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New Kenya Ther’i AA coffee beans added to coffee range

Located on Africa’s east coast on the equator, Kenya is often referred to as “the cradle of humanity.”  Some of the oldest evidence of human ancestors have been discovered by paleontologists in the Great Rift Valley.  Kenya has a very diverse topography.  The country features a coastline of golden sand, savannahs, lakes, forests, deserts, open plains, valleys and mountains.  With its abundant wildlife and scenic beauty, Kenya is one of the major safari destinations in Africa, Coffee Direct are delighted to add Kenya Ther’i AA to its range for both wholesale customer and our website customers. 

The British introduced coffee to Kenya with seeds coming from the neighbouring country of Ethiopia as well as Reunion (Bourbon) island.  During the 1930’s hybrids were developed and brought two varietals that were highly successful- SL28 and SL34.  These coffees have become greatly admired and world famous for their incredible complexity and lemony acidity that is unrivalled.  The best coffees in the country are grown in the Aberdare Mountains in the west and in the Central Highlands of Mt Kenya’s southern slopes in the north.  The coffee grows on farms that have altitudes as high as 1,800 metres over sea level.  The high altitude, in addition to the region’s fertile volcanic soils, are the keys to what makes these unbelievable flavours that are found within a cup of Kenyan coffee.  Cooperatives produce Kenya’s best coffees.  There are approximately 300 of these that are comprised of 500,000 to 600,000 smallholder members.  Around 60% of Kenyan coffee is produced on the cooperatives.  The balance is made up by plantations and estates.  A ‘shamba’ or smallholding typically is comprised of various fruits and vegetables for the family to use, the family cow, a house and shade-grown coffee.
Coffee Direct Kenya CoffeeSL28: During the 1930’s the varietal was created by Scott Laboratories.  At the time botanists were searching for different mutations of Typica and Bourbon.  It has broad beans and copper coloured leaves.  The coffee is native to Kenya.  It has a fairly low yield, however the qualities that it possesses are greatly sought after.  Some of the major characteristics of SL28 include complexity, balance, great sweetness and intense lemon acidity.

Smallholder members handpick the coffee.  It then gets sent to the Ther’i  factory and is pulped there.  That separates the dense beans initially from the immature ‘mbuni’s (floaters) through the use of water floatation, meaning that the denser beans sink and are sent via channels into the fermentation tank.  The first fermentation stage lasts for approximately 24 hours.  The beans are then washed and are sent over to the second fermentation tank where they spend an additional 12-24 hours.  After the fermentation process is complete, the beans then enter into the washing channels.  The floaters are further separated and the mucilage is cleaned from the dense beans.  Once the beans have been washed they are sent to soaking tanks.  They sit in clean water for up to 24 hours.  The soaking process enables proteins and amino acids in each bean’s cellular structure to develop.  This results in complex fruit flavours and higher acidity levels in the cup.  This soaking process is thought to contribute to their flavour profiles, which is what coffees from Kenya are so famous for.  Next the beans get sent to the first drying tables.  They are laid out in a thin lawyer so that approximately half of the moisture can be removed quickly.  The initial drying stage lasts approximately 6 hours.  The beans are then gathered and laid out in thicker layers for a 5 to 10 day drying period.  Then this dry parchment coffee gets delivered to private mills and placed in ‘bodegas’ where it is allowed to rest- they are raised cells that are made from chicken wire that allow the coffee to fully breathe.

Traditionally coffee is sold through Kenya’s auction system.  However, there have been recent amendments made to Kenya’s coffee law that have introduced direct trading, allowing farmers to bypass the auction system and directly sell to specialty roasters from all over the world.  That is the system that we have selected for our offering called Falcon Specialty because we believe it provides the smallholder with better returns.

Read Full Article Here: New Kenya Ther’i AA coffee beans added to coffee range


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Why Do You Need To Be Offering Great Coffee To Your Customers?

For years’ customers were happy to take a cup of instant coffee, and posh coffee came with a gold foil on the top. Then customers were starting to ask more, and gradually the kettle was replaced by fancy machines and grinders, and yet still the coffee isn’t quite getting the reactions all that investments deserve.

Normally I like to try and pull together conversations from around the web, but today I want to talk about my experience as a customer.

It was a family day out, I got up made a cup of coffee in my cheap little pour over filter, a bit of milk and some sugar and I had a lovely cup of coffee, an hour later at my parents’ house I had a coffee from one of those pod machines, and it was a nice cup of coffee. Nothing to shout about but enjoyable.

A few hours later it was time for lunch, so we headed for a little café, this is in one of the busiest tourist areas in England, and sitting proudly on the counter I could see the gleaming silver of some very high quality machinery. Well I sat down expecting a beverage at least on a par with my two previous cups.

Stale, acidic, and downright horrible, in fact it was vile. Everything about that cup of coffee was disgusting, and the price was equal to the chain store coffee shop right next door. We amused ourselves for a few minutes trying to decide if it was instant, but we decided it would have to be the worst brand going to be that bad.

Lunch was adequate, had the drink been palatable it would have been nice, I would have gone back there and told my friends about it. But as it was this is the only mention I’m going to make about this café. What’s worse in an area so packed with tourists you could hardly walk, this little café was sadly only half full.

Kenya-blue-mountain4

 

So let’s look at this, coffee is a staple of our diet now. Anyone who thinks we will do without isn’t living in the modern world. When we’re out and about we like to stop and enjoy the taste of a great cup of coffee, and with more and more people now enjoying speciality coffee at home, cafes, restaurants and bars need to be going one better. In fact, if you’re taking short cuts with my drink, are you taking short cuts with my food?

If you watch any of those programs were a famous chef goes in and helps turn around a restaurant, they seem to always be asking why people will pay the extra for frozen food they can cook at home. Well why should I pay the premium price tag for instant coffee that I wouldn’t drink at home either. If I can’t get a decent cup of coffee from you then I’ll go somewhere where I can, and I’ll buy my lunch there as well. This is a problem unless you’re the only place to eat for miles around. Beyond that coffee is often the final course of a big meal, the final taste before they pay the bill, leave the tip, or write a yelp or TripAdvisor review.

Did I ask the waitress about the coffee, yes, did I get an apology? Not really, instead she leant over conspiratorially and whispered that they had no idea how to use the machines the owner had bought. Well I and everyone there whose faces twisted when they drank their coffee won’t be going back there.

SO do you need to be serving great coffee, you bet your life you do. But to get there you don’t just need expensive machines. You need well trained staff, good quality ingredients, and that should lead to happy customers.

Original Post Here: Why Do You Need To Be Offering Great Coffee To Your Customers?


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Mocha Coffee Beans

If you enjoy a nice Mocha, you might be surprised to learn that the Mocha Coffee bean is not the same as the Mocha Coffee drink. A Caffe Mocha includes added chocolate flavour, a real hit of South America, but the Mocha Coffee bean is a hidden gem with a rich taste and a rich history.

mococoffee2A species of Arabica bean the Mocha bean was first marketed from the Yemen port of Mocha. A principal port of the coffee trade from 15th to 18th centuries, the Mocha bean has outlived the ports major connection to the coffee trade.

The taste is distinctive with Yemen Mocha coffee being described as lively, even a bit gamey. The pleasant wildness of Yemen Mocha has overlays of dry cinnamon, cardamom, and dry fruits (e.g., raisins) and occasional notes of tobacco, wood, roasted nuts, or sweet spice.

Rich chocolate tones and hints of fruit and wine are noticeable when the Mocha coffee beans are given a Dark Roast which also intensifies the taste and aroma as well as the coffee’s body.

There are two main varieties of Mocha bean according to the espresso coffee guide the two main types vary in taste.

Mocha coffee is marked as either Mattari (which has chocolate overtones and a heavier body) or Sanani (which is more balanced and with a fruity character).

Mocha Sanani coffee is known for its complexity and exotic pungency, while Mattari coffee (which is sometimes blended with Yemen Mocha coffee), is distinguished for its winey acidity.

Mocha has been a highly prized bean for at least 500 years, and was one of the first beans marketed heavily to the European market. It’s well worth the effort to source this prized bean, it is a traditional favourite when blended with Java beans to make Mocha Java.

Learn More Here: Mocha Coffee Beans


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Arabica Vs. Robusta. Know your beans

Ahh coffee, there is so much to know about those little beans. For at least 800 years, although it’s probably far longer, the plant Coffee Arabica has been cultivated. As humans have spread our cultures across the globe we’ve taken this shrub and planted it everywhere it can grow.

Coffee BeansThe two main species of coffee, commonly referred to as Arabica and Robusta are a source of some debate, with most people preferring the smoother, sweeter taste of Arabica, and some people preferring the higher caffeine content of Robusta. I say some people because as the Roasters Pack puts it, “Often Robusta has its taste described as burnt tires or rubbery,”

Oh wonderful, burnt tyres flavour anyone. Well why is approximately 25% of the worlds coffee Robusta? I’ll pull out 4 of the 10 differences given here

  • 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 are about half the price of Arabica green beans on the commodity market.
  • 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 defence for the coffee seed as the quantity in the Robusta is toxic to bugs.

The last two reasons are the chief reason that your supermarket instant coffee is far more likely to be Robusta than Arabica. Also why you’re more likely to get the coffee shakes after your cup of instant rather than a good quality bean.

 

View our range of freshly roasted Arabica beans

Read Full Article Here: Arabica Vs. Robusta. Know your beans


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Why a Coffee (or Two) a day keeps the Doctor away

Next time someone tuts at you for drinking coffee, point out to them that coffee comes with a range of health benefits. Unless it’s your 20th full strength coffee of the day, then the doctor is probably fine to be telling you to cut down.

Kris Gunnars BSs from Authority Nutrition rounds up 13 of the proven health benefits of regularly drinking coffee.

  1. Coffee can help people feel less tired and increase energy levels
  2. Coffee can help you burn fat.
  3. Caffeine can drastically improve physical performance.
  4. There are essential nutrients in coffee
  5. It may lower your risk of type II diabetes
  6. There may be a protective effect from Alzheimers and Dementia
  7. And Parkinsons
  8. It protects your liver.
  9. Fighting depression and makes you happier.
  10. Lowering your risk of some cancers can’t be bad.
  11. A lower risk of stroke
  12. You could live longer,.
  13. When you look at the Western Diet coffee is the bigget source of antioxidants.

A fair few of these benefits come from the caffeine content of the coffee, as well as the antioxidants present. For the most the people studied were enjoying 3-6 cups of coffee a day. For those without pre-existing anxiety or high blood pressure it seems that science is now showing us that drinking coffee does more good than harm.

So why has coffee always had such a bad press? Studies over the years have linked coffee drinking to some scary health problems. Yet it seems the researchers failed to take into account the fact that at one point heavy coffee drinkers were more likely to be heavy smokers and alcohol drinkers. Source Medical News Today.

So enjoy your coffee, or two, or three, it seems that our daily vice, now may become a daily health benefit that we can all enjoy. If caffeine is an issue for you we have you covered with one of the best tasting decaff coffees on the market  Mexican Mountain Decaffeinated.


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Coffee at Christmas; how to taste the season.

Ah Christmas, cool crisp winter days, a touch of over indulgence and just as importantly food and drink. If there is a time of the year to spoil yourself with a good coffee this is the season to enjoy it. Enjoying finding a great coffee to drink and share over this season.

One thing we tend to think about when we say tasting is wine tasting. But that is now being overshadowed by coffee cupping. Hasbean.co.uk has a great introduction to coffee cupping …

People in the trade will have you believe that coffee cupping is a science, an exact art requiring a lot of expertise. To some extent this can be true, but this should not put off the enthusiast from enjoying it too. It can be very simple (and enjoyable) and there are no right or wrong answers. Your palette may pick up hints of a taste that the most season cupper would not, as each person can find different things in the cup.

What is cupping?

Cupping is a method of evaluating different characteristics of a particular coffee bean. Cupping allows us to compare and contrast coffees against each other, and allows us to get a better understanding of each coffee.

Its important that you so use the same method each time as this can have an effect o­n the results, so if cupping is being used as a comparison / evaluation tool then uniformity is key.

Why cup?

We cup coffees to understand their basic tastes. This can help us understand where different coffees could be slotted into blends not o­nly for this brewing method but all other methods too. It also makes us look at coffee in its basic form and appreciate some of its finer points. As already said it’s a fantastic evaluation tool for something that changes from farm to farm, region to region, country to country and crop to crop.

Pick out a group of coffees to enjoy testing. Look for a blend that has more body and depth than you normally drink. You can temper this with cream and something sweet to smooth it out for people that like a smoother coffee. Many of the blends that are picked for the Christmas period are cut with a hint of citrus, to leave a light taste on the palette.

Now you’ve got a great coffee have a look at some recipe ideas, it’s great to serve to unexpected guests that drop by over the holiday season, making them feel special even if you are out of mince pies. Check out this video for two great ideas for coffee recipes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHxLu88nUCQ