Along the ancient Tea Horse Road in Yunnan, a major tea-planting province in southwestern China, blended coffee and tea aromas tell a story of how different cultures meet and fuse.
The village of Nakeli, in Pu'er City, previously witnessed boisterous camel caravans carrying sacks of tea leaves while winding through ancient China's vast western area all the way to Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
Now tourists paying special visits to the village are offered a much richer selection of drink options.
In a two-story tea house, Gao Shixing, 28, is introducing the local Pu'er tea to customers. As a fourth-generation tea master, he is proud of how his family keeps traditions alive.
"Here the customers can spend the whole day making a tea cake with their own names on it," said Gao.
Official data shows that in 2022, the tea planting area in Pu'er totaled 2.09 million mu (about 139,333 hectares), which produced over 140,000 tonnes of tea leaves, and recorded a comprehensive output value exceeding 39.2 billion yuan (about 5.48 billion U.S. dollars).
In addition, Pu'er is also making a name for itself as China's coffee capital, with the development of the coffee industry drawing a flock of young entrepreneurs.
Just a two-minute stroll from Gao's old-fashioned tea house there is a bar featuring both tea and coffee, run by 39-year-old Zhe Shucheng and his wife.
The couple drew inspiration for running the bar from a trendy lifestyle which the young generation refers to as "coffee in one hand and tea in the other."
"It's really nice to see more and more people come to taste tea and coffee here," said Zhe, adding that the tea and coffee produced in the village are proving popular with coffee shops and both domestic and overseas companies.
Statistics show that Yunnan is China's largest coffee-producing area, whose output accounts for almost the entire national output, and more than 60 percent of these come from Pu'er. In 2022, Pu'er's coffee planting area reached 679,000 mu, and the output value of the coffee industry exceeded 5 billion yuan.