Like Alice in Wonderland I’ve found myself down the rabbit hole that is coffee. A year ago I ventured into returning happily to my roots in customer service after 7 years in self employment. Don’t get me wrong I loved the freedom, the money and the celebrity of owning my own business yet the promise of not taking my work home with me was too attractive for a season. So a year ago I headed deep into the world of coffee – and what a complicated world it is!

No, there are no mad-hatters down the rabbit hole; we are all mad-hatters! When you get deep enough into the rabbit hole you’ll find baristas roasting their own beans at home at night, cafe owners video blogging the latest pour-over method, entrepreneurs starting exchange networks online, and roasters booking their personal holidays to south america in order to visit the farms.

But what’s the addiction? It’s quality. Coffee has so much to offer and yet it is often abused, wasted, neglected, misunderstood and ignored. “For lack of knowledge my people perish” said the God of the Jewish race. Similarly most people – including so called baristas, roasters and cafe owners – don’t know enough about coffee or understand it to get the most out of it.

Here are some items you may not “know” about espresso coffee:

  • One billion people drink coffee daily world-wide
  • 59% of Americans drink coffee on a daily basis
  • 80% of Europeans drink coffee daily
  • Espresso is stronger in look, body and flavour yet not in caffeine
  • One third of coffee produced in Ethiopia is consumed within Ethiopia
  • Arabica cultivar has 44 chromosomes whereas Robusta has only 22
  • Total world production of coffee 120 million bags at 60kilo’s each
  • Caffeine has a half-life (time it takes to leave your body) of 2 hours
  • Tabacco industry in the past may have funded research to disfavour coffee
  • A thought or two on packaging:
    Did you know that coffee once roasted contains a large amount of carbon dioxide. 1 kilogram of coffee contains 12 litres of carbon dioxide. It takes 30 days (approximately) for coffee once roasted to release it’s carbon dioxide. This is called “degassing”. Did you know that once degassed many of the aromas and flavours contained in the coffee is lost. Therefore packaging coffee with a gas release valve will prevent oxidisation yet will not slow degassing thus losing many of the great flavours seven to ten days post roast!

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