A Bean's Journey
The coffee cherry plant originates and flourishes in the highlands of Ethiopia. The quality of the coffee, which grows there, is of high grade due to the altitude of the coffee farms, some being above 6000 feet. Premium grade coffee is known to grow in the higher elevations of 3000 to 6000 feet above sea level. Although there are thousands of different types of coffee species that grow naturally in Ethiopia, there are only 2 types of coffee that are recreationally consumed around the world. The Arabica type and its many varieties are known for its smoother and fruity undertones and the Robusta type, which when roasted becomes twice the size and also contains double the amount of caffeine. The Robusta varieties make a more acidic, bitter tasting cup and are what coffee companies use to make instant coffees. The Arabica type and its many varieties are more sought after and are used for making specialty coffees. Coffee has been cultivated to grow in 70 countries but less than 10 countries supply the majority of what is consumed. The coffee cherry plant thrives in high elevation and only grows closer to the equator in a region called "The Coffee Belt".
Legend has it that in the 800's a young goat herder named Kaldi, played his flute to call his goats home before nightfall. But they didn't come. He looked around and finally found them playing joyfully while eating fruit that had fallen from this tree. This happened for a few more nights, where the goat would be awake and fully energized when it was time to go to sleep. So Kaldi decided to try the fruit himself, what he had discovered that night would change the history of mankind. He brought the fruit back to his local Sufi monastery, they found that the berries helped them stay awake longer to pray at night. In the 15th century, it was brought to Yemen, where the coffee plant was cultivated. The Yemen traders brought the coffee on the trade routes during the 16th century and the Ottoman empire borrowed the custom of drinking the beverage in their coffee houses. Then coffee spread to Europe, the political powers of Holland cultivated the coffee plants in Indonesia, while the Portuguese started growing their coffee in Brazil, spreading from Ethiopia to the rest of the world.
The Birth of Specialty Coffee
The term "Specialty Coffee" was first coined in an issue of Tea and Coffee Trade Journal in 1974. The journalist used this term to try to describe the beans of the coffee cherry plant that were produced in a special micro-climate giving the beans a unique flavor characteristic. This practice has been continued and gradually mastered to this day. That being said, specialty coffee starts from the families who grow the coffees in the farms. The beans are sometimes even handpicked and then processed before they are purchased by "The Green Coffee Buyer". They are also known as the exporter who would sell the green coffee beans to the roasters. The Espresso Bars and Specialty Cafes would then have to purchase the delicately roasted coffee beans from the local roasters in their area before being able to serve the consumer the perfect espresso-based beverage.“FUEL : Bean Supply Canteen” cherish our friends Lionel Robitaille and Mengo McCall, over at "Mountain Coffee Ltd" who do the important job of establishing relationships with the coffee farms all over the world and sourcing the green coffee for the roasters in the Lower Mainland, who supply the many cafes of the Greater Vancouver Area. “FUEL: Bean Supply Canteen” trusts Karen Lopez of “Spent Grounds Coffee Roasters” to do the beautiful dance of roasting our green beans for the fully automatic, freshly roasted, bean to cup dispensing systems.
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