were produced, you’ll never eat/drink anything from China ever again.

    • Frank Grimes says:

      I just 12 days in China and Vietnam and top be honest with you I didn’t really notice a issues, problems with the food. They also eat far less processed food than most American’s so even if there are more issues, which there may be, the food is far less altered than the diet that most American’s consume. The air is not the best in the world but the food seemed fine

  27. PBallRaven says:

    Welp, no more starbucks coffee for us then. F*ckers.