• Specialty Coffee – A Vibrant Industry, Or The Future Of Coffee At Crossroads Of Change?

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    December 20, 2021 /  Food

    Seattle; the home of Boeing, software giants, grunge music and…specialty coffee. Well, not quite. Contrary to popular belief, while Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Boeing and Oracle do indeed hail from the Pacific Northwest, modern specialty coffee has its roots much further south.

    When Alfred Peet died in his sleep a few weeks ago he was a sprightly 87. He passed away peacefully hopefully dreaming of coffee trees laden with ripened cherries. While most people have never heard of him, Peet is widely recognised as being the father of modern “specialty coffee” in the industry. He was a Dutchman who became an American. He had traded tea for Lipton’s in Java, lived in Sumatra, worked in the business in New Zealand before, finally, settling down (somewhat) in the University suburb of Berkeley, California. It was at Berkeley where he founded his roastery in 1966 and Peet’s Coffee was born. Alfred Peet was passionate about coffee. His roasting exploits legendary and his ability to commentate, roast and put out fires simultaneously are famous. His experiences while living in Indonesia had given him an affinity with farmers who grew coffee, as well as a thorough understanding of the origin, the place where coffee was grown. This background, combined with his love of roasting, resulted in a place where coffee was not just a cup of Java, but something exotic, living and with a story.

    From Alfred Peet’s inspirational example came many of the coffee cultures that now are household names today in America and around the world- Starbucks being the most famous of these of course. The original founders of Starbucks- Baldwin, Bowker and Ziv Seigel originally leant their roasting trade from Peet, in fact Peet roasted for them in their early years. Many others in the industry in America today also passed through the Peet’s Coffee experience. In fact when Howard Schulz purchased Starbucks, Bowker and Baldwin moved across and purchased Peets Coffee- Alfred Peet retiring to a role of Coffee Mentor for the Industry as a whole.

    Today most coffee drinkers, from Surabaya to San Francisco, recognise Starbucks and its logo, but the name “Alfred Peet” often draws draws blank looks.

    Specialty Coffee today is at a crossroad- an important junction in deciding which direction coffee will be heading over the next decade. In the last 10 years many new comers have entered the business. It is estimated that the global coffee sector today is valued at over US$80 billion. It is no wonder that with these revenue numbers, the industry attracts a mix of business people with mixed agendas- who often see the potential bottom line rather than education and passion as being the driving force in what they do. Traditionally the specialty coffee industry has been built on the strong foundation of sharing knowledge and experience- with the supposition that by helping each other the industry will be strongly quality focused. However a number of the more recent arrivals in the market are perhaps choosing coffee for the perceived easy profits, rather than for a real passion for coffee or its heritage. As a result many of the traditional methods of exchange are not as effective, or used as frequently as they have been in the past.

    Globally Coffee is in a position where consumption is beginning to slow down and opportunities to grow coffee are becoming more difficult to find in the traditional coffee consuming markets- Europe, USA, South America and Oceania. The easy answer if to look at new emerging markets- China, India, Pakistan and Indonesia are prime targets. These countries either have low coffee consumption (Indonesian’s, for instance, consume 500gm per person per year vs. Norway’s 12kg per person per year), or have reasonable consumption, but historically are tea consumers (India). The new markets are also very suggestible to western branding- in many cases the strength of branding has been shown to be more important than the product itself. This presents a number of opportunities to strong western brands and of course new local brands to emerge. However it does not necessarily equate to long-term longevity of specialty coffee in these new frontiers.

    In the more mature markets, the patterns of consumption have changed markedly over the last 15-20 years. The traditional, lower quality coffee products such as instants, are being replaced by roast and ground coffee (drips, plungers etc) and of course Espresso Based Drinks (cappuccino, latte, espresso etc). Fresh roasted coffee has many advantages over the instant coffee. It is more flavoursome and more importantly has a greater link back to where it originally came from. This means that customer awareness is also on the increase- bringing into the spotlight the actual paper trail of where the coffee comes from, who picked it, what price the grower get from it etc. To consumers in countries such as New Zealand this is very important- as generally there is a linkage between quality of coffee and the return the farmer or grower gets. The correlation is the better the return to a farmers, the better the coffee will be. Higher returns means more time can be spent in the origin country looking after the crop, pruning, selective harvesting, proper intensive drying and packing/storing the coffee once it is dried.

    The role the specialty coffee industry plays in all this is very important. Retail shops that source and supply only the best coffee help to sustain the industry both upstream and downstream. This means the farmers and workers will be rewarded and the consumers will have access to quality coffee, hopefully growing the business further.

    Unfortunately the reverse is gradually becoming more often the norm. Cafes, coffee shops and roasters entering the market all over the world tend to look for short-term cost advantages to try and fuel their business models. To achieve this they either buy poor quality coffee, as cheap as possible or average quality coffee…likewise as cheaply as possible. Cheap coffee equates to, at the best, very average finished product. This in turn means generally a poor perception of the place selling the coffee. This would perhaps be OK if there were not so many cafes now selling poor quality coffee. As it is it means that poor quality coffee is often accepted a being the norm- hence having the result of putting people off drinking coffee.

    In many ways the industry can be seen as having come almost full circle back to where it was in the early 1970’s when instant coffee and coffee sitting on hotplates for 10 hours were seen and accepted as being normal coffee. This is what pioneers like Peet worked so hard to change. It is also why the crossroads the industry now stands at are so important.

    The choices are really quite simple. For coffee to evolve and grow further there needs to be education of the retailer and the customer. The global industry is built around national organisations that play a varying role in providing advice and education to those in retail or wholesale. The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) and the SCAE (Specialty Coffee Association of Europe) are two such organisations. However to become members of these organisations is as simple as filling out a form and paying a fee. Often the motivation of the people joining is just to get a sticker to put on their shop door, knowledge is a secondary motivator. There is talk that membership should involve some form of basic enter test and then continuing education via the internet- which would at least help to provide tools to pass information on to those drinking the coffee.

    Looking at those in the industry who do things well, is also a great way of building and planning the future for specialty coffee. In the USA quality roasters and café operators such as Allegro, Blackstump Coffee and Intelligensia have taken industry standards to a new level. Buying quality coffee, hiring quality staff and imparting quality knowledge to customers buying their morning coffee has proven very successful for these companies. So much so that it is an unquestionable part of their corporate culture. All of these companies also practice something unique- they regularly visit their growers in countries such as Indonesia, Guatemala, Kenya, Brazil and Colombia. To take this one step further, they do not just visit and spend a few nights- taking photos of a grower’s coffee trees, they maintain regular contact with those growing the coffee. This approach must be seen as the future for coffee in competitive, quality driven markets. It is true relationship coffee where the roaster becomes by default part of the farmers extended family.

    Passing knowledge on to those who buy a coffee everyday, and arming them with information on what type of coffee they drink, how it is grown, who grows it, when it is picked, how it gets to them gives all power to the customer. It is a very important, yet lagging piece of the future of coffee globally. Being able to learn the differences in tastes/cupping qualities has some snob quality, but more importantly it helps the buyer to differentiate between good, average and poor coffee. Here lies the problem. A successful café founded on the principles of sustainability and true coffee culture has nothing to fear from education. A café selling poor quality coffee is unlikely, or perhaps unable, to want to educate clients about quality.

    A failure to address quality, education and sustainability in the business sector (from the farmer to the retail customer) will ultimately result in consumption patterns falling further. Quality issues- especially over the counter and in the cup, need to be addressed. If not unfortunately those to suffer will be the grower or origin country, rather than the retailer. With current economics a grower in Indonesia receives only around 2-5% of the cost of the average cup sold in America or Europe. If demand drops off, the Arabica business ultimately will fall back into a cycle of commodity pricing rather than specialty pricing that many quality origins now enjoy. Competition from other beverages, and lifestyle choices, compete with the disposable income that coffee comes from.

    If Alfred Peet was still alive, undoubtedly he would just carry on doing what he did well and loved, roasting coffee and sharing his knowledge and experience with anyone willing, and wanting to learn and listen- a model to all of us in the industry today.

    © Alun H.G Evans, Merdeka Coffee, 2007. The writer reserves all moral rights to this article. May only be reproduced.

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  • Preserve your Food with food sealing machine

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    December 17, 2021 /  Food

    One of the basic necessities of life that is food is perishable. Thanks to the sedentary lifestyle which a person is living up these days, it has been noted down that more intake of unhealthy food is consumed by the individual. This has related to many health issues like cancer and tumor. To help the person live a healthy life, it is always advisable to have food which is fresh and cooked well. If you are quite busy in your life and looking for easy to cook and store services fridge won’t be a better option. To get the best services, you need to buy food sealing machine. Read the rest of this entry »

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  • Pork and chicken dumplings

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    December 8, 2021 /  Food

    Pork and chicken dumplingsIngredients

    150g pork mince
    150g chicken mince
    1 Tbsp light soy sauce
    1 Tbsp oyster sauce
    ½ tsp sesame oil
    1 Tbsp finely chopped ginger
    ½ cup water chestnuts, chopped
    6 shiitake mushrooms (300g), finely sliced
    2 spring onions, finely sliced
    25 fresh white round wonton wrappers
    2 Tbsp vegetable oil

    Sauce

    ¹⁄³ cup light soy sauce
    1 chilli, finely sliced
    2cm-piece ginger,
    cut into fine strips
    1 tsp sugar
    ½ tsp sesame oil

    Method

    1 Combine pork and chicken mince, soy, oyster sauce, sesame oil, ginger, chestnut, mushroom and onion in a bowl. Mix until well combined.
    2 Lay 5 wrappers on a clean bench. Using your fingertip, wet the outside edges with a little water. Put about 3 teaspoons of mince filling in the centre of each wrapper. Fold over to encase filling. Overlap edges in little pleats. Gently flatten base slightly so dumplings stand up. Repeat 4 times with remaining wrappers and filling.
    3 Heat a non-stick frypan. Add a little oil. Fry dumplings in batches for about 1 minute or until base is crisp. Add 1 cup hot water, cover and cook for 5-6 minutes or until water has evaporated and dumplings are tender. Remove and keep warm.
    4 To make sauce: Combine ingredients. Serve in dipping bowl or over the dumplings.

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  • The steps to clean fish spines

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    December 1, 2021 /  Food

    PRESENTING fish dishes for your child, the most comfortable when in the form of fillets or without thorns. Although initially difficult, fillet can be learned well through practice. Practice makes perfect, right?

    Fish-fillet could have been processed in a variety of dishes. For your child, it is certainly easier for them to eat rather than hindered thorns.

    Consider the steps raised fish spines, the following:

    1. Make sure the fish must be fresh. Clean the fish entrails so when mem-fillet, fish meat can be cut properly. Kaip Use a clean cloth or paper towel to remove moisture fish so that the fish is easily cut.

    2. Put the knife in between the fins and tail. Make a straight cut down through flesh and bone. Exhaust fins and tail.

    3. Starting from the tip of the head, cut with a knife along the backbone slowly. Cut the ribs to separate the pieces of fish fillets.

    4. Cut thin fillets of fish stomachs. Besides good to eat, also cooked faster than other parts of fillet fat and richer.

    5. Place the blade on the tip of the tail in between the skin and meat. Run knife along slowly with a fish fillet knife position slightly tilted down and one hand on the skin of the fish to be cut.

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  • Nespresso Coffee

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    November 28, 2021 /  Food

    In 1976 the technology that is used to brew Nespresso, some of the most expensive coffee cup for cup, was invented by the Nestle corporation in Switzerland. Since then the product has gone through many stages of development that have led us to a very popular product that brews perfect high-quality coffee with a rich layer of crema on top every single time. With coffee capsules that sell for one dollar each, Nespresso justifies its price with exceptional quality and has been becoming more and more popular worldwide in the past few years.

    If you are wondering what the fuss is all about, consider how rare it is, whether it is at home or at a coffee shop, that a shot of espresso has that perfect layer of thick tan foam resting on top. This is known to coffee connoisseurs as crema, and is an indication of high quality coffee that’s been perfectly brewed. Once brewed, Nespresso has a full rich flavor and an aroma that wakes up the senses of coffee lovers, along with a beautiful layer of crema on every single cup.

    There are several factors that are considered and a number of steps the Nespresso company takes to ensure that their coffee is so exceptional. These begin where one might expect, with the coffee.

    The Highest Quality Coffee

    Acquiring the perfect coffee is a very high priority for the people at Nespresso. It is the coffee that the customer drinks, and it is therefore the primary consideration when it comes to customer satisfaction. Second best just won’t do for Nespresso. To begin with, the firm only uses the best Grand Cru coffee. This terminology, generally used to describe the finest wines from the best regions is used by Nespresso to describe the top harvests from the greatest coffee regions in the world.

    The beans used in the production of Nespresso coffee are chosen using a very specific methodology. Only the best beans from the top harvests are used, and the roasting and grinding of all of the beans is very closely monitored to make sure that the coffee comes out as it should.

    In addition to this, Nespresso makes sure that it offers the variety its customers need by providing various coffees from many well known top quality sources to give their clients a wide variety of flavors and a wide variety in the level of intensity.

    The coffee is sold in hermetically sealed aluminum capsules that measure the perfect amount of coffee, preserve its freshness, and are integrated optimally into the Nespresso coffee machines.

    The Perfect Coffee Machines

    The other thing that makes Nespresso Coffee loved all over the world is their coffee machines. The machines were created to be used with Nespresso capsules and only Nespresso capsules. There are many top quality coffee machines available, but Nespresso machines are unique.

    Nespresso Machines Are Well Designed

    The very first thing that you will notice about Nespresso machines if you look through a catalog or browse them in a store is that they are all very well designed. They are not only designed to make the perfect coffee but to be nice to look at. This makes them ideal for display both at home and at the office. The colors of the machines are well balanced and attractive and fit well at home or at the office.

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  • Helpful Prevent Sugar Rice grain clumping

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    November 26, 2021 /  Food

    MATERIALS stored food is more easily damaged. This is usually due to ignorance of the correct way to save it. Though there are little things that you are not thought of before can help endurance herbs longer.

    The following safety tips that you may often neglect so that food does not last long.

    Enter in freezer
    Freezer is not just a place to store ice cream and ice cubes only. Freezer can also be a place where the food to make it more durable. If you want long-lasting vegetables, live cut and insert in sealed plastic and store in the freezer. Another thing that you can store in the freezer is butter, bread, flour, and also to eliminate the evil bacteria.

    Put the baking soda in the refrigerator
    Vegetables and fruits are kept in the refrigerator issuing ethylene gas that can make them rot faster. To prevent this, put the baking soda in the refrigerator and you will be more fresh vegetables and durable.

    Little things have a big impact
    Lots of little things that can greatly affect your food resilience. For example, add a few grains of rice in a jar of sugar to prevent clumping. Or give a little butter on the corners so that the cheese does not dry out.

    re wrap
    Although the food is in a tight pack does not guarantee the long-lasting food. Examples cheese. Remove the cheese from the wrapper and then re-using the plastic wrap to make it more durable. The same thing you can do to vegetables.

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  • Treat Yourself Today With Gourmet Flavored Coffee

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    November 25, 2021 /  Food

    I love all types of coffee, but one of my favorite types is gourmet flavored coffee. To tell you the truth, I like everything about coffee, from coffee candy to coffee mugs to all kinds of coffee gifts. Most of all though, I love gourmet coffee. Let me tell you why.

    The Wide Varieties

    There is absolutely no shortage of different flavors of gourmet coffee. The online store where I buy most of my coffee has these flavors: amaretto, almond, butterscotch cream, butter rum, cherry cobbler, cherry bomb, chocolate cherry, chocolate almond, chocolate marshmallow, chocolate Irish Cream, chocolate raspberry, chocolate mint, orange, cinnamon hazelnut, pumpkin spice, orange, vanilla nut, vanilla almond, etc., etc., etc. I have only tried a fraction of all these go types of gourmet coffee.

    How It is Made

    Obviously, coffee beans can’t be grown with all these different flavors. Gourmet flavored coffee begins with a base like Colombia Supremo, to which pure flavors are added. There are no sugars or chemical additives in this flavored coffee. The end result of this process is a wonderfully delicious coffee, so delicious that flavored coffee can become addictive. With so many flavors to choose from, you will never become bored when drinking coffee of gourmet favor.

    The Best Way to Brew

    Like all types of coffee, coffee of gourmet favor will taste better when it’s brewed correctly. Start by keeping all your coffee brewing equipment as clean as possible. Coffee residue, especially flavored coffee residue, can leave later pots of coffee tasting funny. I make a practice of cleaning all of my coffee brewing equipment each time I make coffee.

    Water is another important factor in brewing a great cup of coffee. Be sure to use filtered cold water so that the gourmet flavor is not masked. For really fresh flavor, start with coffee beans and grind them yourself. The coffee will stay fresh longer. Each time you make a pot of coffee, measure and grind just the amount you need. I think you’ll agree that freshly ground gourmet flavored coffee can’t be beat.

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  • Interesting Facts About Culinary Arts

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    November 23, 2021 /  Food

    Want to know some interesting facts about culinary arts? Well, as most people know, the culinary arts revolve around culinary arts and food, and they include everything from restaurant management and hospitality management to food science and food safety. Someone who works in any of these areas is called a “culinarian,” and that includes everyone from food service workers to creators of the fantastic pastry arts. Read the rest of this entry »

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  • Health Foods With Harmful Ingredients

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    November 14, 2021 /  Food

    Sometimes we all probably feel like we are walking through a nutrition mine field. What one person or organization calls healthy is deemed unhealthy or even deadly by another. So what is a person to do when faced with the idea of trying to improve food choices in order to achieve a healthy fit body?

    Luckily there are a few things that we are absolutely certain of and these things are the focus of this article. There are a lot of everyday, common foods and food storage items that most people don’t give a second thought, but that in actuality could seriously affect their overall health and quality of life.

    This first unhealthy substance isn’t actually a food, but it is something we commonly store foods in. Even health food stores sometimes place their “healthy” food in containers made of this cancer-linked substance. In June 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a report saying that styrene has a high probability of causing cancer. Now, given the fact that I’ve been in the fitness industry for quite some time, this is not news to me, but perhaps it is to you. Styrene is everywhere and it’s a challenge to avoid it. Here are some very common products containing this potentially cancer-causing substance.

    1. Styrofoam cups and plates
    2. To-go boxes from restaurants
    3. Foam packing material
    4. Industrial emissions
    5. Second-hand cigarette smoke
    6. Floor waxes
    7. Paints and varnishes

    Fortunately for us wisdom is power in this case. There are very simple alternatives to styrene these days and glass food and liquid containers are your best bet for ensuring the things you put in your body are not contaminated with unwanted and in some cases, deadly ingredients.

    A second potentially harmful issue surrounds farm raised salmon (tilapia also). When we think of salmon we think of a beautiful vibrant fish leaping over small water falls in order to spawn, you know, just like we see on the Discovery Channel. Well, this isn’t the reality for farm raised salmon. Instead envision tiny ponds densely packed with fish that have never felt a day of freedom. If this doesn’t make you feel uneasy, the rest of the story will. Farm raised salmon are malnourished due to the fact that they are fed cheap sources of food in order to keep costs at a minimum.

    Feathers are a staple in the farm raised salmon’s diet because it’s a cheap source of protein. Because they are so poorly fed, their skin is a drab shade of gray. Since this wouldn’t sell very well, these farm raised salmon are injected with the colorant Canthaxanthin in order to produce that healthy-looking pink color. Farmed salmon contain much higher levels of Poly-Chlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins that do their wild-caught cousins. Research has shown that even a small amount of these compounds may cause irreparable brain development damage in children. Moreover, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has announced that ingesting more than a single serving of farm-raised salmon in a given week may cause a person to exceed the maximum intake level for these substances according to the World Health Organization. So many people eat salmon in an effort to be healthy and get those essential fatty acids found in this fish’s oil. Unfortunately they are being deceived because not only do these fishes have lower quality oils than their wild-caught cousins, but they also have tissues (meat) fed with potentially harmful substances.

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  • Obey Your Food Rules

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    November 10, 2021 /  Food

    Every modern society has laws or rules that are meant to be followed and obeyed. Things like traffic laws, paying taxes or even rules that govern every sport you can imagine. We all know what happens if we have no rules, right? Yes, chaos ensues and our society begins to fall apart. Yikes! The same thing is true with your fat loss goals. I have always been a firm believer in having what I call “food rules” that govern the way I eat. Remembering that it’s impossible to out train a bad diet, if you obey your food rules it is easier to stay on track and make sure that you are only consuming foods that are taking you closer to your goals, not farther away from them. Read the rest of this entry »

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