About Coffee

About Coffee…..

What do you know about coffee?  Most of the world’s coffee is grown between the Tropic of Cancer to the north and the Tropic of Capricorn to the south.  The year around temperature in this region runs around 75 degrees and has very little chance of frost.  With an abundant rainfall the coffee plants have the ideal conditions to thrive.

The type of coffee plant grown in each region varies.  About two thirds grow the fine-flavored Arabica bean.  The Arabica bean requires high altitudes from 3000 to 6000 feet.  The other type of coffee bean is Robusta that grows at lower altitudes.  It does not have the refined flavor of the Arabica, but has almost twice the caffeine content. Robusta is also less expensive because it is more abundant and can be harvested with machines instead of being picked by hand.   Organic coffee percentages are way lower due to the cost that it takes to grow the coffee. 

Many of the popular coffees available in supermarkets are a blend of Arabica and Robusta. These coffees will have greater caffeine content, but a harsh, inferior taste. Quality coffees will also be labeled according to their country of origin.  

As with wine, coffee has developed a whole vocabulary to describe and evaluate the different beans and brews.  The initial indication of the freshness and quality of coffee is its “fragrance”.  If there is no fragrance then the coffee’s quality is stale or past its prime.  When the hot water hits the grounds, you refer to this as the “aroma” The feel of the brew in your mouth is the “body” of the coffee.  Your coffee should be heavy enough to linger in the mouth a few moments after it is swallowed.  It should not feel thick or oily on the tongue.  The term acidity has nothing to do with bitterness but is a characteristic to be valued.  It refers to a brisk and lively quality that yields a refreshing taste to a cup and balances its richer flavor.  It is the dominant characteristic of coffees grown at higher altitudes.  All organic coffees are grown at higher altitudes.

All of these properties contribute to a coffee’s flavor.  Sweet, bright, fruity, or earthy are positive descriptions.  Harsh, woody or muddy descriptions are negative.  A mellow coffee is balanced with low to medium acidity.  A mild coffee has a delicate flavor. This applies to many higher altitude Central American beans.  Some coffees have a pronounced flavor that is distinguishable, such as Indonesian Arabica which has a hint of cardamom.  About coffee, It all boils down to what you like.  Choose your special brew and make sure it is organic.

Organic Coffee Farmers and The Fair Trade Act

 Does The Fair Trade Act Really Work For The Small Organic Coffee Farmer?

Is Fair Trade Really Helping The Small Orgainc Coffee Farmer?

 Organic coffee farms are struggling to survive.  To the small farmer raising the beans has been a losing business for them for years. Conditions are rough, since all organic coffee is mountain grown.  No machines are used.   They have to carry heavy bags of  fertilizer(organic) and lime for the soil up a steep mountain side.  Once the beans are harvested you have to carry them up the mountain.  Coffee is the world’s second most valuable traded commodity, after oil, and the money it brings in is nothing.  It’s not enough for the farmers to live on.  They have been doing this for years and just keep getting   deeper in debt.

Most of the small farmers only know how to grow coffee.  they don’t have a lot of choices for jobs.  Fair trade was supposed to help them.  This world wide campaign was to help by  paying them higher-than-market prices for  coffee. Along the way, it has recruited retail giants like Starbucks, which is the globe’s largest purchaser of Fair Trade — certified coffee.

But is Fair Trade really helping them?  In a private  survey last year of approximately 180 Fair Trade coffee farmers in Central America and Mexico, more than half said their families have still been going hungry for several months a year.    What the buyer thinks Fair Trade is accomplishing is far from the actual result.  Fair Trade pays approximately $1.50 per lb. That is about 10 cents more that average.   The sad thing is that they have to pay for the co op fees, certifications, taxes and supplies for the farm.   By the end of the year a farmer that grows a few thousand pounds will pocket about $1,000  for that year,  or $2.75 a day.  That’s  not enough for the  cheapest latte.  Without Fair Trade, the farmers couldn’t make it.  However Fair Trade  prices “haven’t kept up” with the costs small farmers face.  They need more money to survive or the small coffee farmers are going to be a thing of the past.

The Health Benefits of Organic Coffee Enemas

The Health Benefits of Organic Coffee Enemas

Not what you would call polite dinner party conversation or for some any conversation at all. Just the mention of enemas sends shivers down some people’s spines whereas for others it’s just a way of life to possibly save their lives.

For decades now, organic coffee enemas have been reported to be of significant benefit in not only for the treatment of cancer patients but as a means of detoxifying and restoring the liver and for pain reduction.

During the First World War morphine was running very low and coffee was hardly available. As a common practice, after surgery when the anesthesia wore off the Doctor would prescribe water enemas for the soldiers to help with the pain. The Doctors were drinking what coffee there was available and apparently a nurse seeing the good the coffee was doing for the Doctors decided to place the left over coffee into the soldiers enema buckets and to their surprise the patients were having a significant reduction in their pain.

Hearing the news from the front, researchers from the German University of Goettingen’s College of Medicine started doing experiments on rats . They observed that the caffeinated enemas stimulated the laboratory animals bile ducts to open. While the coffee enema is being retained in the gut for a period of twelve to fifteen minutes all of the body’s blood passes through the liver every three minutes. The caffeine causes the hemorrhoidal blood vessels and the liver’s portal veins to dilate. The end results is the liver flushes toxic bile and is washed out as bile salts through the duodenum.

Many cancer patients have also reported a shrinkage and sometimes tumor elimination from performing organic coffee enemas for a period of at least two years. The health benefits of organic coffee enemas are numerous.  It is an easy and healthy thing to do for your body.

The Introduction of Coffee Beans

The Introduction Of Coffee Beans

When coffee beans were first introduced to us it was not in the form of a beverage at all.  Coffee beans were a goat fodder.  The legend says that more than a thousand years ago, a young goat herder came upon his flock that were gathered around a bush and feeding upon its bright red berries.  Kaldi the goat herder decided to try some berries himself.  A monk passing by was interested in what he saw and took some of the berries home.  When he mixed them with water and drank the fragrant liquid, he found that he could pray all night with remarkable clarity.  The word soon spread throughout monasteries in Arabia. 

Historians trace coffee origins to Ethiopia.  Coffee grows wild in the rain forest in Ethiopia.  Warriors going off to battle would wrap beans in animal fat and take them along  to help fight fatigue.  The Ethiopians who conquered and ruled Yemen introduced the bean to the Arab world.  The medicinal qualities were prized.  Doctors prescribed it as an aid to feeling good.  They considered coffee to be healthy.  Scholars and artists could work all night while chewing on the berries.

It was around the sixteenth century that the principle of  roasting beans and adding them to boiling water to make a beverage was established in Arabia.  The preparation of coffee soon became a secular ceremony.  The coffeehouse was established in Mecca for those who liked to sip, talk and listen to music.  Wine was forbidden to Moslem’s so coffee became central to a man’s day.  One of the few grounds on which a woman could divorce was a man’s refusal to provide her with coffee.

The introduction of coffee to Europe is not well documented.  Venetian traders who traversed the world would have encountered the Arabs coffee, which was part of any merchants bargaining ritual.The Venetians were the first to roast their coffee beans.  When Venetians began to brew their own around 1615, some feared its allure and called it the “bitter invention of Satan.”  Pope Clement VIII tried a cup and gave it his blessing before the beverage was generally accepted  Once again it was thought so potent that its medicinal benefits were celebrated before it became the sociable drink it is today.

The Best Way To Brew Your Organic Coffee

The Best Way To Brew Your Organic Coffee

A “French press’ is essentially open-pot- coffee with a sophisticated method for separating the grounds from the brew.  We believe it is the best way to brew your freshly roasted organic coffee.  The pot is a narrow glass cylinder.  A fine-mesh screen plunger fits tightly inside the cylinder.  You place coarse-to-medium ground organic coffee in the cylinder, pour water that is just beginning to boil over it, and insert the plunger in the top of the cylinder without pushing down. After about 4 minutes, when the coffee is thoroughly steeped.  You push the plunger down through the coffee, clarifying it and forcing the grounds to the bottom of the pot. 

The plunger pot was apparently developed in Italy during the 1930’s but found  its true home in France after World War II, when it became a favorite method for home coffee brewing.

The growing popularity of this method in the United States has unleashed a flood of French-press brewers, A few made in France and many from other places.  A consumer’s first decision in purchasing such a brewer is whether to spend a little money on a version that supports the glass brewing receptacle in a plastic frame ($20 to $30), or to spend considerably more on a brewer with a metal frame ($40 and up).  Make certain the one you decide on has a tempered cylinder, otherwise you will be replacing it frequently.

 The coffee the plunger pot produces is full bodied and deeply flavored.  None of the flavor containing oils are filtered out and the resulting brew is very rich indead. Starting with a premium organic coffee bean that has a balanced acidity is very important.  Beans with a high acidity will impart an unpleasant aftertaste.  Many coffee aficionados prefer this method of preparing their brew.    Those who take their coffee with milk or cream may also prefer this method due to the fact that the coffee’s flavor is not diluted.   

 Style of coffee aside, the advantages of the plunger brewer are its drama, its portability and its elegance, all of which make it an ideal after-dinner brewer. It certainly isn’t any more difficult to clean than most drip or filter pots but unless you buy a design with an insulated decanter, the coffee must be drunk immediately. That also is just as well, since coffee ought to be drink immediately.  The french press is one of the best ways to brew your organic coffee.