Welcome to the first DR Wakefield newsletter of 2016. Hopefully, you feel as suitably fattened as we do after the break, and also looking forward to what promises to be a great year for us personally, and the coffee industry as a whole. Despite the break, coffee doesn’t sleep. So here’s a round-up of our own news plus insights on the wider coffee industry.
DR Wakefield: Where we’re going, and where we’ve been…
Phil and MT are back from their trip to Ethiopia – a country that’s finally launched a traceability system, which you’ll hear more about from us soon. Priscilla has been out in the US, representing DRW as the first European coffee trader invited to Cup for Quality. She cupped some fantastic Rainforest Alliance certified lots, all of which we’ll be reporting on in blogs to come.
Brazilian coffee harvest estimates lifted…
The Conab crop bureau has revised its Brazilian coffee harvest estimate upwards for both this year and last, with this year’s crop now estimated at 43.24 million bags – 1.1m higher than predicted by the September estimate. This revision is mainly thanks to an uplift in the arabica crop produced in the Minas Gerais region (read more about our recent visit here) but is still significantly lower than the 60m bags that Brazil is said to be capable of producing. The blame lies in the country’s widely-reported droughts, which have played havoc with coffee production.
MoJoe Personal Mobile Brewer brews coffee on the go…
The MoJoe Personal Mobile Brewer – currently still in its Kickstarter phase but looking likely to be funded – is a brand new travel mug that not only keeps coffee warm but brews it in the mug too. It consists of two compartments, one holding water and one holding coffee, which are kept separate until you press the button to start the brewing process.
The water is then heated to 200 degrees, with the pressure created by the steam allowing the water to be dripped through to the reservoir, brewing your coffee. It’s a nifty looking piece of kit.
£7.9bn spent in British coffee shops in 2015…
The Project Cafe 2016 UK report by Allegra World Coffee Portal has now been published, revealing that the Brits love of coffee shops continues to grow. There are now over 20,000 in the UK, and around 30% of this market is made up of independents, 31% of branded coffee shops and 39% of non-specialist outlets. The report reckons that by 2025 there will be over 30,000 coffee outlets in the UK alone, and our spending in coffee shops (which is currently at £7.9bn per year) should break through the £15bn mark in the next 10 years…
Could “coffee flour” be the next big thing…?
A scientist at Brandeis University has now managed to create a flour from coffee beans, by par-baking the beans at 300F for 10 minutes before grinding. This “healthy” flour preserves the amount of chlorogenic acid in the beans as well as the coffee’s flavour, with study leader Dr Perlman suggesting that the new mild and nutty coffee flour could be mixed with regular flours for baking, as well as added to juices, soups and breakfast cereals. We’ll stick with a standard brew, we think…
UCDA looking to improve robusta quality…
The Uganda Coffee Development Authority has implemented the Centre of Robusta Excellence (CORE) programme, in a bid to reverse the decline in both production and quality of the country’s coffee crop. Its aim? To develop a sustainable coffee value chain, using innovations including new technologies, research and developing a Ugandan coffee culture, along with better promotion of Ugandan coffee. At the end of the three years, the team behind the project expect that farmers’ coffee plantations will be improved, and that they will use high standard agronomical practices to ensure quality in the coffees that they produce.
Our new arrivals this month are all from Daterra’s ‘Masterpiece’ range – in their words (and ours)
“We are happy to share one of the best representatives of high altitude organic coffee with you. A coffee with a complex and exotic character.” This perfectly produced natural is full of strawberries and cream, and had it been produced six months ago would have been called Cedro Wimbledon.
“Our farm located in Franca, in the Mogiana region, has always delighted us with amazingly chocolatey coffees. This year one specific area inside the farm surprised us with its cup profile though. That is the area that produced Murici.” It takes rich dark chocolate flavours, combined with soft sweet nuts and caramel, to new levels.
“Aiming to experiment with methods to bring up fruitiness and aromatics, through drying, Baru was created.” Experimenting with processing methods is at the forefront of Daterra’s goals: it is their raison d'être! This aromatic coffee, spiced up with fresh fruits and jammy undertones, will leave you questioning everything you ever thought you knew about Brazilian coffee.
Coffees to get excited about:
Kenya AA Kigutha
This remarkably full-bodied coffee is packed full of crisp acidity and cherry blossom, along with foraged blackcurrant undertones. You’ll also get a long summer fruits finish, perfect for warming up your winter.
Regional Monsoon Manjarabad
This unique, world-renowned coffee will soon be coming to our shores. This first-time regional monsooned bean is full of oaky goodness with mild acidity and a hint of cracked black pepper.
Fairtrade Organic, Café Femenino, Bird Friendly, Peru
“It’s made in the shade”. The list of social and environmental accolades for this coffee is huge. Juicy mandarin and citrus fruit flavours, candied orange peel and raisin – does good, tastes good.