COFFEE

Origins of coffee

The native (undomesticated) origin of coffee is thought to have been Ethiopia.

Coffee has been around for centuries. A favourite of many countries.  The earliest substantiated evidence of either coffee drinking or knowledge of the coffee tree is as far back as the early 15th century. This was in such places as in the Sufi monasteries of Yemen, where it then spread into Mecca and Cairo.

The drinking of coffee was probably discovered a lot earlier, however, this has been related by the story of Kaldi, the 9th-century Ethiopian goatherder who discovered coffee when he noticed how excited his goats became after eating the beans from a coffee plant. The story goes that Kaldi discovered coffee when he noticed that after eating the berries from a certain tree, his goats became so energetic that they did not want to sleep at night. This original origin of coffee story about coffee did not appear in writing until 1671 and is probably apocryphal.

TRADING IN COFFEE AROUND THE WORLD

Coffee is one of the most traded commodities in the world.

There are two main types of coffee: Robusta and Arabica. The coffee traded on the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) Futures contract, in the United States of America, is Arabica. They are also grown in Central America, but most coffee traders focus on Brazil when they are trading coffee.

Robusta coffee is coffee made from beans of the plant Coffea canephora, a sturdy species with low acidity and high bitterness. C. canephora beans, widely known by the synonym Coffea robusta, are used primarily in instant coffee, espresso, and as a filler in ground coffee blends. One thing to note is despite the association with Arabica of being higher quality, and Robusta as being lower quality, it’s not always the case. Top-notch specialty Robusta coffee will usually taste as good as or better than low-end Arabica. However, high-end Robusta isn’t widely used or available. Robusta is easier to tend to on the farm, has a higher yield and is less sensitive to insects – the extra caffeine is a chemical defense for the coffee seed as the quantity in the Robusta is toxic to bugs.

Arabica coffee also is known as the Arabian coffee, “coffee shrub of Arabia”, “mountain coffee” is a species of Coffea. It is believed to be the first species of coffee to be cultivated originating from the southwestern of Ethiopia and is the dominant cultivar, representing some 60% of global production.

Colombian coffee is the denomination given to 100% washed Arabica coffee produced in the coffee-growing regions of Colombia, delimited between the North and specific ranges of altitude that can surpass the 2.000 meters above the sea level.

The Differences

There are noticeable differences between these two coffee ‘flavours’ in fact there are a few notable differences.

The most commonly known: Taste. Often Robusta has its taste described as burnt tires or rubbery, which I’m sure we have all had the experience of tasting. Why the bad taste?

One reason that the taste isn’t as good for Robusta is that it has more caffeine compared to Arabica. Which may sound like a positive thing but caffeine carries a bitter taste which makes it an unpleasant drink. In fact, the Robusta bean has 2.7% caffeine content, almost double the 1.5% of Arabica.

Lipid & Sugar content: Arabica contains almost 60% more lipids and almost twice the concentration of sugar than Robusta. This factor also probably has a big impact on why we prefer the taste of Arabica.

From a price perspective, green beans of Robusta is about half the price of Arabica green beans on the commodity market.

All of these factors help bring up the supply and lower the input costs for farmers to produce. With this more attractive price point, a lot of roasters would add Robusta to their blend in an attempt to reduce their costs and increase their profits. When coffee was initially sold in the 1900s the quality of coffee slowly deteriorated in an effort for companies to squeeze the most profit.  (I have a sneaky feeling this may still go on today in some companies).

Where you’ll find it: Nowadays, if you’re drinking instant coffee, well, its probably all Robusta… but you probably don’t care very much about taste if you are not truly a coffee connoisseur. As for your espresso blend?  Well, that’s a mixed bag. Literally. Oddly enough, Robusta is still widely used as part of espresso blends – specifically Italian style blends. It is said to help improve the *Crema. However, generally at a detriment to the taste.

The Shape: Robusta beans are much more circular, whereas Arabica is more oval. Plant Height: Arabica usually grows between 2.5 – 4.5 meters compared to the 4.5 – 6-meter height of Robusta.

Chlorogenic acid (CGA) content: something that is actually a part of coffee is CGA. It’s a significant antioxidant and an insect deterrent. Robusta is 7-10% CGA and Arabica has 5.5-8% CGA.

Cultivation: About 75% of the world’s coffee production is Arabica, about 25% being Robusta. Brazil is the most significant Arabica producer and Vietnam produces the most Robusta.

Coffee is traded in kilograms and depending on the world market of the times, this can be a very volatile industry when traders are cruising the markets.

DRINKERS OF COFFEE

Over 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed in the world every day.

25 million small producers rely on coffee for a living worldwide.

Over 90% of coffee production takes place in developing countries – mostly South America, while consumption happens mainly in the industrialized economies.

Coffee making Machines

The market is now flooded with a variety of coffee making machines. 
Most are top quality products.
Ranging from the professional ones needed for public cafes to the benchtop in-home quick and easy maker for the at-home coffee connoisseur.
Beans, Ground, Instant, Pods
Buying coffee in the form of beans, ground, pods or instant is totally a personal desire, and of course, for convenience mostly purchased is by way of instant.
However, those of us who desire the more ‘real’ flavour of coffee usually purchase the beans already ground or whole, to be ground at home. Ground is for use in percolators, plungers. Pods are solely for specialty machine use such as Nespresso.
Also if you are going to grind the coffee beans yourself there are various machines easily available. Many are manually activated and can also serve as spice grinders.
Glass filtered option. Filters are readily available in most supermarkets, however do check the quality of the filter itself.
Flavours/syrups for Coffee

Vanilla.

Hazelnut.

Caramel.

Almond.

Pumpkin.

White Chocolate.

Mocha.

Cinnamon dolce.

Turmeric.

Most of these flavors are available online, here is a link to start you off  click here

 

*Crema is the term for the layer of foam found on the surface of a shot of espresso coffee. Generally golden to dark-tan in color, this foam is a result of several factors in the brewing of the espresso, from the type of bean to the pressure employed by the espresso machine.

COFFEE GROUND LEFTOVERS

Can be used in the garden, however, be aware, coffee grounds are highly acidic, so they should be reserved for acid-loving plants like azaleas and blueberries. And if your soil is already high in nitrogen, the extra boost from coffee grounds could stunt the growth of fruits and flowers. While it’s not always recommended, it shouldn’t be a problem in some situations, you can sprinkle fresh coffee grounds around acid-loving plants as noted above. They can be used for your rose garden. (suggestion to check amounts)

Other uses

  • As an exfoliant. The rough texture of the coffee grounds can be used on your skin as a scrub. (if you want to smell your coffee all day long)
  • Soil aeration and nitrogen boost for houseplants.
  • Neutralize refrigerator odors.
  • Natural de-icer.
  • Dye Easter eggs or papercrafts.
  • Blind bake a pie shell.
  • Scour pots and pans.
  • Snail, slug, and cat repellent.

One of the latest uptodate uses for used coffee grounds is for the making of shoes. An ingenious conception that is being put into place in Scandinavian countries and Holland seem to be leading the way.

This Finnish start-up is making shoes from waste coffee

Ground breaking📕 Read more: https://wef.ch/2lt19o7

Posted by World Economic Forum on Tuesday, July 16, 2019

So whether its good or not for us, continue enjoying your passion, addiction to coffee as it is turning out not to be such a bad thing for the world after all.

Here’s to your next morning ‘fix’.

I hope you have enjoyed and gained some knowledge as to the coffee so many of us enjoy on a daily basis.

until next time,

regards, Lindann

PS: A coffee I have discovered, that in my opinion, is the best ever I’ve tasted (no yukky after taste) and now find nothing compares. Check out Melaleuca’s Ethopian Mountain Cabin coffee.

2 thoughts on “COFFEE”

  1. What a great article Linda and I especially love the fact that shoes are made from coffee waste. So great to see the Eco kick in here.
    Also, I love your P.S. as I believe Melaleuca Coffee is the best ever and so refreshing with no bitterness. YUM!!!!!

    1. Thank you Vicki. I appreciate your feedback. Totally agree what you say about the Melaleuca coffee having no bitter after taste, I think this is a rare bonus for coffee drinkers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *