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DR Wakefield – December 2015 Newsletter

Welcome to the latest instalment of DR Wakefield’s monthly newsletter: a round-up of our own news plus insights on the wider coffee industry. Both at DR Wakefield and beyond, there’s been plenty going on in the world of coffee over the last month, as you’re about to find out…

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

We mentioned our brand spanking new warehouse in Lithuania last month, we caught up with our very own Lithuanian dreamboat, MT, for an interview, so keep you eyes peeled on our blog for that one. While visiting Lithuania recently, we also managed to squeeze in a trip to the Moscow Coffee & Tea Expo, which you can read more about here

Priscilla recently returned from the Minas Gerais region of Brazil, where she visited a number of single estates and cooperatives – full report here – while Henry had a great time at the slightly less-exotic but no less enjoyable Cup North event in Manchester. 

This month, Phil will be heading to Ethiopia – a country that’s finally launched a traceability system, which you’ll hear more about from us soon. Other than that, we’ll mostly be filling our faces with plenty of food over the Christmas period, not to mention quality festive coffees, of course. See below for some of our top festive recommendations.

In other news, we’ve just announced a very exciting partnership with the lovely chaps at European Coffee Trip. Stay tuned for more news and developments on that front over the next few months.

Honduras unveils Coffee Route as new tourist attraction…

The Honduran Institute of Tourism and the Honduran Coffee Institute have joined forces for a project that they hope will bring investment to areas of the country that are a little off the beaten track. The Coffee Route is a trail that takes in the six main coffee growing regions of Honduras, allowing tourists to see how coffee is grown and farmed, understand how it is processed and take place in coffee tasting events. Not only do they hope that the Coffee Route will increase tourism – it’s also been developed as another way in which coffee farmers can diversify their sources of income.

Oxford University reveal the perfect way to serve coffee…

Baristas take note: researchers at Oxford University have revealed that customers will pay more for a coffee if it appeals to as many senses as possible. Looking at the psychology of coffee, the university researchers found that a coffee served by a barista in a white porcelain cup, complete with latte art, was perceived to give the most satisfaction. They found that drinking from a white porcelain cup, rather than a blue mug or a glass, increased coffee’s intensity and made it less sweet, while the latte art element makes people think that the coffee has obviously been made by an expert, improving their perceptions of the drink they’ve been served. Will that see you espresso drinkers out there suddenly take up the milky delights of the latte? Didn’t think so…

48 Ugandan coffee processing facilities closed down…

The purchasing of coffee in the Kayunga district of Uganda has been stopped, as authorities have closed down 48 coffee processing facilities who have either knowingly processed unripe coffee cherries, or whose hygiene levels leave a lot to be desired. The Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) has warned that if changes are not made, these facilities could be permanently closed. Since 1994, the UCDA has had the power to shut down any facility that affects the legitimacy and quality of the country’s coffee – and reports also state that other districts in Uganda have seen similar instances occur in recent weeks.

Ikea researching coffee-powered thermoelectric furniture…

Flatpack giant Ikea has teamed up with students at the Copenhagen Institute of Technology to research how thermoelectric power could be harnessed with furniture in mind. Taking place at their Studio10 lab, the Heat Harvest project is investigating how wasted heat – from everything from laptops to cups of coffee – could be absorbed through a special pad in your coffee table and turned into electricity that could power your phone, laptop or tablet. Coffee: the drink of the future.

Kenya aiming to double coffee production by 2020…

Current estimates suggest that Kenya will harvest just 41,000 tonnes of coffee this year – a far cry from the 129,000 tonnes harvested in the 1988-1989 season. In a bid to reverse this trend and increase harvest figures, the country’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Authority (AFFA) has announced the launch of a five-year plan, which has the aim of doubling Kenyan coffee production by the year 2020. 

The plan – which has been met with mixed reactions – promises that farmers will be able to receive funding at interest rates of 2.5-5% (far lower than the commercial loans to which they currently have access), while the AFFA will also be promoting coffee varieties that offer high yields, making more arable land available for coffee farming, and providing more training to farmers.

New arrivals:

Brazil Mantiqueria de Minas FT Lot #AC 2637 – Yellow Catuai variety:

With just 20 bags available, you need to move fast!. With chocolate and hazelnut, this fantastic microlot is packed full of Christmassy flavours – the perfect liquid alternative to Ferrero Rocher this festive season.

Kenya PB Munani Coffee Factory:

This special lot of PB from the Kenyan Highlands offers rich chocolate and bright lemon zestiness. It’s full of the dark forest berries and sparkling acidity you would expect from a top Kenyan.

Bolivia Colonial Caravani Café Femenino Fairtrade Organic:

This exotic Bolivian coffee combines a creamy body with a chocolatey mouthfeel with punchy sweet red cherries to finish, absolutely delicious. Definitely a coffee to fill every Christmas stocking this year.

Coffees to get excited about:

Colombia Café Granja La Esperanza Sudan Rume Natural:

This farm is a centre for innovation and we’re proud to offer this new naturally processed variety. Packed in 25kg vacuum boxes, it’s a sumptuously juicy, Orangina-flavoured lot with a sweet maple and golden syrup finish – awesome.

Rwanda Abangakurushwa lot 7: (A-ban-ga-ku-rush-wa)

The delicate acidity of this coffee complements the glowing characteristics that it will bring to your cup. A sugar cane sweetness with redcurrants and topped off with cranberries, this is another coffee perfect for Christmas time.

Colombia Santander District:

Packed full of orange, blackcurrants and plums, the Colombia Santander District is a fruity coffee with an extremely clean and lingering finish that leaves a sweet jammy aftertaste. A great accompaniment to a mince pie or Christmas pudding.