Henry Every : Imperial Jade is the product of my passion for coffee combined with a long-held fascination in the raw mystique of China’s natural world.
Having spent over a decade studying the Chinese language as well as immersing myself in various Chinese cultures, Imperial Jade provides the perfect opportunity for me to present a different side to the country, moving past the heavily industrial surface and putting the spotlight back onto where it all began: man’s relationship with the natural world.
Yunnan (云南) is the province in which Imperial Jade coffee grows - and there is no other place quite like it. Nestled in the south west of China bordering Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar, Yunnan boasts a climate that is absolutely perfect for growing some of the finest quality speciality grade coffee amongst many other crops. Historically, Yunnan is renowned as the origin of green tea, and well-known throughout the world for being blanketed with some of the most stunningly picturesque rice terraces that date back thousands of years, remaining practically unchanged. Yunnan also happens to be one of the most biodiverse places in the world, home to over 50% of China's flora and fauna, including many listed species:
Of China's 30,000 known plant species, 18,000 are unique to Yunnan
With 150,000+ known insect species native to China, Yunnan is home to over 90,000 of them
Out of 3,100 vertebrates, 1,700 are found only in Yunnan, including 200 rare and endangered species
This is the story that Imperial Jade endeavours to share: the story of a piece of our world that can only really be described as a Garden of Eden, where man works alongside nature; striving towards natural harmony. Yunnan, to me, is incredibly inspirational. With such natural diversity coupled with a huge agricultural diversity, there is so much to learn from the ancient attitudes of the local farmers towards the land they nurture.
Every cup of Imperial Jade coffee contains this historic wealth of care, passion and knowledge, from first planting the seed to the many years of tending to the coffee tree before it fruits - coffee cultivation requires a deep patience and understanding for truly excellent results. The farmers in Baoshan are certainly not lacking in patience; each bean is hand-picked before being carefully treated and processed using an incredibly difficult method known as anaerobic fermentation - a skill that takes many many years to master, if ever!
Yet the results are beyond comparison. The first taste of Imperial Jade coffee is a uniquely unforgettable experience, dousing the palate in enticingly exotic flavours. Imperial Jade coffee encourages a moment of contemplation, a moment of present experience, and a moment of reflection.
I am undertaking this project with a few things in mind: transparency, sustainability, quality and balance. Working with a family -owned farm in Baoshan gives me the opportunity to work closely with the farmers themselves, ensuring a good quality of life for them and their families, as well as having control over certain aspects of Imperial Jade's environmental footprint, such as encouraging organic cultivation and finding the best shipping options.
Whilst my aim is to provide the finest quality products found in Yunnan, I will be incorporating the spirit of the province into everything I do - always working towards natural harmony, and encouraging others to do the same. My first step along this path can be seen in Imperial Jade's coffee packaging. The bag itself is either recyclable or reusable, and I have taken it upon myself to attach a paper tag containing wildflower seeds as a way of encouraging my customers to play a small role in taking steps towards a more natural balance.
The inspiration behind the wildflower seed tags came during the lockdown of 2020, in which I planted a few pots up with wildflowers and then sat back and watched a myriad species of bees coming and going over the next few weeks. Something so seemingly small as that left such a big impact on me, and I love to think that I am facilitating such an experience for others as well.
Imperial Jade is about more than just coffee. It is about the people, the wildlife，the trees and the plants, the sun and the rain. Imperial Jade represents equilibrium, the perfect balance between us and the natural world that makes everything else possible.
For more details on the Imperial Jade brand contact Henry Every at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Imperial Jade is available in travel retail, contact us at email@example.com for more details.
Disclaimer: Imperial Jade are a client of JES Travel Retail. Guest posts and comments represent the diversity of opinion within the travel retail world. The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of JES Travel Retail who shall not be held liable for any inaccuracies presented. Any methodologies presented in this, and all guest posts, may not reflect strategies recommended by JES Travel Retail.