A Brazilian commitment

On the day I spoke to Jose Francisco on 8 May, Monte Alegre Coffee was a hive of activity on the first day of harvest. Despite the early mark, conditions were “perfect” – a dry 26°C during the day, 14°C at night, and low 45 per cent moisture. 

The cherries were ripe and mature, ready for round one of picking. It’s a process that will go until the end of August. 

About 35 per cent is mechanically harvested, and 65 per cent done by hand, a balance of technology and craft to ensure the best cherries are picked. 

Brazil’s special climatic conditions are one of the reasons the country has a reputation as one of the biggest coffee producers in the world, and an emerging specialty coffee scene.  Read more

Fairtrade’s premium living

Most people travel with a suitcase bursting at the seams with clothes to suit every occasion, but Henrik Rylev of John Burton coffee traders in New Zealand packed his full of soccerballs on a recent trip to Sumatra.

“My colleague Danny Mosca and I took 40 soccerballs with us, kindly donated from his football club. As soon as we saw a child on the streets of Aceh we starting handing them out,” Henrik  says. “I’ll always remember arriving at the community of Wonosari (part of the Kokowagayo or more commonly known Wanita Gayo women’s cooperative) and seeing the young kids perform a traditional welcome dance. When we gave them the soccer balls to play with, they were hysterical with excitement.” Read more

Say yes to Yunnan

There’s a telling line in the 2015 International Coffee Organization (ICO) report on China that says: “It is estimated that China now produces more coffee than Kenya and Tanzania combined, and consumes more than Australia.”

While it may seem that Chinese coffee has suddenly burst into the market, it is actually been brewing for over a century. It’s a story that began in 1892 with a French missionary planting a young coffee seedling in the Yunnan province. The plant thrived with small amounts of coffee grown in the region until 1988 when a joint venture between Nestlé and the Chinese government kick-started commercial production.   Read more

Cool climate coffee

It may not seem it when you visit an Australian coffee farm in summer, but most coffee is grown in notably cooler conditions compared to the usual coffee lands in the hotter tropical zones. Read more

Iced drip vs Cold Brew

Cold drip, ice brew, iced drip, cold brew, kyoto drip, cold extract coffee, Japanese drip, the list goes on. With so many names for these two different brew methods, it’s no wonder there can be confusion about what the difference is, and most importantly, which do I want to drink now? Read more

Generous Guatemala

When I was making my first tentative foray into green coffee at Cofi-Com, one coffee in particular fascinated me: the musically sounding Guatemalan Huehuetenango. The name rolls off the tongue, tropical, sunny, and tuneful all in one. Give it a try. Hue-hue-tenango.

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ASCA heads to origin

The Australian Specialty Coffee Association (ASCA) Southern Region Barista Guild is planning a trip to origin – in Australia.

For the first time, the Guild is coordinating an origin trip from 2 – 4 September, and is seeking interested members.

“This is a great opportunity for baristas and the wider coffee community to explore origin in our own backyard, minus the overseas price tag,” Head of ASCA South Regional Barista Guild David Boudrie says. “The trip is a chance for people to get up close with coffee production, network with industry members, and get first-hand education about our country’s own coffee production.” Read more