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DR Wakefield – February 2016 Newsletter

Welcome DR Wakefield’s February 2016 newsletter. It’s already shaping up to be a great year…so without further ado, here’s a round-up of our own news plus insights into the wider coffee industry. 

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

The line-up for this year’s London Coffee Festival, taking place from April 7th to 10th, has now been announced – you can see it here. And we’ll be there! After a great year last year, we’re looking forward to more of the same in 2016 – read our interview with organiser Alex Berti from last year to get a taste of what’s to come.

Last year, DRW trader, Priscilla Daniel, visited India to find out how the Araku Valley had been recovering after the devastating hudhud ravaged the land and destroyed acres of coffee crops. We got her to video her trip, and this is the result.

New arrivals:

Sumatra Mandheling FO

We’ve had some really great arrivals from Mandheling recently; this is one of the best. Its complexity jumped out at us on the cupping table; with all the herbal and spicy overtones that you would expect in a Sumatra, but also some wonderfully sweet redcurrant notes, too. Stunning.

Peru 121

We have three amazing Fairtrade organic 15-bag lots from the Sol & Cafê Co-operative: the unique chance to gain exclusivity of a coffee and develop a long term relationship with a producer. Full of cherry and creamy chocolate, these coffees represent the terroir of Northern Peru.

Colombia Sudan Rume Natural

Sudan Rume is a very rare variety, and we’re proud to offer it. It hails from Café Granja who, we like to think, are like Apple: always innovating. This is a unique coffee packed in a 25kg vacuum box and we only have two boxes available, so don’t miss out!

Coffees to get excited about:

Indian Premium Robusta Sethuraman Estate

This premium Robusta coffee from the Sethuraman Estate in the south of India redefines the boundaries of what you would expect from a Robusta. It has a full body, cocoa nibs and sweet spices, making it the perfect asset for your espresso blend.

Kenya Thunguri

It’s back! This coveted coffee from the famous co-operative should be here towards the end of March/early April. Bursting with juicy forest fruits, it has the true characteristics of a top Kenyan coffee. It’s so good, we had to buy both the AA and AB grades! Limited availability.

Ethiopia Hambella

Passion fruit, mango, apricot: no, we haven’t started selling sorbet. This exotic coffee provides traceability (back to the Hambella Washing Station) and is over and above what you’d expect from an Ethiopian natural in terms of funky fruits. Coming in at 88 SCAA points, it will not disappoint.

Brazilian coffee harvest could reach record high

According to the Conab agriculture bureau, this year’s Brazilian coffee crop could well surpass the 2012 record of 50.8m bags; the production forecast currently pegged at between 49.1 and 51.9m.

Arabica crops are expected to show a higher increase in yield than robusta, mainly thanks to more favourable weather conditions in arabica-growing areas. 2016 is also a higher output year for Brazil, which naturally cycles between higher and lower output years.

How to brew coffee in space

Here on Earth, we’re continually developing new ways of brewing coffee – but what about space? In a video recently posted on YouTube, astronaut Tim Peake shows us just how different the process is 220 miles above the earth’s surface. 

It’s a little unusual, but due to a lack of gravity, it’s not as easy for him to get his coffee fix as it is for us. The V60 would be a nightmare. Coffee in space appears to be a regularly recurring topic – in July 2015, the ISSpresso was launched – along with the zero-G coffee cup – to ensure that missions are always fully caffeinated. The first company to develop an aerospace aeropress is sitting on a goldmine.

Fire-affected Jamaican farmers receive $3m in relief

Fires in May 2015 caused chaos in East Rural St Andrew, Jamaica, with those farming coffee beans and other produce seeing their crops completely wiped out. Now, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has given $3m in relief to 35 coffee farmers in the region, with the funds to be used to help to recover their businesses.

Each of the farms has received a $30,000 grant for every acre of land affected, along with fertiliser, seedlings, plants and more. These grants are part of a wider strategy to rebuild the damage caused by the fires, with additional work being done to repair roads and the area’s infrastructure as a whole.

Could we see a coffee crisis in the next three years?

Thanks to a growth in coffee consumption, more refined tastes and high growth in the number of coffee shops opening, market analysts Allegra Group have warned that a coffee crisis could be on the cards.

Demand for high-quality coffee is now so great that farmers are struggling to keep production at high enough levels: coffee prices remain relatively low, Arabica farms tend to have low yields and global warming continues to affect the prospect of high coffee output across the world – all factors that contribute to Allegra’s warning. This year alone, a production deficit of 3.5m bags is expected – can things be turned around?  

London 2016 coffee trends explored

When it comes to the UK coffee scene, London is quite often at the forefront of new developments – and the Evening Standard has been looking into the trends expected to hit London in 2016. From purifying and filtering water before brewing to the launch of speciality milk, and the move from pod-based machines to V60 drippers, the article makes for an interesting read.