Category Archives: bean wisdom

the third wave – demystifying the odd hair-do

the term ‘third wave coffee’ refers to the contemporary movement of high quality coffee production escalating the bean to designation foodstuff. with such upward movement in foodstuff status my favourite heated beverage required improvement in every stage of the production-process, starting from the plantation, harvesting, processing, and not the least marketing (some may argue this actually received the most attention). this fresh new approach from fine purveyors also entailed systemic communication among the cultivators and traders, who seldom figured in the equation previously, these parties considered moreso a supplier than a contributor or collaborator .

the concept of ‘third wave coffee’ was first coined in the year of 2002, a bold new break-away from the movement of ‘specialty coffee’. the concept of ‘specialty coffee’ came in 1974 and referred to top-quality beans that scored at least 80 points out of 100 in the coffee games, a contest to the death administered by dudes with those curly bits on the end of their waxed up moustaches. for the love of categories and labels third reich coffee was first espoused to the public via an article printed in a newsletter entitled ‘the flamekeeper’, published by authority of roaster guild. later in 2005 nicholas cho highlighted third wave coffee through an online article and his radio program. sniffing this trend international newspapers like los angeles times, the guardian, the new york times, la opinión, and la weekly et al started rabbiting on about this new movement. we arrive conveniently in the present where we are blessed through extended pricing with; fantastic coffee, and among other things the choice of top-quality-beans-with-an-optimum-level-of-flavour-and-user-defined-subtleties, latte art, direct trade, extraction from single-origin, lighter roasts, and alternative brewing methods like cold siphon, vacuum and the like. like how some people also like tea. tea-infusions, even with coffee.

wow, i do love coffee.

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starbucking. across the universe.

starbucks corporation is a us-based international coffee-supplier company and coffeehouse chain, headquartered at seattle in washington. starbucks is also the world’s largest coffee-making company with 20,891 stores spanning 64 countries. among them, 13,279 stores are placed in the usa, 1,324 stores in canada, 806 stores in the uk, 989 stores in japan and 851 stores in china. there used to be plenty of starbucks in australia, but they shut em all down cos of the gfc. starbucks coffee-houses serve diverse types of coffee, such as, hot, cold, bean, micro-crushed, instant beverages, etc. i personally developed a desire for starbucks beverages when champagne socialism was rife during the 2000s, kind of a rebellion against the rebellion sort of thing. my enjoyment of coffee in these coffeehouses flourished further with travel, as the promise of free wifi and a reliable brew drew me in, in several different languages, and made me warm.

turning back to the rich history of starbucks corporation, this company was jointly established by jerry baldwin, zev siegl, and gordon bowker on 30th march in 1971 at seattle. after facing some financial losses in 1980s the original owners sold this company to howard schultz in 1987, who contributed a lot for the world-wide expansion of starbucks corporation.

the first established stores outside seattle were in vancouver and chicago, and soon after all over the usa. by 1989, around 46 stores were placed throughout the northwest and midwest states within the usa. starbucks reached california by 1991. with 140 outlets, starbucks made ground breaking revenue of us$73.5 million in 1992, reaching a us$271 million company-value. afterwards, starbucks took on the world, and In 2003 acquired torrefazione italia for $72m, then in 2007 they also bought clover brewing system. oft criticised by anti-corporate coffee-ists, i’m not ashamed to indulge from time to time! 

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espressionist period.

espresso is a popular coffee round the world. it is brewed through pressurizing nearly boiling (95 degree celcius) water along with crushed coffee beans. espresso coffee is normally thicker containing a rich concentration of dissolved solids along with that sublime foamy layer in the top. an electric pump is gernerally used in this coffee-maker to generate pressure.

turning back to the history of espresso coffee making, i am told that angelo moriondo invented a steam-driven “instantaneous” coffee maker in turin, italy 1884. milanese luigi bezzera made considerable improvements to that coffee-maker in 1901 and claimed that the machine was able to produce and serve coffee drink immediately. bezzera got the patent of this coffee-maker in 1902, which was purchased by desiderio pavoni, the founder of “la pavoni” company. pavoni started the industrial production and sale of this espresso coffee-maker from milan. and that right there is where the course of history, the evolution of mankind, and the daily period of time known as morning changed forever.

espresso is an effective base for many other beverages, like caffè macchiato, caffè latte, caffè americano, cappuccino, cafe mocha, etc. it all is relative to the type of motorcycle you ride. espresso is widely served after blending with milk, presumably but not exclusively hot. moreover espresso is now also used in my morning smoothie; containing a banananana, some ice cubes, some protein powder, probably milk, and some other stuff. there are many iced beverages sold that contain an espresso shot, and in the hot varieties the changes in ratio of milk to water, or process steps of getting the coffee and milk to blend, use of creamer, milk substitutes, and other additives is well documented with cute names and inexhaustible in scope… and enough to drive one batty when travelling, half the fun of course.

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nerds gonna nerd (the siphon)

‘siphon’ or ‘vac pot’ or ‘syphon’ is a vacuum coffee making instrument featuring two chambers, where the coffee is prepared through the combination of vapor pressure and vacuum. loeff invented this coffee making instrument in the 1830s at berlin in germany. this also happens to be my favourite city in the world, so we win on many counts here. siphon coffee makers have world-wide admiration for their capacity to brew a very refreshing beverage, but also have seen use in producing broths and cocktails by some of the world’s more adventurous chefs, due to it’s molecular mixing qualities.

siphon coffee makers are available in a range of designs, materials and compositions. they also occasionally present themselves as a creative outlet for depressed glass blowers.

siphon coffee brewing operates through the scientific principals of pressure and gravity. in the early siphons the water wass kept under hydrostatic pressure and due to this pressure, ummmm ….. oh who cares, it is basically a case of because science, and pressure differential, and removing of the environmental variables, and boom! exquisite coffee! give it a try, with a cleansed palate.

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kaldi. word. goatherd.

despite the claims to facts that many historians espouse regarding where coffee was first discovered, and let’s face it who really cares shut up and keep sipping now – there is convincing evidence that coffee beans had been first used in ethiopia and later, those were exported to yemen by the traders. that’s great, but of interest to the discovery of coffee-beans in ethiopia, there goes a popular legend that kaldi – a goat-herder living in highland ethiopian forests – first noticed the stimulating impact of coffee beans. later, this drink won admiration in the monasteries. while historians believe this a myth i kinda dig the story. in much the same way you can imagine the first people to sample alcohol or taste psychedelic mushrooms would have been suprised but happy with their discovery, i like to imagine similar things about kaldi. what a dude, just chillin with the beans. and what did he do, took it to some other dudes, so they could notice the stimulating impact too. coffee-fest.

from what i can find the myth tells that one day kaldi had noticed the vigorous impact on his goat-herd after nibbling on the bushes of bright-red colored berries. now i had a bit of time on a farm as a child, and in my experience, sober goats already have some strange things wired into their circuitry. curiously, kaldi tried out some of the fruits himself. this tickles me, ‘hmmmm my goats are acting all crazy-like, i’m gonna eat what they’re eating!!’

later, he took the berries to a monastery in close proximity and the monks threw those berries into the fire with great disapproval, haters gonna hate. the roasted coffee-beans spread out beguiling aroma, and afterwards a pretty inspired monk-dude soaked the beans in hot water within the monastery and thus, the first coffee of the history was prepared unknowingly, and the bean won it’s first victory over the haters. the monks used to drink the coffee-drink to get energy for remaining alert in their night-long religious activities and prayers, so the story goes.

today kaldi coffee is a popular brand of bean globally, while i’d like to think it is the legacy of the original coffee dude, i’m pretty sure he didn’t get fat from the spoils.

time for another cup.

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my journey into the taste buds of all earth’s memory continues;

america has a rich history of coffee cultivation. the regions haiti, caribbean islands, mexico et al, all feature huge tracts of land covered with coffee-trees-bushes-shrubs-whatever, like almost 20 000 coffee…plants! utopia! the spread of the bean began after the entry of coffee-beans into the caribbean region in 1720 by gabriel de clieu. cultivation was started in hispaniola (the island formerly known as santo domingo) in 1734 and almost half-century later by 1788 the region started to supply almost half of the global coffee-demand. by way of reference captain james cook landed in australia in 1788 with the first fleet to colonise this place, he should have planted coffee. sadly as with most stories of colonisation the rise of coffee had its downside in this region, the cruelties of enslavement leading to events such as the haitian revolution.

in réunion (former ‘isle of bourbon’) island of the indian ocean, a different coffee-variety can be traced traced called var. bourbon, which was the origin of the brazilian coffee ‘santos’ and mexican coffee ‘oaxaca’. despite the entry of coffee-beans to brazil in the year of 1727, the coffee-cultivation machine didn’t really take off until 1822, after independence. the trend of coffee-cultivation resulted in the depletion of huge rainforest tracts in the rio and sao paulo regions. later in 1893, the brazilian-coffee spread to kenya and tanzania. after 1930 brazil acquired the title of top coffee-supplier in the world.

all the while in north america, particularly during the revolution, coffee-drinking was encouraged!!! and so from 1773 many people of america switched to coffee from tea. yeeeeaaaaahh!!


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why all the hate haters ?!? english coffee

reading stuff i see a pretty common thread.

the church had a beef with the bean pretty hard almost everywhere, at one time or another.

as with the spread of my beloved coffee to europe the journey of coffee to the uk was again stimulated by the travelling merchants keen to capitalise on the awesomeness. like the rest of the world admiration for coffee quickly spread over england as a refreshing drink, for some reason i am picturing it being drunk cold, like iced tea, but that’s most likely just something to do with my environment, and/or colonial servitude. british merchants of course were in wide distribution of coffee, but another group the renowned dutch‘east india company’ had a great contribution in the 16th century giving drinkers a nice variety. exploring  the history of coffee, it seems the earliest coffee house was opened at oxford’s queen lane in england in 1654 by pasqua rosée, who was a servant of turkish goods trader daniel edwards. by 1675, around 3000 Coffee-houses were established throughout the country. however, during 1660-1670 a group of religious persons forced the authority to ban coffee drinking in england, especially for women. what the hell guys. as a consequence of the religious and political turmoil, charles ii crushed a coffee house in 1675. in the course of time, the serious folly of the ban on coffee was realised and removed, coffee again infected the people with it’s refreshing quality.

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though there are controversies i’ve talked about regarding the origin of coffee and who owns its brilliance, strong evidence supports that coffee was first consumed by the muslims of arabia and the north african region. at that time, many traders used to sell various stuff among the arabic regions, africa, europe and other portions of the world. it is assumed that during this trade, coffee came to europa! european coffee history interests me greatly, its my favourite place to travel, and the bean experience ranges from spectacular to really shit, so its always interesting. leonhard rauwolf – a cherman botanist and physician – first wrote some stuff about drinking coffee in 1573 during the reign of ottoman aleppo. though coffee faced ban in some regions of arabia and africa by the religious leaders who probably had secret stashes of doom, the bans were all abandoned in the course of time. in europe pope clement viii approved drinking coffee for catholics in 1600, despite the demand of banning coffee by many religious hardcore types. everything awesome must stand the test of the zealots I guess.

the earliest european coffee house was established at venice in italy in 1645. later in austria, coffee-drink entered the city following the win at the battle of vienna against the turks. In the spirit of sharing the awesomeness of coffee the beans were supplied by the defeated turks to the austrians. coffee heals. the first big coffee house was opened in 1683 in vienna by jerzy franciszek kulczycki. the foamy coffee – brewed bean blended with hot milk and water – was referred to as ‘melange’, I call it yum. coffee in vienna is today, still yum.

in germany, coffee-drink was initially termed as ‘coffee’, later the term ’kaffee‘ originating from the french term ‘café’ replaced it. coffee was initially served in the sea ports after it’s launch in northern germany. more specifically, coffee was first traded in bremen and hamburg in 1673 and 1677 respectively. the german elites started bean fascination around 1675, and the first coffee house was established for the general public at berlin in 1721.

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so i started reading.

the (in)famous sic drink coffee (religiously revered in my household) started it’s journey at yemen, during the mid 15th century. history tells that sufi monasteries were the widest users of the drink, and they used to drink coffee during their night-long prayers for getting more energy to stay awake, and ummm on prayer. this is how I passed through university so it seems legit. though there are diverse controversial concepts regarding the coffee-history, some plausible evidence shows that a mufti of aden named shekh jamal-al-din al-dhabhani first applied the coffee-recipe in 1470. the foremost coffeehouse of  bean history called ‘kaveh kanes’ was established at mecca in saudi arabia. within the next (16th) century, the fame of this refreshing drink extended to the other portions of the middle east, like medina, constantinople, persia, damascus, turkey, bagdad, etc. kind of like cocaine in the 1980s. in 1511 mecca’s main dude khair beg banned coffee, FOR SHAME!!!! but one year later the ban was taken off and coffee got back it’s groove.

it gets a bit murky here as some historians claim that coffee was first discovered in the arabian peninsula, there is strong historical evidence that coffee beans were first used in ethiopia and they were exported to Yemen later by the traders. it is believed that kaldi – a goat boy (great ancestor of randy-pan the goat boy) living in highland ethiopian forests – first noticed the pupil-dilating awesomeness of coffee beans and then later this drink got admiration in the monasteries. having recently spent xmas in bavaria i noticed that monks burdened with time were keen on many vices, the other big one being beer making, it’s all win. coffee faced ban this time from the orthodox church of ethiopia in the late 17th century. after almost two centuries the ban was lifted in the late 19th century, luckily the rest of the world was already all up on the power of the bean.

also, happy mother’s day.

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