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Why roasting in Colombia makes the difference
Why roasting in Colombia makes the difference We are regularly asked why we’re so proud of keeping the roasting process in Colombia. Glad you ask! This topic is very close to our hearts… and one of the greatest means we’ve found to make things better for the coffee community, and in the long run for you too. Coffee is ubiquitous. On kitchen counter tops, in offices, in the air, on the go, it is everywhere. Concretely, coffee is the 2nd most consumed beverage in the world, next to only water! This represents over 2 billion cups consumed every day. Scandinavia, Benelux and parts of Eastern Europe turn out to be the top coffee-drinking nations in the world with between 1 to over 2 cups per day per person. Have you also noticed what’s wrong with this equation? While most coffee consumption happens in industrialised countries, coffee is mostly produced in the developing world. This made us feel the urge to find meaningful ways to support the coffee community at every step of the production chain. Moving forward, here’s the second fact we got stuck on: over 95% of beans are imported green, unroasted. Roughly speaking these beloved beans are sent far away from their country of origin to another country where they’re aimed to be roasted. The question is: is this good or bad? So, the four of us sat (-skyped) down and we talked… and talked… (had coffees)… and talked… to agree that there’s no two ways about it: we had to look for an answer within the coffee community itself! Gustavo (our awesome quality-obsessed grower) introduced Fil and Viviana to a few roaster friends in the Risaralda region. The answer became obvious: roasting locally means that we generate more income right into the coffee community in Colombia, not thousands of miles away. But that’s not the only reason. We could pretend we’re altruist folks but the truth is that the 550.000 families producing coffees in Colombia carry generations of expertise and passion in processing the precious beans. The story of Colombian coffee is a story of fights, determination, unity, and permanent devotion to quality. Quality has become a very VERY serious matter to the Colombian growers and even their greatest pride (in fact, the Colombian National Football Team is nicknamed Los Cafeteros!). That is this obsession for quality that, today, distinguishes the Colombian coffee. Besides, who can know the beans better than the person who’s growing and pampering them? This brings us to you. It’s a win-win situation: while the coffee community makes a bigger profit, this allows them to make greater investments in producing the highest quality coffee. At the end of the day, this is how you can taste generations of excellence into your cup!
Birds, birds and birds
Birds, birds and more birds What do you know Colombia for? Don’t feel bad, we used to think the same: drug, guerrilla and Shakira. But now we have a new mission: change your mind by showing you the true face and soul of Colombia. Do you for example know that Colombia is home to over 1,850 bird species, that is to say 20% of all bird species on Earth, the largest avian biodiversity in the world? In other words: Colombia is the dream land for ornithologists from all over the world. Migratory or residents, common or rare, waterfowl or raptor, gigantic or tiny, monochrome or multi-coloured, shy or big-headed, you can find them in every corner of Colombia including in the Zona Cafetera. Fil got lucky enough to come across some astonishing and funky birds while visiting some coffee finca. You first hear the sound of flapping wings and warble. Then you spot a patchwork of colours flying between branches and trees. Let us show you how magic it is:
4 things you didn’t know about coffee grounds
4 things you didn’t know about coffee grounds There is the 9:00 am coffee, at the office, with your (favourite) colleagues, your frontal lobe still in your bed. There is the 11:00 am coffee. That one is either alone or with your (favourite of your favourite) colleague… and milk to make it last longer. Then comes the miraculous 2:00 pm espresso. It knocks your food coma out and brings you the boost you need to go through the rest of the day. For some of you, it is even followed by the 4:00 pm cappuccino. Let’s be honest, that one is the 11:00 am cousin. Its mission is to keep you away from your desk and direct line… or enlighten your get-togethers. What about the 6:00 pm coffee? Or the Sunday’s 10:00 am one? If you don’t know them yet, they’ll quickly become your new coffee rituals. The first thing you must do: stop throwing your used coffee grounds away! We like to say it: coffee is more than a beverage – literally! 6:00 pm, it’s time for a beauty treat It is 6:00 pm. Your friends just left your living room after an afternoon coffee and you find yourself with an endless supply of used coffee grounds. Most of all: you have a candlelight dinner with the man of your dream. It’s only natural that you want to be perfect for him – what a lucky guy. And it’s easy. Thanks to these brewed coffee grounds that you were about to throw away, you now have a home Spa. Body scrub, facial scrub, anti-cellulite scrub, eye balm, self-tanning lotion, hair mask, soap, even facelift… coffee grounds can work very hard for you (and your date). Mix 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds with 1 teaspoon of honey and 2 teaspoons of sweet almond oil (olive oil works too)… and tadaaa, here is a 100% natural scrub, rich in vitamins and antioxidants, that you can use for your face or body. Have a hot shower (to open pores), apply the scrub with soft circular massages and rinse off for a silky smooth skin. This scrub is also said to reduce the cellulite appearance. Now, kill two birds with one stop and add some grounds to your shampoo – their abrasive texture helps strip oils and buildup for glossy and shiny hair. Success guaranteed, but light-colored hair might want to avoid using this mask. You still have a few more minutes, right? So let’s now rejuvenate your summer tan. Just add a cup of olive oil to one cup of coffee grounds. Rub it gently all over your body and leave on for about 15 minutes before washing off. And here you’re with a radiant and tanned skin… how could He resist? For your next dinner, think about mixing 1 teaspoon of brewed coffee grounds with 1 tablespoons of yoghurt and a few drops of lemon, apply the mixture to your under eye area and let sit for about 15 minutes before washing off with hot water, to reduce puffiness and tighten your skin! So long Panda eyes! Sunday, 10:00 am, let’s do some gardening Good morning, how was your date? So-so? We have the perfect remedy for you: gardening. Hop hop hop, put on your boots, sunglasses and… your used coffee grounds. If you grow acid-loving plants like azaleas, roses, rhododendrons, hibiscus, hydrangea, oak (why not?) etc., your old ground is your dream fertilizer and pest repellent. Simply combine your old ground with some raw yard waste such as brown leaves, dead grass clippings or dry straw, and spread the mixture around your beautiful plants. Et voilà! The coffee acts pronto by infusing nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium (and a hint of magnesium) to the soil. All the nutritive elements your plants are crazy about. And the worms as a bonus. You can also just throw the grounds on your soil and wait for the rain (or your sprinkler) to slowly bring the nutritive elements to the roots. Don’t be heavy-handed though, it’s key to keep the compost balanced, too much nitrogen would kill it all. Oh. You’re more the house-plants kind? No problem. Mix the grounds with some warm water to use it as a fertilizer spray or feed for them. Your house-plants will love you back. Is that carrot and lettuce that I can see in your backyard, near by the rose bush? It might be worthwhile to sprinkle used grounds around them to protect them against garden pests like ants, snails, aphids, slugs etc. Yes, coffee is a pest repellent, too. Don’t be surprised if your cat also deserts your garden – like insects, some mammals are repelled by the grounds’ smells (combined with orange peels). A final tip for your carrots: share a bit of old dried grounds with the carrot seeds before planting – they’ll sow more easily and won’t get eaten by evil pests. Sunday, 2:15 pm, yuck cleaning Your family lunch went on and on? And worst, you now have to clean a mountain of dishes. This is the right time for used coffee grounds to get on stage. First, to rescue your dirty pans and pots. You simply need to scrub the surface with the grounds – a rag can even be enough. Just keep away any ceramic or dishes that stain easily from that method. Besides, don’t panic about the grounds going into your drain. They’re on a mission to unclog it (but only if they’re mixed with hot water and dish soap). Now that you have some space in your fridge, think about placing a small container filled with old grounds, open, in the back of your fridge (or freezer). Your fridge will be smell-free for about two weeks. Don’t forget to remove (and replace) these smelly grounds afterwards. Oh no, one of your guests hid a scratch on your grandma’s wooden table! Forget about your evil plans and grab what’s left of your old coffee grounds. Add warm water and rub the mixture over the scratch before wiping it off gently after letting it sit for a while. The coffee stain should help to cover up the mess. Wednesday, 1:30 pm, let’s go wild You hear them running and screaming at the corner of your street, they are coming closer… and here they are, back home after their half-day at school and you wonder: how am I going to keep my wonderful children busy the whole afternoon? You kept some old coffee grounds, didn’t you? Confident, your first shot: “Kiiiiids, let’s make homemade candles! Yaaaay!”. Let’s assume it worked and they’re mega ultra-enthusiastic (even if you only allowed them to watch). Place one cup of wax leftovers in a heat-safe-recipient that you will put over the top of a saucepan filled with water. This double boiler will melt the wax gently in about 5 minutes. In a plastic coffee cup, sprinkle a layer of dried coffee grounds at the base, a candle wick and pour gently some melted wax over it. Finish sprinkling some more grounds and let dry for at least 12 hours. Give it another shot with the Antique-looking paper. Your children will love dipping sheets of stationery into this cool-looking mixture of grounds and water, waiting a few minutes, then letting dry and brushing off the grounds… unless their teacher already showed them the trick. You might even want to ask their support to transform that coffee table that you’d found at Ikea (like gardening, Ikea has always been a magic remedy to so-so dates). You loved its wood appearance… if only you could pretend you got it from your great grandmother. Challenge accepted: in a glass container, put 1 piece of steel wool with 1 tablespoon of used coffee grounds and top that with white vinegar. Close the container, shake and let it sit for a day before taking action. Put on plastic gloves to fish for the steel wool and rub it all over your table. Wipe the grounds off and let that first coat sit for about an hour before taking care of the second coat. Et voilà! There’s one last coffee ritual you could learn: to read the grounds. But for that one, we leave it up to you and… Patrick Jane.
Cappuccino Lovers, this is for you!
Cappuccino Lovers, this is for you In a perfect world, we all have a nice espresso machine on our kitchen counter. In reality they can be expensive and complicated little gems. Those who’ve ever tried to use the steam wand will understand the challenge. If you’re a cappuccino fanatic, relax, there are other shortcuts to treat yourself to an awesome cappuccino at home without fancy gadgetry. A great coffee for espresso (scoop: our 1550 will make you a sweet one), fresh milk, a whisk and your favourite coffee cup, is all what you need. 1. First step: Steam the milk. Whole or skim, it’s up to you but keep in mind that the fat is what provides flavour and texture. Whole milk makes the best froth, well worth some new kilos! Heat up about half a cup of milk (only fresh, mercy) on a stove top over medium heat, let it simmer until bubbles form around the edges and remove the pan from the heat before it boils. No cheating, don’t steam your milk twice. 2. It’s time for the sporty part: whip the milk until it turns into a fluffy foam. Keep whipping if you see any large bubbles. 3. Now, brew an espresso, whether you go for George Clooney’s coffee machine or for a more traditional Moka pot. 4. You’re nearly there! Pour the black potion into your favourite cup and top it off with your heated froth. A classic cappuccino calls for 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk and ⅓ milk foam. Enjoy! If you feel like upgrading your game (and pleasure), have a look at the milk frothers. We will bring you some new tips and how to use them soon. Tell us: We’d love to hear how your last cappuccino creation went.
So kannst Du Deinen Neujahr’s Hangover besiegen!
Discover the hangover cure for the New Year! 2016 is approaching very quickly, and you are probably in the middle of the preparations for tonight’s party but… have you already thought about the morning after? Long party-nights, a lot of champagne and perhaps also other, stronger stuff will make your evening a lot of fun, but not so much the next morning! So, we went on a mission to help your hangovers and we have found the solution: the lemonpresso! As the name suggests, it a mix between an espresso and a lemon. It surely sounds a little awkward but the coffee, or rather the caffeine in the coffee, is a natural painkiller. It hinders the production of an enzyme which gives you headaches. But what about the lemon? We all know that they are good for your health because of the Vitamin C etc. and in this case, the lemon also helps cleanse and detoxify your body. We’ve tried it ourselves last weekend, and it works! So, for the ultimate hangover cure, make yourself an espresso, wait a minute or two until it cools down a little and then add some freshly squeezed lemon juice. To good good to be true? Well, yes. The catch is clearly the taste. But hey, that’s the price to pay for a good party-night. Alternatively, we can also suggest to stay away from alcohol tonight and just enjoy the night with tasty coffee 🙂 Happy New Year 2016 everyone!
The world’s most expensive coffee comes from… poop
The world’s most expensive coffee comes from… poop Have you ever heard of the palm civet? It is a small nocturnal mammal native to tropical Asia which we, fooled Westerners, would take for a cat crossed with a badger and a panther. If you’re holding a cup of coffee, you might want to drink it up before continuing on reading. Why am I talking about palm civets? Because it is in this funny creature’s excrements that one finds the « kopi luwak », aka the world’s most expensive and rarest coffee. The civet, which used to be the coffee growers’ public enemy #1 has become the King of the coffee plantations. When the night falls, that is where the little animal blithely treats itself with the ripped coffee cherries, only the best ones, but as it’s not able to digest them, it actually defecates them intact. During its digestion, a mix of enzymes generates a chemical reaction which gives a unique taste to the coffee. This 100% natural fermentation partly explains the exorbitant price of this extraordinary coffee; a cup of kopi luwak can cost you up to 30€. But not only! It takes lots of hard work essentially by hand to produce kopi luwak. Coffee pickers must pick the defecated coffee cherries directly on the ground, smash the shell, rinse them off once, then meticulously clean them, let them dry and eventually sort them out to keep only the best beans. In the end, this might represent only a third of the harvest. Watch out: rarity also means fraud (and even worse…), whether here or over there in Asia! Many blend a couple of civet beans with second-rate coffee and claim their “blend” is 100% kopi luwak. Among those are not only dishonest coffee roasters and growers but also big coffee brands that we see every day which have very little control over their beans’ origin, as they buy through a third provider. The cupidity of some others goes even further. Some coffee growers catch palm civets to force them to produce the precious coffee – this is pure cruelty for an animal which can bear neither captivity nor daylight (remember: it’s a nocturnal mammal), leading on top to a disgusting coffee. Next time you plan on crazy adventures in Asia, think twice before succumbing to the temptation of a fancy ad which would invite you to taste “the best cup of kopi luwak ever”. There is unfortunately hardly a way to be sure what really is in that cup but one can assume that the safest way to enjoy a true kopi luwak would be to go to meet coffee growers and to assess the conditions of production by yourself.
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Vielen Dank für die rasche Zusendung. Das ist zum ersten Mal ein Kaffee, der gehaltvoll ist und doch gleichzeitig keinerlei aggressiven Nachgeschmack hinterlässt, sodass er meiner Meinung nach am besten pur zu geniessen ist, d.h. ohne Zugabe von Milch und Zucker. Hervorragendes Preis-Leistungsverhältnis! Gerne wieder!
Ich war einer der ersten die den „1550“ Kaffee probieren durfte und ich muss sagen, super! Sehr guter Kaffee und tolles Konzept. Bestelle seitdem regelmäßig, kann ich nur weiterempfehlen.
Un café aux arômes intenses de chocolat qui se laisse déguster avec plaisir, en laissant un arrière-goût très agréable. Le café arrive dans un paquet qui le conserve très bien. Merci beaucoup pour cette délicieuse découverte! Je vous en recommanderai!
My friend has suggested this coffee to me and it has instantly became my favourite! I am no coffee expert, but the taste and aroma is excellent. Once I run out I will come back for more 🙂