What You Need to Finally Get in Shape

 

If you are like most people, you long to finally get in shape. However, you likely don’t know where to start. You have a general idea how to eat and what to do, but the whole task seems daunting. Fortunately, there are ways that you can get in shape easily from the comfort of your own home. By employing the right techniques, you can realize your goal without spending too much money or forcing yourself to be in an uncomfortable situation. With the ability to have an online personal trainer and other tools, you already have most of what you need!

How to Finally Get in Shape

There are two elements of fitness, exercise and nutrition. They are both required to form long lasting health. Having one without the other will not help you succeed. Fortunately, there are straightforward ways to do both:

  • Exercise –You don’t have to work terribly hard to get in decent shape. It is more about consistent effort than regularly exhausting yourself. If you go for a run every day, you’ll notice intense benefits. If you add in some quality weight lifting routines, you’ll be on pace to be in the best shape of your life.
  • Nutrition –Most people know how to eat healthy foods, they just don’t like to hear that they have to! You need to eat a lot of vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains to form a well-rounded diet. Simply by eating healthy food, you’ll notice a tremendous amount of increased energy. Eating healthy starts when you buy food. Try this simple trick – eat a big meal right before you go grocery shopping. You won’t be shopping hungry, so you’ll make better decisions. Go for a variety of fruits, vegetables and other healthy goodies. You’ll be thankful you did.

That’s all you need to get in shame! Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? Don’t overcomplicate the matter – do something physical and give your body what it needs.

Different Types of Coffee Makers

Coffee or the word cafe is all you would like to hear after a long work or right after you wake up. This is the most widely drunk beverage in the world. Coffee ingestion on an average is about a third of that of tap water in North America and Europe . While drinking coffee outside is usually expensive and preferred mostly during conversations or meetings, deals etc., many of us would prefer to make coffee ourselves at home and drink it in the company of our family members or drink it ourselves. Over the years, this art of brewing coffee has been mastered and we can make the best brewed coffee ourselves, but this has been taken over by our need to automate the coffee brewing art so that our work is made easier. Here, you will be taken through the three types of coffee makers in the world and figure out which is the best for you.

Santos Vacuum Coffee Maker , designed by Swedish designer Kass Kleeson:

First we will look at the vacuum coffee maker which is hailed by anyone who has tried it as the best coffee maker of all times. It uses a process that cooks coffee with an extremely strong flavor. The flavor and strength is usually based on how much coffee you use to make it. Today, a lot of coffee makers destroy the flavor by not mixing the components properly, or by not brewing at the right temperature or maybe not brewing for the right amount of time too.

A vacuum coffee maker is made up of two units. The lower and upper pots which are both made of glass. The upper pot is placed directly on top of the lower pot, and both the pots sealed together with the help of a stopper. A tube is attached to the upper pot which runs down to the lower pot as well. A filter is also attached to the upper pot to filter the coffee while it flows down to the lower pot.

Ground coffee, usually of coarse texture, is added to the upper pot. This depends upon how much your taste buds want. Usually, for a strong coffee, 1 tablespoon per cup of coffee will suffice. Then the lower pot is filled with the required amount of water and placed over a heating element or fire. After reaching boiling point, the upper pot is placed on top of the lower pot and the decreased pressure in the lower pot will cause the water to push up itself through the pipe into the upper pot. Here, the coffee is brewed in hot water and after a few minutes (depending upon the strength of coffee you want) the whole apparatus is removed from the heating element. If you are a beginner at using this type of coffee machine, it pays to experiment and figure out the right time duration that produces the coffee of your choice. As the water cools down, a vacuum is built up in the lower pot and coffee is sucked down. The upper pot is removed and the coffee collected in the lower pot is poured into the cups and enjoyed. The greatest benefit of using this coffee machine is that the temperature is perfect and this does not destroy the oils and flavor of coffee which is often the case in other coffee makers. Though this process requires little manual effort to place the apparatus on the heating element and taking it out of the heating element, this manual effort is affordable once you start drinking coffee made by this procedure.

Stove Top Coffee Maker :

This is made up of aluminium or stainless steel. The bottom of the pot contains a reservoir of water and the top has a round basket with a stem reaching to the end of the pot. First, water is filled and the basket of coffee is then added. The pot is heated and as the water boils, it comes in contact with the coffee and the coffee is brewed. The basket must be removed to filter out the coffee beans. Latest types include espresso pots which use steam and water to brew the coffee. This is reported to brew better coffee, but taste buds vary from person to person. Steam is used to produce latte or foam milk for cappuccinos.

Nowadays, we have stove top pots which function similar to the French press which presses the coffee beans to the bottom of the pot to produce a darker and much richer cup of coffee. However, this type of machine requires constant watching as there is possibility of burning the coffee beans in the absence of careful observation.

Drip Coffee Maker:

Almost all the drip filter coffee makers work the same way. They contain a paper or a plastic filter which holds the finely ground coffee. Cold water is poured through a tube from a reservoir and heated before falling over the coffee powder. This brews and extracts the oils and flavor of the coffee into the waiting carafe. This is a simple and reliable method compared to many other models available in the market.

Many companies use these three models with other additional features such as the strength of coffee, sugar adding facility, coffee with milk, number of cups etc. It is up to you to choose the best coffee maker according to the budget and the one which is most appropriate to your convenience. You would not choose the one which adds sugar automatically for an extra price as we can do that for ourselves, unless you are the one who does not know how to spend your money. The bottom line is that the machine must brew coffee at the right temperature for the right time using the right amount of water.

Tips to Make a Delightful Cup of Gourmet Coffee

When brewing gourmet coffee, it’s essential to combine several factors that will make your cup of coffee a dreamy blend of flavor. Gourmet coffee is in and of itself delicious, but it’s even better when made a certain way.

Before getting started, be sure to select only the finest gourmet coffee beans. Look for your favorite brand of coffee or sample several new types of coffee. If you visit an online gourmet coffee retailer, you can try numerous types of imported coffee beans from places around the world such as South America, Central America, Africa, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and the North Highlands. You can also save money by finding an online store that offers high quality discount coffee beans. Determine how you will order your coffee – whether you would like ground coffee or whole bean selections. Many retailers allow you to order gourmet coffee both ways.

Brew with the Right Kind of Water

The type of water you use to brew gourmet coffee can make all the difference in its flavor. Tap water that has a strong, unpleasant smell or taste can negatively affect your coffee’s flavor. Keep in mind that your taste buds will be more sensitive when drinking a hot beverage such as coffee, so you’ll be able to detect any unpleasant impurities caused by your water. Opt for bottled waters instead, but avoid distilled water, as it doesn’t have the appropriate level of dissolved mineral solids, which are needed to give the coffee a fresh taste.

Even with the right quality of water, be sure to measure your coffee/water ratio appropriately. For optimum results, use two tablespoons of ground coffee per six ounces of water (or 3/4 cup water). This ratio produces strong, rich gourmet coffee while using only one tablespoon will produce weaker coffee. Another way to reduce the coffee’s strength is to dilute the coffee with a little bit of water after it has been brewed.

Order Fresh Coffee Beans

Whether ordering gourmet coffee online or buying in a nearby store, make sure the coffee has been freshly roasted. The absolute best time to produce coffee is within 12 to 24 hours of being roasted. Some online coffee roasters will ship your coffee beans on the same day the beans are roasted, giving you ultimate freshness. If you plan to grind your own beans, be sure to wait until right before you plan to brew the coffee. The freshness of coffee beans will start to decrease once the coffee beans have been ground.

Grinding Your Own Gourmet Coffee Beans

How you grind coffee beans will also make a difference in the coffee’s excellence. It’s important to know what type of grind you’ll need, whether a finer or coarser grind. A fine grind works best with the drip brewing method, while a coarse grind works well if using a French press. If you want a fine grind, then a common inexpensive blade grinder will suffice. With French press brewing, use a burr grinder.

Gourmet coffee also tastes best when brewed using clean equipment. Coffee makers can build up minerals, oils and residue over time. These will taint your coffee flavor and strength as well as hinder how well your equipment functions. Look for cleaning brushes and safe solutions for your coffee maker, and clean it often if you brew frequently.

When shopping online for gourmet coffee, be sure to try all a roaster has to offer. There are many flavored coffees today including chocolate blends, hazelnut, banana nut fudge, pecan, raspberry almond, cinnamon, vanilla, cookies and cream, creme brulee, English caramel, ginger bread, English toffee, etc. You should also try some espresso blends such as Italian espresso, Spanish espresso, and Vienna roast blend. Go online today to discover the gourmet coffee that excites your taste buds. You’ll never return to mundane coffee once you’ve tasted the best!

Tips on Choosing and Storing Avocados

Avocado, fruit is sometimes avoided because of the fat content. Though the fat in avocados is unsaturated fat that is actually healthy for the body. By also taking notes is not excessive, so that the levels are maintained.

Well, this avocado as well as olive oil, which can increase levels of HDL or the good cholesterol called. HDL can help protect the body from free radical attack, so it can regulate triglyceride levels and prevent diabetes.

In addition, there are many other benefits of avocados, including: karotenoidnya protein content and are also good for the body. While, vitamin C and E in avocados can help keep the skin moist. Wow a lot of it also benefits avocado. Now, we will help you select and store fresh avocado to keep it when they want to consume. Consider the following tips yes.

Tip 1:

The ripe avocado tree is the best quality, but usually the most frequently encountered in the store or market is not yet ripe. Well, if you have this you should choose avocados that are heavy, dark green skin color and no blemishes on the fruit skin.

Tip 2:

In order to quickly cook avocado, does not need to be washed after purchase. Wrap in use newspaper and keep it away from sunlight. Within 2-3 days, avocados will ripen, the skin is more tender and soft.

Tip 3:

Sometimes, it’s not a large alupkat eaten alone. As a result after the split, part of which half should be stored. But the color will turn black and it seems to be less fresh.

Overcome this, you can use lemon juice. Squeeze the lemon juice over the avocado meat, avocado enter into the plastic and wrap tightly. With avocado this way will stay fresh at least up to 2 days. Tips can also be used for avocado chopped or blended, add a little lemon juice so that the color does not change blackish.

Interesting Facts About Culinary Arts

Want to know some interesting facts about culinary arts? Well, as most people know, the culinary arts revolve around culinary arts and food, and they include everything from restaurant management and hospitality management to food science and food safety. Someone who works in any of these areas is called a “culinarian,” and that includes everyone from food service workers to creators of the fantastic pastry arts. (more…)

Get the Best Tasting Coffee

When you want to get the best of your coffee then you should know about the different blends of coffee. You should also understand about acidity, aroma, bitterness, and nuttiness. Knowing these differences will make a big difference about how you pick your coffee.

There are many different types of coffee from all over the world. Coffee tastes differently from each of the different countries. Some of the most well known coffees are from Columbia, Mexico, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mauna Loa, Europe, and Italy. (more…)

Growing Coffee – Explaining All About The Rearing Of Coffee

Growing Coffee- Explaining All About the Rearing Of Coffee Coffee is a favorite drink of millions of people around the globe. Many of us wake up to the invigorating taste of espresso at morning. Indeed, this is a great way to start the day. The ardent coffee lovers simply can’t miss their coffee drink at various times of the day- during breaks in between work. A cup of piping hot coffee not only awakens us but also helps keep us energetic throughout the day.

Coffee drinks of all types, be it plain coffee or espresso or latte or cappuccino or some other specialty coffee beverage, are prepared from the beans of the coffee plant. The coffee plants, the seeds (beans) of which yield coffee, are grown on a large scale in various parts of the world. Over seventy countries from Indonesia to Brazil cultivate coffee. Usually, the regions of the world that lie between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer are the suitable coffee growing areas. The coffee growing belt includes the region around the Equator- Central America, Northern South America, Africa, India, Indonesia, the Middle East and the Hawaii.

Cultivation of varieties of the coffee plant The coffee plant is a small and evergreen tree. Cultivation of coffee takes place in plantations. This involves a labor intensive process that depends more on farming. That is why the cultivation of coffee is more suited for the developing nations lying in and around the equatorial regions.

Important commercially grown varieties of coffee are the Arabica and the Robusta. The Arabica coffee beans approximately make up seventy percent of the total coffee produced while the Robusta coffee beans make up the rest. The Arabica is usually looked upon as the best coffee. However, there can be a range (from excellent to poor) with regards to the quality of the Arabica coffees. That is the reason why Robusta beans may be preferred over Arabica beans in some cases. Finally, of course, it is expert opinion that is needed to decide what would be the right beans that would go into your coffee makers and espresso machines to produce the perfect espresso, latte and cappuccino coffee beverages.

Some coffee growing facts

  • The equatorial climate best suits coffee cultivation. Temperature range of 15-24 degrees Celsius without severe fluctuations is ideal for coffee.
  • It is the well drained, well aerated and deep soils that are the right field soils for coffee growing. The coffee plants need a large supply of oxygen for their root systems. This is why aerated soils are especially suitable for coffee growing purpose.
  • Rainfall required is in the range of 1500mm to 2000 mm annually. If the annual rainfall of the coffee growing region lies below this then the deficit has to be taken care of by providing for irrigation means.
  • The superior coffee varieties are better cultivated at higher altitudes (over 3000 ft) where there is an abundance of mist and cloud. With oxygen content in the air at the higher altitudes being less the coffee plants take longer to mature thus helping in development of better flavor in the beans (seeds) lying within its fruits (cherries or berries). The diffuse light produced by mists and moderate winds blowing at the altitudes prove to be advantageous in promoting the desirable developments in the coffee.
  • The Robusta or Coffee Canephora that produces the majority of coffee grown at lower altitudes is also considered to be more resistant to diseases of the coffee crop. However, it is the Coffee Arabica growing at higher elevations that are valued for preparing a befitting gourmet coffee drink.

The coffee growing process It might be difficult to imagine that the espresso, latte, cappuccino or other special coffee drink that may be dispensed piping hot from coffee makers [http://www.finest-coffee-makers.com] or espresso machines have been sourced from the coffee plant that has gone throwing a number of stages of the coffee growing process. Indeed, the process of coffee growing involves an intensive farming process.

Propagation of the coffee plant is by using of seeds or cuttings. These are planted in special nursery beds. When the seedlings become between 8 and 12 months old they are transplanted to fields. Here, in the fields, the cuttings or seedlings are planted in wet, fertilized holes.

The coffee trees require constant special care especially the younger ones. The exact right amount of shaded sunlight (or diffuse light) needs to be ensured as also regular watering and fertilizing. Protection from pests and weeds also need to be provided.

Upon planting the coffee tree takes around five years to mature and produce the first crop. The trees with broad, dark green leaves bear flowers that resemble the jasmine. These coffee flowers blossom over a six to eight week period and the blossom to harvest period may extend to some nine months or so depending on a number of environmental and other factors. Ripening of the red coffee fruits (or cherries or berries, as they are also called) takes place within 6 to 8 months after the tree begins to bear fruit. Regular harvesting needs to be carried out since the coffee fruits become over ripe after some 10 to 14 days. Hand plucking is usually resorted to as it is convenient and best suited for plucking in the mountainous regions as opposed to mechanical harvesters.

Though it might seem astonishing yet it is true that a single tree upon cropping can produce sufficient beans only for about two pounds or a kilogram of coffee. This has been estimated to be produced making use of around 2000 coffee beans. These beans are hand picked by manual laborers. The harvesting of the coffee beans may also require quite a bit of skill as the picker needs to learn up to opt for only the best beans and discard the bad beans while picking. Attention needs to be provided to every individual bean in the bean by bean picking harvesting process.

Immediately after harvesting the processing of the selected coffee seeds or beans needs to be commenced. This is to ensure that the pulp does not get deteriorated. The coffee beans processing process involving drying and roasting finally makes ready the coffee that is to be freshly ground to be entered into your home coffee makers [http://www.finest-coffee-makers.com/index.html] or espresso maker. Thus is finally delivered for you the cupfuls of perfectly flavored, delectable espresso, latte, cappuccino or other favorite coffee drinks.

Quick not rot, Cucumber Wrap with plastic It

CUCUMBER usually placed as fresh vegetables, garnishes, salads, or pickled. Water content is 95 percent easier cucumber becomes soft if one storage.

Cucumber has a short shelf life. Most cucumbers at the supermarket sold wrapped in an airtight plastic wrap. Because, cucumber wrapped airtight resilient little longer when compared with fresh cucumbers open, as reviewed Eatbydate.

Knowing the cucumber begins to break
Mostly intact cucumbers usually have longer staying power because it still has the protective skin, which also contains nutrients. You can find out whether the cucumbers start foul by seeing and feeling directly.

The common trait is a bad cucumber damp surface. Cucumber becomes soft and slimy white surface and should not be eaten.

Maintain hygiene and food safety will help prevent rapid deterioration of food. Of course there are certain health risks if you eat a cucumber that has been damaged.

How to save the cucumber
Proper food storage is the key to extend durability. For cucumbers, it is best to keep it in one piece and unpeeled in a plastic bag in the refrigerator vegetable special shelf. Do not wash before storing it in the refrigerator.

Fresh unpeeled cucumber or cut resilient week to 10 days. For the preserved cucumber can last 1-2 weeks, while the already sliced ​​can only survive 1-2 days.

Although it is not frozen, small cucumbers and make pickles feels hard. Some benefits of proper food store than you are eating healthy foods, eating out less expensive because you will not waste food if it breaks down more quickly.

If you have a cucumber in large quantities and is likely to soon deteriorate, then cut into pieces and mix the tomato chunks and add your favorite salad dressing.

Six Best Culinary Herbs for Cooking

Freshly picked culinary herbs add flavour to food and many are delicious additions to salads. Edible herb flowers such as pot marigold, nasturtium and rosemary can also be added to the salad bowl. Many culinary herbs are rich in vitamins and minerals and when freshly picked and eaten raw they can form part of a well-balanced diet. Raw herbs can also be used to add flavour to oils and vinegars for cooking and for salads.

Parsley

Parsley leaves gives a fresh flavour to sauces and salads, when added just before serving. The stems and leaves of parsley can also be used in bouquet garni. Parsley tastes particularly good with pasta dishes, omelettes, vegetables, fish and any meat or poultry.

Parsley is one of the most widely known and used of the culinary herbs. There are two main types of parsley – curly leaf and flat leaf – and both are excellent for culinary purposes. Both of these herbs are a rich source of vitamins and minerals and they can be used to enhance the flavour of cooked dishes and green salads.

Basil

Basil goes with almost any dish but it has a special affinity with tomatoes and is a favourite in Italian cooking.

Sweet basil with its soft green leaves and creamy white or purple tinted flowers is the most popular type of basil. This culinary herb can be used in sauces and salads and to enhance the flavour of cooked dishes such as soups and stews. Perhaps the greatest basil dish is pesto sauce, eaten with spaghetti. This combination makes a wonderfully delicious meal.

There are many other types of basil. Purple ruffle, dark opal and Greek basil are three of the other more unusual varieties, all with differing flavours.

Mint

Spearmint and peppermint are two members of the mint family most widely known and used as culinary herbs. There are many varieties of mint, some with distinct scents and flavours and some can be used for a variety of culinary purposes, such as in sweet and savoury dishes, in salads and for herb tea.

Spearmint is a favourite for mint sauce to accompany lamb and tastes particularly good with dishes such as soups, stews, plain meats, fish and lemon-based deserts.

Peppermint is also popular as a culinary herb flavouring. This herb is most commonly used as flavouring for sweets and chocolates etc. and is also used to flavour cordials. Fresh peppermint leaves can be used to make peppermint tea and the leaves can be added to fresh green salads.

Thyme

Thyme can be used to improve the flavour of most dishes. Both the fresh and dried leaves of this herb are used for cooking. Fresh thyme leaves are useful in many savoury dishes.

Thyme has a rich flavour which makes it an ideal accompaniment to roast meats and tastes good in slowly cooked dishes such as stews and soups. The finely chopped fresh leaves may be added to new potatoes or salad.

Thyme is regarded as one of the great culinary herbs and is widely used in European cooking. This herb is an evergreen perennial it is recognisable by its mauve flowers and small leaves.
Warning: Avoid using Thyme if you are pregnant.

Rosemary

This lovely culinary herb has a strong but pleasant flavour. It enhances the flavour of many dishes such as strong tasting fish and some meat dishes but goes especially well with lamb and also tastes good with strong flavoured vegetables.

Specialty Coffee – A Vibrant Industry, Or The Future Of Coffee At Crossroads Of Change?

Seattle; the home of Boeing, software giants, grunge music and…specialty coffee. Well, not quite. Contrary to popular belief, while Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Boeing and Oracle do indeed hail from the Pacific Northwest, modern specialty coffee has its roots much further south.

When Alfred Peet died in his sleep a few weeks ago he was a sprightly 87. He passed away peacefully hopefully dreaming of coffee trees laden with ripened cherries. While most people have never heard of him, Peet is widely recognised as being the father of modern “specialty coffee” in the industry. He was a Dutchman who became an American. He had traded tea for Lipton’s in Java, lived in Sumatra, worked in the business in New Zealand before, finally, settling down (somewhat) in the University suburb of Berkeley, California. It was at Berkeley where he founded his roastery in 1966 and Peet’s Coffee was born. Alfred Peet was passionate about coffee. His roasting exploits legendary and his ability to commentate, roast and put out fires simultaneously are famous. His experiences while living in Indonesia had given him an affinity with farmers who grew coffee, as well as a thorough understanding of the origin, the place where coffee was grown. This background, combined with his love of roasting, resulted in a place where coffee was not just a cup of Java, but something exotic, living and with a story.

From Alfred Peet’s inspirational example came many of the coffee cultures that now are household names today in America and around the world- Starbucks being the most famous of these of course. The original founders of Starbucks- Baldwin, Bowker and Ziv Seigel originally leant their roasting trade from Peet, in fact Peet roasted for them in their early years. Many others in the industry in America today also passed through the Peet’s Coffee experience. In fact when Howard Schulz purchased Starbucks, Bowker and Baldwin moved across and purchased Peets Coffee- Alfred Peet retiring to a role of Coffee Mentor for the Industry as a whole.

Today most coffee drinkers, from Surabaya to San Francisco, recognise Starbucks and its logo, but the name “Alfred Peet” often draws draws blank looks.

Specialty Coffee today is at a crossroad- an important junction in deciding which direction coffee will be heading over the next decade. In the last 10 years many new comers have entered the business. It is estimated that the global coffee sector today is valued at over US$80 billion. It is no wonder that with these revenue numbers, the industry attracts a mix of business people with mixed agendas- who often see the potential bottom line rather than education and passion as being the driving force in what they do. Traditionally the specialty coffee industry has been built on the strong foundation of sharing knowledge and experience- with the supposition that by helping each other the industry will be strongly quality focused. However a number of the more recent arrivals in the market are perhaps choosing coffee for the perceived easy profits, rather than for a real passion for coffee or its heritage. As a result many of the traditional methods of exchange are not as effective, or used as frequently as they have been in the past.

Globally Coffee is in a position where consumption is beginning to slow down and opportunities to grow coffee are becoming more difficult to find in the traditional coffee consuming markets- Europe, USA, South America and Oceania. The easy answer if to look at new emerging markets- China, India, Pakistan and Indonesia are prime targets. These countries either have low coffee consumption (Indonesian’s, for instance, consume 500gm per person per year vs. Norway’s 12kg per person per year), or have reasonable consumption, but historically are tea consumers (India). The new markets are also very suggestible to western branding- in many cases the strength of branding has been shown to be more important than the product itself. This presents a number of opportunities to strong western brands and of course new local brands to emerge. However it does not necessarily equate to long-term longevity of specialty coffee in these new frontiers.

In the more mature markets, the patterns of consumption have changed markedly over the last 15-20 years. The traditional, lower quality coffee products such as instants, are being replaced by roast and ground coffee (drips, plungers etc) and of course Espresso Based Drinks (cappuccino, latte, espresso etc). Fresh roasted coffee has many advantages over the instant coffee. It is more flavoursome and more importantly has a greater link back to where it originally came from. This means that customer awareness is also on the increase- bringing into the spotlight the actual paper trail of where the coffee comes from, who picked it, what price the grower get from it etc. To consumers in countries such as New Zealand this is very important- as generally there is a linkage between quality of coffee and the return the farmer or grower gets. The correlation is the better the return to a farmers, the better the coffee will be. Higher returns means more time can be spent in the origin country looking after the crop, pruning, selective harvesting, proper intensive drying and packing/storing the coffee once it is dried.

The role the specialty coffee industry plays in all this is very important. Retail shops that source and supply only the best coffee help to sustain the industry both upstream and downstream. This means the farmers and workers will be rewarded and the consumers will have access to quality coffee, hopefully growing the business further.

Unfortunately the reverse is gradually becoming more often the norm. Cafes, coffee shops and roasters entering the market all over the world tend to look for short-term cost advantages to try and fuel their business models. To achieve this they either buy poor quality coffee, as cheap as possible or average quality coffee…likewise as cheaply as possible. Cheap coffee equates to, at the best, very average finished product. This in turn means generally a poor perception of the place selling the coffee. This would perhaps be OK if there were not so many cafes now selling poor quality coffee. As it is it means that poor quality coffee is often accepted a being the norm- hence having the result of putting people off drinking coffee.

In many ways the industry can be seen as having come almost full circle back to where it was in the early 1970’s when instant coffee and coffee sitting on hotplates for 10 hours were seen and accepted as being normal coffee. This is what pioneers like Peet worked so hard to change. It is also why the crossroads the industry now stands at are so important.

The choices are really quite simple. For coffee to evolve and grow further there needs to be education of the retailer and the customer. The global industry is built around national organisations that play a varying role in providing advice and education to those in retail or wholesale. The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) and the SCAE (Specialty Coffee Association of Europe) are two such organisations. However to become members of these organisations is as simple as filling out a form and paying a fee. Often the motivation of the people joining is just to get a sticker to put on their shop door, knowledge is a secondary motivator. There is talk that membership should involve some form of basic enter test and then continuing education via the internet- which would at least help to provide tools to pass information on to those drinking the coffee.

Looking at those in the industry who do things well, is also a great way of building and planning the future for specialty coffee. In the USA quality roasters and café operators such as Allegro, Blackstump Coffee and Intelligensia have taken industry standards to a new level. Buying quality coffee, hiring quality staff and imparting quality knowledge to customers buying their morning coffee has proven very successful for these companies. So much so that it is an unquestionable part of their corporate culture. All of these companies also practice something unique- they regularly visit their growers in countries such as Indonesia, Guatemala, Kenya, Brazil and Colombia. To take this one step further, they do not just visit and spend a few nights- taking photos of a grower’s coffee trees, they maintain regular contact with those growing the coffee. This approach must be seen as the future for coffee in competitive, quality driven markets. It is true relationship coffee where the roaster becomes by default part of the farmers extended family.

Passing knowledge on to those who buy a coffee everyday, and arming them with information on what type of coffee they drink, how it is grown, who grows it, when it is picked, how it gets to them gives all power to the customer. It is a very important, yet lagging piece of the future of coffee globally. Being able to learn the differences in tastes/cupping qualities has some snob quality, but more importantly it helps the buyer to differentiate between good, average and poor coffee. Here lies the problem. A successful café founded on the principles of sustainability and true coffee culture has nothing to fear from education. A café selling poor quality coffee is unlikely, or perhaps unable, to want to educate clients about quality.

A failure to address quality, education and sustainability in the business sector (from the farmer to the retail customer) will ultimately result in consumption patterns falling further. Quality issues- especially over the counter and in the cup, need to be addressed. If not unfortunately those to suffer will be the grower or origin country, rather than the retailer. With current economics a grower in Indonesia receives only around 2-5% of the cost of the average cup sold in America or Europe. If demand drops off, the Arabica business ultimately will fall back into a cycle of commodity pricing rather than specialty pricing that many quality origins now enjoy. Competition from other beverages, and lifestyle choices, compete with the disposable income that coffee comes from.

If Alfred Peet was still alive, undoubtedly he would just carry on doing what he did well and loved, roasting coffee and sharing his knowledge and experience with anyone willing, and wanting to learn and listen- a model to all of us in the industry today.

© Alun H.G Evans, Merdeka Coffee, 2007. The writer reserves all moral rights to this article. May only be reproduced.