Frequently asked questions


China International Specialty Coffee Expo 2020

Q: How do I get to Pu’er City? 

A: Pu’er City is located in Yunnan Province in southwestern China, bordering Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam. All flights to Pu’er originate in Kunming, Yunnan Province. 

We suggest the following routes:

Beijing (PEK) to Kunming (KMG) to Pu’er (SYM)

Shanghai (PVG or SHA) to Kunming (KMG) to Pu’er (SYM)

Guangzhou (CAN) to Kunming (KMG) to Pu’er (SYM)

We suggest that you arrive by Tuesday evening, March 17. We recommend staying overnight in Beijing or Shanghai, and then proceeding to Kunming and Pu’er the following day. We are happy to provide hotel suggestions for airport stays.

Q: How do I get to my hotel when I arrive in Pu’er?

A: An English-speaking member of the event team will greet you at the airport and transport you to your hotel.

Q: What is the currency in China, and where should I exchange it?

A: The currency is the yuan. The yuan’s international symbol is CNY, but is abbreviated as RMB. The yuan is currently trading at approximately ¥7 to USD $1.00. Pu’er does not have ATM machines, nor do the hotels exchange money. Banks are accessed by appointment only. We recommend attendees exchange money before arriving or at the Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, or Kunming airports. Participants will be guided to no-host dinners on the evenings of March 18 and 20 at local restaurants. The restaurant will not take credit cards. It’s recommended that you bring approximately ¥280 (USD $40) for this expense.

Q: Is a Visa required?

A: Yes, for U.S. citizens. Please check your specific requirements at

You will file using category “M” for foreigners who intend to go to China for commercial and trade activities.

U.S. citizens with more than 12 months remaining on their passport may be eligible for a 10-year Visa at no additional charge.

Once you have completed the forum registration form, we will send a letter of invitation from the event host, Yunnan International Coffee Exchange (YCE). The invitation will be attached to your Visa application. The in-person cost is $140. People who are not located near a Visa office can facilitate a Visa through a third-party service. Allow a minimum of three to four weeks. Expedited service is available at an additional charge.

Q: What’s the food like?

A: Yunnan Province is known for its delicious, spicy food using local ingredients. Meals are served family style or buffet, and consist of multiple dishes of meats, vegetables, eggs, soup, and rice. Locals typically use chopsticks and large spoons for soups and noodles. Western utensils will be available. 

Q: Will I have the chance to sample the local cuisine?

A: Eat like a local. Please join us March 18 and 20 for Chinese-guided, no-host meals at local restaurants specializing in hot pot, Chinese BBQ, or ethnic cuisines. The restaurant will not take credit cards nor will there be ATMs. It’s recommended that you exchange approximately ¥280 (USD $40) before arriving in Pu’er for this expense. Attendees will meet in the hotel lobby. 

Q: Will there be vegetarian options?

A: All meals will have meatless options, and vegetarians will have their choice of several delicious dishes. Pu’er’s beautiful farms produce a wide variety of flavorful fruits and vegetables. 

Q: What’s the hotel like?

A: Opened in November 2016, the Dream House Hotel is located in the heart of Pu’er City, about 10 minutes from the Pu’er Grand Theatre. The Western-style rooms are beautifully appointed with either one king bed or two double beds. The hotel also includes WiFi, a gym, and a rooftop bar with a view of the city. Transportation between the hotel and the forum will be provided. The rate is $75 per night, including full breakfast.

Q: I don’t speak Mandarin. How will I understand the language? 

A: We will have interpreters available to support you throughout the event, from your arrival at the airport in Pu’er City to your departure. The forum will feature simultaneous translation, so you won’t miss a thing. Translation apps may also be useful. We recommend Microsoft Translate, which works even without an Internet connection (Google Translate will not work in China).

Q: Is China safe?

A: Yes! China is a very safe country, and you will be welcomed by this warm and generous culture.

Q: What’s the weather like?

A: When you arrive in Pu’er City, you can expect daytime high temperatures in the low 70s Fahrenheit and nighttime temperatures in the mid 40s. People often eat meals outdoors in covered areas, so be sure to bring a jacket. If you join us for the farm tour, you can expect slightly warmer daytime temperatures in the mid 70s.

Q: I am a roaster and would like to meet producers. Will this be possible? 

A: Yes, in addition to interactions throughout the forum, many producers will be exhibiting at the exposition taking place March 20–22.

Q: Will there be an opportunity to cup the coffees of Yunnan?

A: Yes, cupping sessions will take place in at the Exhibition Center March 20–22. Yunnan coffees will also be served during forum coffee breaks.

Q: Will WiFi be available?

A: Yes, both the Dream House Hotel and the Pu’er Grand Theatre offer WiFi. Some U.S. websites (Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter) are not accessible within China.

Q: What else can I do while visiting Pu’er City?

A: An exposition open to the public will be held in conjunction with the forum. The exposition will feature exhibits, tastings, and information on coffee production, along with the Best of Yunnan Green Coffee Competition and the World Siphonist Championship, a tournament with more than 12 competitors to see who brews the best siphon coffee. 

We will keep you very busy during the conference! If you stay for the farm tour, you will visit farms and wet and dry mill facilities, and even have a little time for shopping. We will leave early in the day and return to the Dream House Hotel following the tour. 

If you are joining us on Tuesday, March 17, we have an exciting excursion planned to the Pu’er Ancient Tea-Horse Road scenic area. Tickets may be purchased on our reservation site for $25.

Q: How many attendees are you expecting?

A: More than 300 coffee professionals from China and around the world are expected to attend.

Q: What is the suggested dress?

A: Business casual for the forum. We suggest wearing casual dress with comfortable walking shoes for the farm tour.

Q: What are my options if I have a medical emergency?

A: The medical facilities in Pu’er City are well regarded should you need assistance. International travelers may want to explore travel or evacuation insurance.

Q: How do I register?

A: You can register for the forum, farm tour, and hotel at Eventbrite.

Q: How much does it cost to attend?

A: The cost of the forum is $400, with an early bird cost of $300 (before Jan 31, 2020). This includes most meals, airport transfers, ground transportation during the event, cuppings, and entry to the exposition. The spousal fee is $150 when registered at the same time. The early bird discount ends January 31, 2020.

Q: Who can I contact for additional information?

A: Tom and Patty Mitchell of Strategic Coffee Concepts in Seattle, Washington, are organizing the event and will be happy to assist you. Email or call 206.510.2077.