September 12, 2014, 10:30 AM

La Marzocco USA


Recently, La Marzocco USA hosted our friends from Atlas Coffee Importers. During our time together we heard from Katherine Nolte of the NGO Twin. What we learned is that coffee in Uganda is developing rather quickly. A country where specialty-grade coffee was once unheard of is now producing some very delicious lots. If you made it to our event on August 22, then you likely got to experience how tasty these coffees are.

Phil Beatie, Green Coffee Buyer for Dillanos Coffee in Sumner, WA, might have said it best: “Rwanda took 6-7 years to develop great specialty coffees. Then Burundi began to produce great coffee in only 4-5 years. Now, here we are with Uganda producing specialty coffee only 2-3 years in.” It is very exciting to see such quality coming to an unusual origin so quickly.

At La Marzocco, we are excited to continue our exploration of somewhat unusual coffee origins. On September 12, we will host ManLao River. ManLao is a coffee company growing coffee in China.


Here is a little more information from Janet Sun, a ManLao River partner:

ManLao River Project is a sustainable coffee farm in the south of China in Yunnan province, Pu’er city.  ManLao River was originally started as an environmental protection project in the early 1990s. Today, it is a coffee farm working on many of the same ideals through coffee.

Per Janet: “We’re lucky enough to have been granted a large 10,000 hectare protected forest land. On this land, we’ve found that farmers are able to survive on their earnings and there can be proper nutrition. We believe that when the above problems can be solved, it is possible to reverse the environmental damage done too our planet so far.

Coffee has become a flagship product for us because it is a special industry full of very passionate, caring people. Not only do we care about making a very high quality product, we care about the environment, and believe in caring for those people and natural resources that support us.”

Over 10,000 ethnic minority farmers have moved through ManLao River since it was founded in the 1990s. 3000 farmers stayed behind. Surviving with them are different minority languages, religions, and cultures that were once close to extinction.


Some of ManLao’s progress in the last years:

2006 – original non-profit founder declares bankruptcy. Remaining project incorporates to run itself, and becomes 3 companies.

2008 – organic certification started

2009 – 1st Chinese coffee plantation to become organic certified in China

2010 – work on USDA and EU organic certification started

2012 – 1st Chinese coffee to be in WBC finals used by Jie Hong

2013 – 1st Chinese coffee to become USDA and EU organic certified.


Farm facts:

10,000 hectares

3,000 farmers

75% pristine forest land


On September 12th ManLao River will be sharing some stories, photos, and videos, and cupping ManLao River coffee roasted by Conduit.

If you would like to join us for the event, please RSVP here.

For more information on ManLao River Coffee, visit