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DR Wakefield – April 2016 Newsletter

Welcome to DR Wakefield’s April 2016 newsletter. Our main focus for this month is the London Coffee Festival, taking place from April 7th to 10th. We’ll be there, so if you’re planning on visiting, come and say hello…

DR Wakefield: Where we’re going, and where we’ve been…

The London Coffee Festival takes place at the Old Truman Brewery on London’s Brick Lane from April 7th to 10th. Last year, the Festival was attended by 23,642 visitors – and we’re expecting it to be big news again this year! With over 250 stalls, plus workshops, tastings, demonstrations, coffee-based cocktails and more, there’s something for everyone. We hope to see you there! 

We’ll also be hosting a swanky cocktail bash on the opening night of the London Coffee Festival, which we’re very excited about. If you haven’t already booked your spot, you’d better do so quickly! See details below.

In other news, the annual Guardian Sustainable Business Awards finalists have recently been announced and we are thrilled to be a part of this year’s cohort. Shortlisted with the likes of IKEA and SABMiller in the supply chain category, we are honoured that our Project 121 should reach the judges’ attention.

The awards focus on projects which go above and beyond standard sustainable supply chain practices. For us, the linking of producers directly with roasters year on year, giving them a voice and, more importantly, a face in our markets, is the epitome of sustainable trading – and of course, paying a fair price that has been negotiated in a tripartite manner that is over and above the Fairtrade and Organic premium.

It’s a privilege to work with the partners we do – and to be recognised for the strength of our relationships which is fundamental to our business.

We wait with baited breath for the results – we’ll let you know as soon as we do.

New arrivals:

El Salvador Finca San Ernesto Washed

Finca San Ernesto’s coffee, from the Urrutia family in El Salvador, is perfect for espresso. Its luxuriously creamy body and hazelnut flavour make it taste just like Nutella! There’s a definite sprinkling of cashew nuts too, adding another dimension to this nutty, chocolate extravaganza.

Brazil Carmo Estate Pulped Natural

Carmo Estate is a farm that is quickly gaining global stardom for the complexity of the coffee that it produces. The cup starts off with redcurrants and clementine and then accelerates towards thick maple syrup for the aftertaste. A coffee that leaves you yearning for more.

Colombia Santander District

Santander District is the latest coffee to join our Colombian district line up! Plums and oranges dominate this cup, with a milk chocolate finish. We have 20 bags available, so if you want to try this new coffee, make sure you get in touch fast, it certainly won’t last long.

Coffees to get excited about:

Ethiopia Gera Farm:

This farm used to be the old Coffee Research Centre and has a long history of producing great coffee. This has a bigger body than you would expect and has blood orange and ripe red cherry flavour notes – perfect for that juicy spring cold brew to ease you towards the summer.

Guatemala Monte Cristo:

Monte Cristo is a coffee that never fails to delight our palates here at DRW. With an apple acidity accompanied by pomegranate and apricots, this fruity devil is a pleasure to drink. It comes from Nueva Granada Estate and we reckon it’s the best that the farm produces.

Kenya Jungle Estate:

This is the second year that we’ve brought over coffee from Jungle Estate, and they have somehow reached the same dizzying heights as last year. A creamy body with refined acidity, the cup is full of blackcurrants and lemon zest, with a lingering sweet brown sugar aftertaste.

Government denies plans to tax coffee cups

After Environment Minister Rory Stewart claimed that a tax on unrecyclable disposable coffee cups would be a “very good thing to look at next”, Defra has released a statement confirming that there are currently no plans to implement such a tax. Around 2.5 billion plastic and paper cups are used each year in the UK, with estimates suggesting that we recycle fewer than 1% of them—both because of the way in which they’re disposed of, and because of the composition of the cups themselves. While some coffee shops are attempting to tackle the problem by introducing incentives for those who bring their own cups it remains a huge problem.

El Niño may push up coffee prices

In mid-March, coffee entered a bull market—and at a recent industry gathering, analysts and traders expressed their fears that the crop losses caused by El Niño in Southeast Asia and South America will continue to shrink global supply and increase prices.

Reports suggest that demand across the globe may exceed output by up to 4 million bags in the season that begins on October 1st, with the current coffee year seeing a 4.8 million bag deficit. 

Ethiopia boosting coffee production to save economy

Ethiopia is currently facing its worst drought in 50 years, but coffee could be the country’s saviour. Coffee is already the backbone of the country’s economy, with around 15 million farmers with smallholdings depending on the bean to support their families. 

Farmers claim that recent droughts have affected both the north and the south of Ethiopia: a country where many farmers will receive just 40p per bag for their beans. Its coffee industry is now being given a boost, however, with the Ethiopian government pledging a heavier investment in coffee production, with the aim of upping production by 45%. The Fairtrade Foundation is also involved, working to improve both conditions and prices for farmers, and offering a sum of money that is paid into a communal fund for them to use.  

Diedrich Manufacturing Inc. founders retire

Stephan and Becky Diedrich, who have headed up Diedrich Manufacturing Inc. for the last 35 years, have now retired from the company, which is based in Ponderay, Idaho.

The company grew to fame as the first large-scale American commercial coffee roaster manufacturer, producing a range of roasters (including “create your own” options) under the Diedrich Roasters name. Stephan started the manufacturing side of the business, building on his father’s success in the coffee industry.

Michael Paquin, who has been CEO of Diedrich for the last 4 years, has now teamed up with investment partners to buy the company, and promises to build on Stephan and Becky’s success.

How does grinder heat affect your coffee?

A good coffee grinder needs both predictability and consistency which, when combined with dose and particle size, are vitally important when it comes to the quality of your cup. But what effect does heat have on the process? Take a look at the video below – a talk from Christian Klatt, senior product manager at coffee grinder manufacturer Mahlkönig, from BGE Barista Camp 2015, which covers where the heat in coffee grinders comes from, where it then goes, and the effect that it has on your coffee.