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How can small towns in China open over 300 coffee shops?! What is the magic of the hot searched "village coffee"?

"Village Supermarket" and "Village BA" have just passed, and "Village Cafe" has arrived again. In Zhejiang, many rural coffee shops are called village cafes. In simple old courtyards, a latte is served in peony porcelain cups, creating a serene atmosphere that is particularly relaxing. Some "digital wanderers" have also moved their offices to the village, living a "paradise like" life.

What does "village coffee" represent? Can it become a new potential and opportunity for rural cultural tourism? What kind of dilemma are we facing here?

With the saturation of urban development, rural areas are the main battlefield for accommodating new business formats. "Village coffee" embodies the beautiful concept of the younger generation actively exploring rural values, and is also a spark of rural revitalization and industrial prosperity. In the future, "village experts" will play a significant role in improving the overall cultural environment of rural areas and attracting returning entrepreneurial talents.

A cup of coffee revives "outdated" historical sites

Desolate old courtyards, abandoned factories, and neglected cultural museums... In rural areas, such scenes are everywhere. How can they be revived?

Coffee seems to be exclusive to cities, but what does it feel like to drink coffee in the countryside? It also makes people feel a bit excited. In Anji County, multiple abandoned mines have been transformed into uniquely designed coffee shops, and observation platforms have been built using uneven terrain. The blue lake water and towering green mountains have become the background for drinking coffee, attracting countless young people to come and check in.

The Red Temple Village has become a popular spot on the internet, known as the "Deep Blue Plan X" mining caf é. Located between the water of the Zhanlan Lake and the cold rocks, the entrepreneurial team has transformed the abandoned mine into a "small Iceland" to meet the check-in needs of new urban youth. They have specially built a window suitable for taking photos, and even hired a professional photographer to help consumers take photos in the caf é, Within a year, it has received a total of 350000 tourists, with a maximum daily reception of nearly 8000, bringing more than 6 million yuan in revenue to the village.

To put it simply, people are not attracted by the ubiquitous coffee in the city. The uniqueness of "village coffee" lies in the different styles of scenes conveyed in the countryside, providing a unique and flavorful experience for the busy population in the city. At the same time, for rural areas, it is an opportunity that is almost like burning a boat.

Anji County has a mild and humid natural climate, with beautiful tea and bamboo landscapes. However, before 2005, unscientific mining caused damage to local resources and environment. Subsequently, Anji County established the strategic goal of "ecological county" and carried out reclamation and greening of local mines, with plans to further transform them into "mining gardens". However, simply turning it into a "garden" cannot achieve economic value. Several resource scarce small mountain villages such as Hongmiao Village and Xinyu Village in Anji County are considering how to introduce new business models and activate these "dormant" mines.


At this time, several young entrepreneurs had already set their sights on this "big business". They traveled mountains and rivers, spent a lot of time exploring the terrain of the mine, and proposed to develop coffee shops with photography as their core consumption point. At first, the villagers were extremely opposed, believing that opening a coffee shop in such a mountain ditch would definitely lead to bankruptcy. "It's too easy for city people to drink coffee, why come here?"

The answer is still "internet celebrity". Anji County is located at the geometric center of the Yangtze River Delta Economic Circle and an important northwest node of the Hangzhou Urban Economic Circle. With the full opening of highways and high-speed railways, it is possible to shuttle freely between urban and rural areas. Low cost weekend trips have brought tremendous impetus to the development of rural coffee shops in Anji County. Data shows that during this year's May Day holiday, more than 50 rural camping sites in Anji received a total of 25000 tourists, driving consumption to 200 million yuan.

After the outbreak of people rushing to check in just after the end of the epidemic, the "village cafes" have returned to calmness. The wheat field cafes in Xinyu Village have formed stable flow data and can reach a turnover of 10000 yuan on weekends. The "Deep Blue Plan X" caf é has become a model for interviews and learning in Shili Ba Village, continuously attracting tourists and inspection teams from all over to visit Anji.

Is a cup of coffee worth 50 yuan? Perhaps for the residents of these cities, what they buy is not the coffee itself. Sitting alone in the fresh and quiet mountains and forests, gazing at the distant mountains and clear water, this mood is worth it.


"Coffee+" promotes the re integration of urban and rural cultural backgrounds

In addition to coffee, "village coffee" has also driven other products and industries in the village. Many "village experts" choose to cooperate with rural areas and establish interest links with village collectives and villagers through joint ventures, expanding the sales of agricultural products and benefiting villagers. In Yongwang Village, Ningbo City, coffee shops have brought foot traffic and increased popularity to the village, as well as opened up sales channels for the villagers' handicrafts and local specialties. The collective annual economic income of the village exceeds 3 million yuan.

Faced with the issue of how to sustain traffic, entrepreneurs are well aware that "village cafes" have never been doing business for the villagers, but rather creating formats that urban people like.

Therefore, some "village cafes" continue to expand the project planning of "coffee+", and have held public service art training, Paper Cuttings intangible cultural heritage exhibition, home stay, camping, concerts, reading parties and other activities to fully add rural cultural elements.

Wenzhou Zeya held its first coffee festival, attracting 40000 visitors in three days; More than 100 music festivals and salons have been held with Dalu Academy as the starting point, activating the rural night economy. The collective income increase in the village has also rapidly nourished the living conditions in the village, with increasingly diverse industries, continuous circulation of factors, and improved public services.

Looking out from the window of the village cafe, the environment is no less favorable than that of the town. Buses, charging stations, and health services are as fully functional as cities, allowing one to enjoy modern civilized life while also encountering poetry and distant places around the corner. Who wouldn't love such a rural area? Why worry about not having traffic?

At the same time, in the face of emerging industries such as "village cafes", policies are also keeping up with the pace, providing more personalized support for entrepreneurship in different industries, regions, and types. Just like Yucun, which has given birth to many internet famous "village experts", it has also launched the "Global Partner" plan, established a 100 million yuan "Yucun Industry Fund", actively recruited talents, constructed business models, advocated more young people to return to their hometowns for entrepreneurship, and created more "hematopoietic" new cells. Building a new internet celebrity brand in the cultural and tourism industry - "Small City Big Coffee, Coffee belongs to Anji", increasing brand promotion and support from industry management, publicity and promotion, policy support, and other aspects.

But at the same time, we also need to see the shortcomings faced by "village experts". Among the 187 villages in Anji County, over 300 coffee shops have opened, and very few of them can truly become "internet famous" coffee shops for profit. "Village coffee" relies on using coffee as a tool and the village environment as a product to achieve cultural and human integration between urban and rural areas through flow oriented rural projects. However, many rural areas still lack pillar industries and supporting facilities, relying solely on highly homogenized "village coffee". After the flow, their situation can be imagined.

On the development path of rural revitalization, cultural resources should be diversified, industrial structure should be clear, and brand IP should be differentiated. In many rural areas, whoever can first precipitate the brand from the perspective of characteristic industries and complete the connection of industries, will continue to develop the "village coffee" and become a window for the continuous flow of new industries.


From Rural Landscape to the Habitat of Digital Nomads

As a commodity, rural landscape is no longer a new thing. In the era when rural tourism has entered the bottleneck of homogenization, "village coffee" provides a new development idea, using a cup of coffee to keep people in the countryside.

"Digital nomads" refer to freelancers who can work without having to work at a fixed time and place, with just one internet cable. In Hengshan Village, Anji County, Huzhou City, an abandoned bamboo and wood processing factory has been transformed into a "digital nomad commune". The commune has shared office and dormitory areas in over 8000 square meters of space, supporting various functions for work and life. In 2022, 473 "digital nomads" were admitted, with an average stay time of 47 days and an average age of 31 years old. 37% of them have a master's degree or above, and an average daily working time of 6.8 hours. One coffee shop after another has become a warm haven for "digital nomads", and the countryside has become their second hometown of choice.

In some places, relying on local advantageous resources, a new type of tourism comprehensive pilot project called "Co Prosperity Farm" has been established, which not only sells coffee but also develops characteristic industries such as planting and fishing. "Rural makers" have transformed into "new farmers", becoming a new carrier connecting people and space, helping to grow and create new formats, and driving the continuous extension of surrounding industries.

The Federation of Trade Unions in Xilong Township took the initiative to visit "village experts" and formed the DNA Anji "Digital Wanderers" Commune Union, and together with other functional departments in the township, provided on-site services such as license processing to attract them to join interest activity groups. After the establishment of the Coffee Union in Meixi Town, Deep Blue Coffee often holds industry exchange meetings to share service experience with new coffee practitioners, carry out team building, enhance industry cohesion, and allow freelancers here to feel the warmth of home from the guild alliance.

Communes and alliances centered around "village cafes" have gradually enabled internet celebrity check-in areas to have normalized residents, forming organic exchanges between urban and rural areas. For young people who stay and work in rural areas, their pursuits may not be the same, but everyone is exploring new operating models and industrial opportunities. No matter how long the "village coffee" can last, the rural industry will eventually develop towards a more diverse and resilient direction.

Young people represented by "digital nomads" are searching for the life they want, and rural areas are a pure land that has not been fully explored. "Village experts" have also subtly changed traditional work concepts, liberating more young people with ideas and daring to innovate from the urban "involution" track, and driving rural industries into a broader future.



With the hosting of the Asian Games, rural coffee shops in Zhejiang have ushered in a new peak of traffic. The vitality of consumption and investment is gradually recovering, and the relevant departments in Anji expect the number of "village cafes" to gradually increase. The interaction between this new rural business model and existing business models such as camping bases, resort hotels, and tourism complexes will become more close.

Agriculture needs to be rejuvenated, and rural areas in the future have much greater development potential than cities. "Village coffee" is a new business model for young urban people to participate in the revitalization of rural industries. It represents the direction of the new generation of "digital vagrants" and naturally promotes urban-rural integration. It is a two-way rush to activate endogenous energy.





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