Posts Tagged ‘coffee news’

Fair Trade USA, the leading third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States, celebrates National Fair Trade Awareness Month with a multitude of news announcements from household brand names to coincide with the Natural Products Expo East in Boston.

Fair Trade has generated significant momentum during  in the United States. Ben & Jerry’s and Green & Black’s kicked-off the year by announcing they would convert 100 percent of their products to Fair Trade Certified? ingredients; Green Mountain Coffee converted two of its top iconic blends?Our Blend and Vermont Country Blend?to Fair Trade; certified coffee imports were up 25 percent and 47 percent of all imports were also organic; Fair Trade cooperative CECOVASA was awarded the People’s Choice Award at the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s Cupping Competition; and the Fair Trade Towns USA campaign increased the number of official Fair Trade Towns from 13 to 20, including Boston.
And now SPINS, the first company to offer Natural Products sales data to the industry, has issued a report that builds on that strong foundation. SPINS reports that sales of Fair Trade Certified? products at grocery stores grew by 30 percent this year, to $140 million, lead by growth in packaged coffee (44 percent), and ready-to-drink tea and coffees (51 percent).(1)  Other notable double-digit contributors include the refrigerated juices & functional beverages category that was introduced in 2009 (98 percent), carbonated beverages (38 percent), chocolate candy (29 percent), and shelf stable functional beverages (10 percent). Frozen desserts are up eight percent and teas are up four percent, with cocoa and hot chocolate as the only category to experience a decline, down eight percent.

This is yet more proof that even in tough economic times, consumers care. In 2009, the BBMG Conscious Consumer Report stated that three-fourths of consumers (77 percent) believe they can make a difference by buying products from socially and environmentally responsible companies, and two-thirds agreed that even in tough economic times it’s important to buy products with social and environmental benefits (4 point scale). And over half (51 percent) agreed that they are willing to pay more. (Source: Fair Trade USA)

We have a line of Fair Trade Certified Coffees – click here -

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HONOLULU (Usa) – The Advisory Committee on Plants and Animals, attached to the state Department of Agriculture, will meet Wednesday, Nov. 17 to consider one or more quarantine zones on the island of Hawaii to prohibit the importation of green coffee bean
At issue is a serious infestation of the Coffee Berry Borer in local crops reported by Kona coffee farmers. The pest infestation was confirmed by the United States Department of Agriculture  Agriculture Research Service Systematic Entomology Laboratory.
The purpose of the meeting will be to hear testimony from the Hawaii coffee industry and, if warranted, to develop a request to the Board of Agriculture to adopt an interim rule restricting the movement of green coffee beans into the state.
The meeting is 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 1849 Auiki Street, Plant Quarantine Station Conference Room, Sand Island.
Persons wishing to provide testimony may do so in the following ways:
Via email to:
Via fax to: 808-832-0584
Drop off or mail to: 1849 Auiki Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96819
Oral testimony will be accepted at the meeting. Testifiers must provide a contact phone number if they wish to receive confirmation their testimony has been received.
It is imperative that interested parties provide testimony either in person or in writing as this will determine the committee?s recommendation to the Board of Agriculture by the end of the month, said Rep. Clift Tsuji (District 3  South Hilo, Panaewa, Puna, Keaau, Kurtistown), chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture.
The coffee industry in Hawaii has a history spanning 200 years, and we don?t want to see it collapse because of our inattention to contain or eradicate the coffee berry borer infestation.
It is unknown at this time how the coffee berry borer will affect Kona coffee yields and quality of the product. The coffee berry borer (Hypothenemus hampei) is considered the world?s most destructive coffee pest.
Researchers estimate that the damage caused by the coffee berry borer worldwide is about $500 million per year in a global industry worth $90 billion per year.
Currently, there is no provision in Hawaii Administrative Rules that addresses the coffee berry borer or that restricts movement of coffee relative to this pest. An interim rule may be adopted in the absence of effective rules if a situation is dangerous to public health and safety or if the ecological health of flora and fauna is endangered as to constitute an emergency.
The Plant Quarantine Branch of the DOA has requested the adoption of an interim rule to prohibit the movement of coffee plants, plant parts, unroasted seeds, and used coffee bags out of a quarantine zone in the Kona area of the island of Hawaii, except by permit.
The Advisory Committee on Plants and Animals may accept or amend the request and submit their findings to the Board of Agriculture which is scheduled to meet in late November. The committee may also reject or defer the request.
Violators, under the proposed rule, would be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not less than $100. The maximum fine would be set at $10,000. The interim rule would be valid for no longer than one year.
FACT SHEET  Coffee Berry Borer
Current Condition:
The Department of Agriculture has surveyed about 65 sites statewide. Of these sites, 21 are infested with the coffee berry borer.
All infested sites are in the Kona area of the Big Island.
The infested zone includes the area from mile marker 29 on Highway 190 (Mamalahoa Highway) and mile marker 93 on Hwy 19 (Queen Kaahumanu Highway), south to mile marker 62 on Highway 11, east of Naalehu.
In addition to the infested zone, the DOA has reports from about 100 individual farms that may be infested.
The coffee berry borer lays its eggs in the coffee cherry and as the eggs develop into larva, the larva feed inside the coffee bean. The bean may be further damaged by secondary fungal, bacterial and insect infestation. The combined damage can reduce yield, lower the quality and destroy the entire bean.
Eradication/Control Strategy
There are no chemical insecticides available in Hawaii that can effectively control coffee berry borer. As the pest lives inside the fruit, chemical control strategies are limited.
While it is difficult to contain the coffee berry borer, even with the establishment of quarantine zones, the dissemination of the contamination can be retarded for many years through improved pest management practices. The pest spreads through human activity.
<a href=””>Gourmet Coffee</a> in Hawaii
There are 6,500 acres under cultivation statewide, with annual production running between 6 and 7 million pounds.
Kona has produced coffee continuously since the early 1800?s and supports nearly 600 independent farms. Farms average 3 acres and only a few have 50 or more acres. Total Kona coffee acreage is more than 2,000 acres, producing more than 2 million pounds in most years.
Kauai has the largest coffee orchard in Hawaii and in the United States with 3,000 acres in production.
Maui has several small coffee farms spanning from Kaanapali, the slopes of Haleakala, and an organic farm in Hana. Maui has a total of 500 acres of coffee planted on converted sugar cane lands.
Oahu has more than 100 acres of coffee in Wahiawa and Waialua.

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For centuries, Yemeni coffee has set a global standard because of its distinct flavour and authentic taste.  However, economic and political obstacles have hurt the Yemeni coffee industry, which is now struggling to survive.
Yemen has been described as the country of coffee since time immemorial. Yemeni coffee has brought the country recognition throughout the years, but in recent years its dominance has waned.
The flavour of  Yemeni coffee is distinct and renowned around the world.
It is usually described as having a flavour reminiscent of wine due to the fact that many farmers store coffee beans in stone stores until they are ready to be sent to the market.
Yemeni coffee, called Mocha, is named after the port of al-Makha, from which coffee used to be exported in large quantities. The mocha name has been adopted by the coffee community and is now known throughout the world.
However, many farmers have stopped growing coffee beans. Young farmers in the remote mountains are finding that the coffee market has become less lucrative.
The yield of the coffee trade is no longer sufficient, and young farmers are facing difficulties meeting the requirements of cultivation due to government neglect in supporting coffee plantations. Additionally, Yemeni farmers face obstacles in marketing and exporting their products.
Coffee crops occupy a special place in Yemeni collective memory, and it is widely believed that this particular tree is the first national crop. This crop had a strong global presence from the early sixth century AD until the mid-nineteenth century.

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Knowledge is great, even if any given piece of information has no apparent use or benefit.  After all, what we know helps define who we are and how we think about the world.  Understanding ourselves tends to lead to richer, more meaningful interactions with the world and those in it.

When did coffee first arrived to Hawaii.

If you look into the history of coffees arrival to Hawaii, you’ll discover that most sources report that it was first brought by the Spaniard Don Francisco de Paula Marin, but that his plantings weren’t successful.

In the next sentence, you’ll probably read that it was successfully introduced in 1825 when it arrived from Brazil on the HMS Blonde- with no assistance from Marin.  One of two dates will be written for its initial introduction by Marin: January 21, 1813 or December 30, 1817.

Another book quotes the 1817 date.  After some research with the assistance of Skip Bittenbender (agriculture extension specialist and professor at the University of Hawai’i) and Gerald Kinro (environmental consultant and author of A Cup of Aloha: The Kona Coffee Epic),  reasearch indicates and are now inclined to think that neither of these dates are correct.  In fact, I now believe that coffee first arrived to Hawaii in 1825.

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NAIROBI – Kenya researchers at the county’s Coffee Research Foundation based at Ruiru have developed a new coffee variety that is expected to achieve a substantial yield given its resilience to disease and other aggressors.
“The variety is tall, high yielding, resistant to coffee berry disease and leaf rust,” the director of the research station, Dr Joseph Kimemia told Xinhua, China news agency, in a exclusive interview.

Gourmet coffee

Gourmet Coffee on The BBQ

Dr Kimemia explained the new high quality coffee – Batian – is quick to establish, producing results after 18-24 months upon being planted, in addition to being suitable to all Arabica coffee growing areas.
He stressed the variety – the outcome of painstaking effort by the researchers since the same station released the much acclaimed Ruiru 11 in 1985 – farmers will be in a position to harvest five tonnes of clean coffee per hectare.
A researcher in his own right, Dr Kimemia recalled farmers on average harvested an average of two tonnes of clean coffee per hectare at present.
“At times, small scale coffee farmers even harvest half a tonne, ” Dr Kimemia emphasized.
“It has come in handy and at the right time. The variety is also suitable for new growing areas of the North Rift and for the real coffee estates.”
Researchers estimate that farmers will be able to plant an estimated 1,000 coffee tree under an acre.
Only 540 trees are planted per acre where SL 28 and SL varieties are grown.
It is hoped that Batian will help bolster Kenyan coffee production and enable the country to reclaim its previous status in the global coffee market.
Expected to be released to coffee growers later this year, Dr Joseph Kimemia commented on the new variety’s potential to overtake Ruiru 11, at present the most widely-grown variety within Kenya.
Development of Ruiru 11 also took into consideration the importance of quality as a major marketing parameter. Since the quality of the traditional varieties was already popular among consumers of Kenyan coffee, Ruiru 11 was developed with quality attributes similar to the traditional varieties.
Currently below its predicted target, Dr Kimemia encouraged domestic farmers to boost their annual coffee production to 100, 000 metric tonnes in order to mirror the 2 percent to 4 percent increase in global coffee consumption and therefore demand.
International Coffee Organization (ICO) executive director, Nestor Osorio, has predicted that global coffee consumption — which he says has been relatively unscathed by the economic downturn — will reach 134 million bags in 2010.
Based on 60 kg of coffee per bag, this equates to over 8 billion kg of the commodity and represents a 1.5 percent increase on the previous year’s figure of 132 million bags, continuing the steady growth of the past five years.
The nation’s coffee industry research body is reported to have allocated finance to inject into the renovation of facilities and their production capacity in readiness for the release of the variety, widely expected to boost coffee production that has been on the decline.
In Kenya, the 2009 Economic Survey showed that the coffee sub- sector registered a 21.3 percent decline in production from 53,400 tonnes in 2006/07 to 42,000 tonnes in the 2007/08 crop. This was mainly due to the effects of adverse weather.
The volume of coffee produced in Kenya has been on a steady decline, from a high of 128,000 tonnes in 1987/88 to 42,000 tonnes in 2007/08.
According to agriculture permanent secretary Dr Romano Kiome, coffee production was hardest hit than tea as it is a crop more vulnerable to a persistent cold snap.
“It is probably even worse for coffee because what is affected for coffee is flowering, so it doesn’t flower when it is cold,” says Kiome.
“It may go from what we had predicted at 56,000 metric tonnes to less than 50,000 this year.”
Most Kenyan coffee is grown at high altitude and therefore classified as specialty.
Although a small producer, at an average 50,000 tonnes annually, Kenya is among other regional growers whose coffees are highly sought by roasters globally.

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Colombian exports in June climbed 11.7 percent in June to $3 billion from a year earlier, the government’s statistics institute, or Dane reported yesterday.
The June figures continue a pattern of increases in Colombia’s exports, boosted by sales of oil, coal, coffee and ferronickel. These products together climbed 30% in June and reached sales of $1.54 billion. Non-traditional exports, which include manufacturing and agricultural goods, declined 12% to $1.05 billion.
The export sector has enjoyed a strong recovery after suffering steep declines last year. In the first six months of 2010, exports are up 24.3% to $19.2 billion.
According to Jorge Lozano, head of Colombias National Association of Coffee Exporters, rainfall in Colombia may hamper a recovery in coffee production from last years 33-year low.

Gourmet coffee

Gourmet Coffee on The BBQ

Persistent wet weather may deprive plants of sunlight and stunt growth of coffee beans said Lozano.
Its going to affect the harvest if it keeps raining like this,? he said yesterday in a telephone interview from Bogota. The beans cant grow without sun.?
According to the nations state-run Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies, Colombia may have abundant rainfall as of September because of the return of the weather pattern known as La Nina.

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Interesting research on the effects of Caffeine.

Researchers from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (Niddk) determined that patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (Hcv) who consumed more than 308 mg of caffeine daily had milder liver fibrosis. The daily amount of caffeine intake found to be beneficial is equivalent to 2.25 cups of regular coffee. Other sources of caffeine beyond coffee did not have the same therapeutic effect.

Details of this study are available in the January 2010 issue of Hepatology, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

Dr. Apurva Modi, the lead author, and fellow researchers at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases determined that for patients with chronic hepatitis C virus other sources of caffeine beyond coffee did not have the same therapeutic effect

Liver fibrosis, or scarring of the liver, is the second stage of liver disease, characterized by a degradation of liver function due to accumulated connective tissue.

From January 2006 to November 2008, all patients evaluated in the Liver Disease Branch of the National Institutes of Health were asked to complete a questionnaire to determine caffeine consumption. Questions were asked pertaining to: regular and diet soft drinks; regular and decaffeinated coffee; black, green, Chinese and herbal teas; cocoa and hot chocolate; caffeine-fortified drinks; chocolate candy; caffeine pills and medications with caffeine.

The study suggested that a beneficial effect requires caffeine consumption above a threshold of about 2 coffee-cup equivalents daily, but consumption of soda, green or black tea containing caffeine was not associated with reduced liver fibrosis.

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Drink coffee to reduce wrinkles

A cup of instant coffee has shown promising results in smoothing out facial wrinkles and overcoming the need for various lotions.

The high content of collagen – the compound commonly found in many anti-wrinkle creams and also administered as “filler” by cosmetic surgeons to remove fine lines and wrinkles – can instantly smooth out wrinkles.

“Collagen is just one popular ingredient used to lend a more skin/beauty-friendly image to a product, and is increasingly found not just in beauty products but also in food and drink products – including coffee,” the Daily Express quoted David Jago, director of trends and innovation at market analysts Mintel.

Nescafe has recently launched a range of coffee sachets containing collagen. Aimed at women, the coffee contains coffee, skimmed milk and 200g of collagen. The product is as yet only available to buy in Singapore.

Health officials still doubt the effectiveness of such products, stressing that collagen simply breaks down by the gut before being excreted.

Tea and Coffee break(through) – as naturally dyed clothing reaches Uk

Tea and coffee lovers can soon wear their passion on their sleeve as a new range of clothing launches in the Uk – naturally dyed with their favourite drink.

Cotton Roots – experts in fairtrade and organic corporate clothing – has been brewing the latest technology from India which using natural dyes to “fix” colours, a process which has been impossible commercially before.

Designed to be eco-friendly, ethical, affordable and fun – it allows natural ingredients including coffee, tea, and also pomegranate, henna and onions to be used as dyes for a huge range of clothing and merchandise, which can be branded with company logos and slogans.

And by using products made in Fairtrade approved factories Cotton Roots can guarantee long-life garment quality, while minimising their environmental impact.

Cotton Roots founder Susan Waters says her inspiration came over a cup of tea at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Susan had stared at a fabulous clothing collection – hundreds of years old, yet still vibrant, rich and colourful. All the clothes had been dyed using traditional techniques, ancient in origin. She had seen how people throughout history had used plants, minerals, salts and sunlight to dye their clothes. Without the need for harsh chemicals they had achieved colours which were soft yet richer than modern dyes.

But it was the cup of tea that brewed the idea.

What if she could produce real “Tea” shirts – T shirts actually dyed with tea?

And what about real “tea” bags, and real “tea” towels. …A new piece of sustainable manufacturing from our past brought to life for everyone?

Prices start at around £6.00 per t-shirt. Other naturally dyed products include aprons, bags, polo shirts, sweatshirts, formal shirts and chef wear.

(Source: press release)

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Time to grab that cup of gourmet coffee cause it’s getting cold.  Normally we do not see our first snow until the first week of Nov, but here it is the second week of Oct and we had our first snowfall.

Not to worry, it’s Minnesota, if you don’t like the weather then have a cup of coffee and it will change for ya LOL.  We are a tough lot up here and this little bit of snow (2 inches in some spots) do not keep us from cranking out our gourmet coffee, flavored coffee.   We are looking at coming out with some new flavored coffees here in a few days after a bit more testing both in house and some tastings we have upcoming.

People often wonder where do we hold these tastings?  Well we can’t tell people ahead of time cause we want real world tests so we pick a shop that we offer sell our coffee too and set up a free tasting.  We want to find out what just regular people think about the flavors we are offering, and it also brings a bit of interest to the coffee shop when we do a tasting.

So for those of you that are here on the internet looking for great gourmet coffee, and flavored coffees you can be assured that our flavored coffees have been tested and tested and tested again before we make them available.

Try to stay warm and if you need a cup of coffee, well brew one up


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For as long as they can remember, the farmers who grow coffee between the steep volcanic peaks here started the annual harvest in late September — until this year An erratic rainy season forced the farmers of the Santa Anita La Union Cooperative in this small town in Guatemala’s highlands to start picking coffee in the final days of August.

“Instead of raining constantly and slowly, it is raining very hard for short periods of time. And the temperatures are hotter, so that means the fruit, the coffee, is ripening very fast,” said Mynor Huerta, who provides technical assistance to the cooperative, as rain clouds gurgled overhead. While this year’s early harvest may prove to be a climatic anomaly, researchers say that it could be a forecast for coffee in the region.

The same conditions that have made Central America home to some of the world’s finest coffees also make it susceptible to the effects of climate change. Its moderate temperatures are already rising, its predictable rainy season is becoming irregular, and pests and fungi could invade altitudes where they previously couldn’t live. Although seemingly minor, small increases in temperature and slight changes in rainfall are predicted to have major consequences in coffee growing areas. While the conditions might make high-quality coffees more abundant and cheaper for a few years, the price will eventually rise as availability sinks in the long term, researchers said.

As a result of climate change, Central America farmers might have to move their crops to higher elevations, where less land is less available.

“Farmers are going to have to try to squeeze onto that land,” said Rafael A. Diaz, a Costa Rican economist who is part of a four-country research project aimed at documenting the effects of climate change on small coffee farmers.

The changes could be devastating for farmers, who will eventually be forced to replace their coffee trees with another crop to survive. Coffee, the world’s second-largest traded commodity behind petroleum, supports around 25 million growers and 100 million people around the globe once family members are added.

At the Santa Anita Cooperative, farmers said they have already felt a change. Climatic evidence is supporting them. The weather center nearest their farms has recorded a .5 degree Celsius increase in temperatures and a 14 percent increase in average rainfall from the 1990s to the 2000s, according to data from the country’s weather ministry.

A recent study by the Center for Tropical Agricultural Research said just a 1 degree Celsius rise in Brazil’s Sao Paulo growing region, for instance, would cause a drop in coffee production worth more than $113 million.

Central America is one of the regions likely to get both hotter and drier in coming decades. In the short term, that could actually help the few farmers growing high-quality coffees at high altitudes.

“As a scientist it pains me to say it, but the conditions for coffee growing in many of the highland areas, where the best coffee is grown, could be better for coffee in the coming years,” said Edwin Castellanos, a scientist for Guatemala’s Universidad Del Valle, who is part of a team conducting the regional study.

Governments in the region have long urged coffee growers to move to higher elevations, where finer coffee can be grown.

“The coffee grown at those altitudes could have higher yields and it’s likely that the producers will be able to take advantage in the short term by growing those high quality coffees more abundantly,” he said.

However, less land is available at those altitudes. According to Anacafe, the Guatemalan coffee-growing association, only 2.5 percent of Guatemalan land is suitable for growing coffee, producing some 495 million pounds of beans. About 150 million pounds of that coffee was grown at elevations of lower than 4,500 feet above sea level, lands that are likely to be hit by climate change.

The farmers at Santa Anita, which sits about 4,000 feet above sea level, consider the changing temperatures a serious threat to their way of life.

“If we have to pick all the coffee in October and November, we won’t have enough help because our children will still be in school,” said Mariola Cifuentes, a coffee grower in the cooperative. “And if we can’t pick the coffee, it will fall [off the plant]. And we can’t afford that.” Cifuentes said the increase in temperatures has led to the spread of pests and of a fungus known as koleroga. As a result, the farmers — who raise Fair

Trade- and organic-certified coffee — have had to spray fungicides and pesticides more frequently.

“Dealing with these changes by spraying more fungicides or pesticides, because they are organic, is already costing these farmers more,” Huerta said.Scientists said the problem could be worse in the long-term. Farmers could combat some of the changes in humidity and temperature by using shade trees. In some cases, the trees could be trimmed to release trapped humidity. In others, more shade trees could be planted to cut down on the sun and heat that reaches the beans, Castellanos said.

But adapting their farms to the changing climate will only last so long. “It’s a problem of increased extremes,” Castellanos said. “Farmers in these regions will see hotter temperatures, longer periods of drought, more heavy downfalls, which can damage crops, and more storms.”

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