coffee, industry news

Like Hawaiian Coffee? You’ve Probably Been Ripped Off

The coffee origin topic is a seed that sprouts a thousand branches. Fair pay. Quality beans. Environmentally sustainable farming techniques.

Kona coffee, a rare and famed Hawaiian origin, has been struggling with an image problem for years. Every time I’ve searched for it I would see countless advertisements insisting just how much more authentic they are than the competition. Little bit of a red flag, right? This ‘hidden in plain sight’ issue has finally reached a head: Daily Coffee News has posted a report on the staggering $13 million lawsuit targeting several roasters and wholesalers for false advertising.

A lot of Hawaiian coffee on the market barely has any Kona beans. Some have none at all. Today’s coffee businesses are well aware, using sly marketing campaigns that actively bank on consumers having little to no clue what goes into coffee sourcing, much less why it’s even important. Several cash settlements have already been made, though the issue is ongoing and is including such industry titans like Safeway and Wal-Mart. Expect to hear more about this.

Coffee origins aren’t just a series of trendy buzzwords to be recited at a party. They give us a bigger picture on what we’re buying, as well as who we’re supporting…or rather, not supporting. I want to support the delicious and unique coffee that comes from Hawaii, not exploitative tactics that bolster big business at the expense of local farmers.

ruby coffee roasters
coffee, review

Decaf, Decaf Everywhere: Ruby Coffee Roasters’ Decaf Cauca

Here’s to Colombia! I return to this origin again and again, because it always gives me complex cups with unique personalities depending on the brewing method.

Colombia is one of today’s leading producers, hovering at number two in sheer production and adding up to a whopping 10% of global coffee exports. It’s far from a quality over quantity situation, though, and this origin has been my favorite for a while now. Onyx Coffee Lab, Counter Culture Coffee and Methodical Coffee are just a few of the incredible single origin and specialty decaf coffee bags I’ve tried from this country.

Colombian coffee is often sweet and nuanced, boasting a wide medley of flavors and often creamy, heavy mouthfeels. I can’t get enough.

What does Ruby Coffee Roasters add to Colombia’s reputation? Does it hold up among today’s best single origin decaf coffee? Let’s take a look at this leading origin and why it remains a powerhouse. If you want to see more on quality decaf coffee, check out my recent review on Methodical Coffee’s Decaf Cauca.

Without further ado:

Continue reading “Decaf, Decaf Everywhere: Ruby Coffee Roasters’ Decaf Cauca”
kuma coffee peru san ignacio decaf
coffee, review

Decaf, Decaf Everywhere: Kuma Coffee’s Peru San Ignacio Decaf

This bag nearly drove me mad…but not in a bad way.

To start off, the first few attempts at brewing this coffee went sour due to my accidentally buying the wrong filter from Melitta. Take it from me…just because it looks like a pourover filter doesn’t mean it’s a pourover filter. Secondly, I could’ve sworn I’d already written a review on it! It was just so good it didn’t click to me I hadn’t crowed about it to all and sundry. Well. Coffee is nothing if not an event and Kuma Coffee sticks out in my mind for nearly every reason in the book.

So…was it worth all the trouble? Let’s find out! If you haven’t read my past specialty decaf coffee reviews, check out my Decaf, Decaf Everywhere series in the directory. I recently reviewed Methodical Coffee’s Decaf Cauca, a tart and fruity delight that I (surprisingly!) preferred drinking black.

Without further ado:

Continue reading “Decaf, Decaf Everywhere: Kuma Coffee’s Peru San Ignacio Decaf”
coffee, industry news

How Many Calories Are in Black Coffee, Answered — Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine

How many calories are in a cup of black coffee? The short answers are: either about 5 or about negative 100, depending on how you drink down the science. You may…

How Many Calories Are in Black Coffee, Answered — Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine

Coffee and health is a regular conversation, particularly if you’re like me and drink nearly every cup with milk and sugar.

As it stands? Black coffee, on its own, is pretty darn low on the calorie count. According to this brief piece by Daily Coffee News, the calories come more from the caffeine than anything else. That’s right alongside caffeine helping you burn calories due to the increase in your metabolism and heart rate. Confusing? Give this a read if you’re curious about the chemical breakdown of your morning cup.

methodical coffee banner
coffee, review

Decaf, Decaf Everywhere: Methodical Coffee’s Decaf Cauca

I am living proof that coffee newsletters are a very effective marketing tool in the long-term.

Several months ago, near the beginning of the year, I signed up for Methodical Coffee‘s newsletter as a reminder to try out their decaf. In-between other specialty coffee bag purchases they would crop up in my email’s promotions tab with new coffee bags or behind-the-scenes peeks. I wouldn’t end up buying it until several months later.

While ‘now’ is a more preferred word than ‘later’ in the rapidfire world of business, it stands to reason a good business encourages customers of every single stripe. The ready-to-buys. The not-quite-sures. The ‘I totally want to buy this, it just keeps slipping my mind in a sea of marketing competition’s.

I’m eager to get down and dirty with this lovely single origin decaf coffee bag and all the interesting journeys it took me on. If you haven’t read my previous entries in my decaf coffee series Decaf, Decaf Everywhere, check out my directory.

In the meantime, let’s take a look at Methodical Coffee and see if their bag lives up to its build-up:

Continue reading “Decaf, Decaf Everywhere: Methodical Coffee’s Decaf Cauca”
coffee

Why The Next Three Decades Are Worrisome For Coffee

A year I see a lot in the coffee industry is 2050.

Occasionally it takes the form of 2040. Sometimes a little more of a ballpark 2045. However it’s sliced, the next three decades are going to be brutal on the environment and climate needed to craft our favorite drink. This brief news report on Kenyan coffee producers discusses this issue and what it means for the country’s production. While not boasting the sheer volume of Colombia or Brazil, coffee remains a huge source of income for many Kenyans.

What really got me is how they’re having to plant entirely new coffee trees to adjust to the environment.

Older trees that have seen several harvests simply aren’t used to the increased rainfall or dramatic temperature changes, leading to lackluster or outright unsellable beans. I think it’s easy for many to downplay just how alive plants are. They adapt, thrive and struggle like any other living creature, with underwhelming conditions having long-term consequences not just for them, but plants to follow.

When a single tree can take years to mature properly, that’s a lot of time wasted in the eyes of a fast-paced industry.

I’m not of the belief that climate change can no longer be reversed. We still have time to make things better…we just have to want it on a bigger scale than mere sentiment.

coffee cherry
coffee

It’s Not Just The Coffee Bean You Should Drink: The Potential Of Cascara

An interesting facet of the coffee plant is just how much potential surrounds it. You’ve heard of Wize‘s coffee leaf tea. You might’ve seen coffee shoes or coffee sunglasses.

Cascara is the pulp and skin discarded after coffee bean processing. Whether a producer is using the honey method or the natural method, a lot of fruit is leftover to either become a fertilizing agent or yet more waste. Olam Coffee has been diving deep into the health and sustainability properties of cascara.

Turns out this common waste material has a lower caffeine content compared to the coffee bean, a high amount of antioxidants and even ingredients that can help burn fat more naturally. Nice!

I can’t help but be reminded of pomace, the worker’s wine crafted out of discarded grape skins. Olam Coffee is hoping to turn cascara into concentrates or entirely new products to discourage waste. More and more I’m seeing beverage industries favor low-sugar, low-alcohol and low-caffeine alternatives. Even decaf coffee doesn’t (quite) have the reputation it used to. I’m very curious about how cascara will look in the next few years, doubly so for how it could give farmers a little more money in the coffee pipeline.

Granted, that still means they need to be paid more for the coffee beans they’re already growing and harvesting, but I digress. Would you try a cascara product?

woman drinking tea
coffee

Coffee Might Make A Good Resource For Spotting COVID-19

The year is almost over. You know the drill. One of the most common side-effects of coming down with COVID-19 is a loss of taste and smell, particularly if it lines up with a fever, breathing difficulties, and fatigue.

Coffee is beloved not just for its complex and delicious flavor notes, but its very distinctive aroma. This is exactly what’s making it such a reliable barometer compared to more subtle scents, according to this recent scholarly post by Daily Coffee News. Today’s scientists emphasize how useful coffee is, partially because of its unique scent and partially because you can find it in just about any American home. They make sure to stress that loss of taste and smell isn’t a 100% deal. If you find you can’t pick out complexity or foods taste ‘off’, you could still be experiencing this side-effect.

What an interesting coincidence: I read this report just as I got done watching Trevor Noah’s interview with Bryan Cranston, who specifically cited how much he missed being able to smell coffee brewing in the kitchen. The man went on to talk about how he is currently retraining his senses — and by extent his brain activity — by actively smelling different foods. It’s not unlike undergoing hand surgery and later attending physical therapy to restore subtle motor movements like gripping, typing and drawing. Now, don’t get too paranoid if you have a low-smell sort of day…this is also the season for clogged noses and irritated sinuses.

Coffee is not just a comforting and healthy drink (if you don’t overload it with sugar), but a commonly accessible tool to make sure your nose and tongue is working right.

coffee, guide

Coffee Processing Styles and Terminology (Plus Flowchart) — Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine

Led by zeitgeisty processing methods such as anaerobic fermentation or carbonic maceration, new ways of developing flavor and removing fruit from coffee seeds seem to be emerging every day. Even…

Coffee Processing Styles and Terminology (Plus Flowchart) — Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine

Need a little help with your coffee processing terminology? There’s a graph for you!

…and me, to be honest. I’m learning something new about this drink every day, up to and including the word ‘demucilaged’. Don’t ask me how that’s pronounced. Coffee remains a sensitive creation that takes no prisoners the moment it’s plucked off the branch. Check out this insightful post and increase your knowledge (and appreciation) on the hard work that goes into this product.

la colombe coffee banner
coffee

Decaf, Decaf Everywhere: La Colombe’s Luna Azul

It’s kind of tough to advertise flavor notes, isn’t it? We just have so much variety in our tastebuds.

I’m sensitive to complex flavors myself. I adore being able to get several notes in one cup and can even find myself disappointed if a drink is straightforward (not even bad, just…simple). I also have a massive sweet tooth. The science behind our tongue is a fascinating subject, involving subtle taste receptors located in different areas of the muscle to sort bitter from savory and sweet from salty. That doesn’t stop some people from having overpowering or underwhelming tastebuds, granting them sometimes contradictory experiences with the same product.

Diversity is one of the many beauties of the human condition…so imagine my shock when my mother tried La Colombe’s Luna Azul without knowing its flavor notes and nailed every single one. I had to double-check my phone to make sure I was reading it right! While I’ve long since accepted I can try out a new coffee and not quite get the flavors it was promising, La Colombe has clearly narrowed down its beans’ personality to a razor edge.

If you haven’t read my previous specialty decaf reviews, check out my Decaf, Decaf Everywhere series.

Let’s see what makes this coffee special:

Continue reading “Decaf, Decaf Everywhere: La Colombe’s Luna Azul”