Welcome to the first instalment of DR Wakefield’s monthly newsletter: a round-up of our own news plus insights on the wider coffee industry. After the excitement of this year’s London Coffee Festival, we’re just about back to business as usual, so let’s get on with it shall we?
DR Wakefield: Where we’re going, and where we’ve been…
We’ve had a busy few months here at DR Wakefield, with our traders travelling all over the world all in the name of work.
Priscilla has recently returned from India’s Araku Valley, where she experienced the incredible culture of coffee cultivation that the area enjoys despite the problems caused by the hudhud cyclone. Phil has enjoyed an amazing tour of Ethiopia, where 100% wild coffee is a huge part of the country’s coffee industry. And, as mentioned earlier, closer to home, we enjoyed a fantastic few days taking part in the London Coffee Festival, where we hosted talks, workshops and also a micro-lot coffee auction.
And a massive congratulations to Phil and Priscilla who have recently returned from San Francisco where they both earned their Q Grade qualifications.
This month, between June 16th and 18th, we’ll be in Sweden, exhibiting at the SCAE Nordic World of Coffee 2015. Come and see us on Stand D12 where we’ll be running tasting sessions, a brew bar and a competition to win a box of Daterra coffee. The event itself has plenty to get excited about with an Innovation Arena, an Origins Hub, World Championships, an Education Zone and more.
Disastrous season for Vietnamese coffee blamed on climate change…
Vietnam is the largest producer of Robusta beans in the world – but as the industry has grown, things have changed. Pesticide use has been intensive, monocropping is commonplace and deforestation has been vital for the growth of the industry, but such exploits have now left the country incredibly susceptible to climate change.
Average temperatures are increasing and rainfall levels are dropping dramatically – but despite this, the country’s coffee farms continue to expand, placing even more demand on resources that are already limited.
As a result, exports of Vietnamese crops have reached a five year low, with a combination of recent droughts and overuse of water by coffee farmers contributing to the problem. In order to improve the situation, experiments are under way that will determine just how much water coffee farmers should use per plant, per watering.
Brazil suspends green coffee imports from Peru…
Green Arabica imports from Peru were only approved by Brazil in April, but already the country has performed a U-turn and banned all coffee imports from its neighbour. The change in the decision has been attributed to the fact that green coffee shipments from Peru could allow Moniliophthora roreri fungi to make their way to Brazil via the coffee: fungi that can cause frosty pod rot disease, from which Brazil is currently still free.
It has been reported that this suspension will remain in place until Peruvian authorities are able to produce a work plan that demonstrates how the country plans to ensure that any green coffee shipments are completely free from this potentially devastating disease.
Nigerian coffee production down to zero…
A report produced by the United States Department of Agriculture has revealed that Nigeria produced no coffee whatsoever during the first four months of 2015. The country’s coffee production levels have been falling since the 1960s, and while other reports suggest that the demand for Nigerian coffee is currently fairly high, it is claimed that government investment in the sector has bottomed out.
Nigeria’s coffee retail culture is by no means the largest, but the recent formation of the Cafe Neo brand – which wants to become the African equivalent to Starbucks – could possibly buck this trend. With so much current demand for small batch, speciality coffee, could we see Nigeria start to slowly become more well-known on the world stage?
Coffee by-products may have health benefits…
More than 2 billion tons of coffee by-products are currently sent to landfill sites each year, but new research has shown that such by-products may have uses as antioxidants, prebiotics and antimicrobial ingredients.
Appearing in the LWT – Food Science and Technology journal, the research from the University of Granada highlights that waste products such as silverskin and coffee grounds could be used as processing ingredients and nutritionally beneficial ingredients within the food and nutrition industry.
Antioxidant levels in some elements were reported to have more than 500 times the antioxidant effects of vitamin C, while also containing plenty of phenols and prebiotic fibres. With so many potential benefits, harnessing the power of coffee by-products could not only help to prevent food waste, but could provide an additional source of revenue for the coffee industry, additional benefits for the health sector and health benefits for consumers.
Costa Rica ‘Community Lot San Pedro’
As many of you already know DRWakefield created the Community Coffee Program in the Tarrazu Region back in October 2011 as a way to reward and recognise the exceptional work of the coffee farmers that produce these exquisite coffees. This coffee comes from the San Pedro community and has a rich body with milk chocolate, hazelnut and lemon zest flavour notes.
EL Salvador Buena Vista Natural
This is an exceptional natural which has the funky fruit flavours one would expect from a natural but is also very clean and refined!
Coffees to get excited about:
Papua New Guinea Elimbari A Reserve
Fancy something exotic? This is a complex coffee which has blackcurrant and caramel flavours with hints of chocolate. It’s due to arrive in September, and we’re looking forward to getting our hands on some!
Gems of Araku Lot #C1 Natural Mandal
This is a super sweet coffee that comes from the Araku valley which Priscilla visited recently. It’s cup – a jammy profile with a lovely maple syrup finish – reflects the vibrancy of the region. It will be arriving towards the end of July.