In 2009 I was diagnosed with epilepsy. The drugs that I now take to control my epilepsy prevent me from drinking alcohol which means that I can no longer enjoy my hobby of wine tasting. Last year I stumbled upon a book on coffee. I subsequently came to see that there was much more to coffee than a simple Nescafe caffeine kick to shake off the cobwebs on cold, dark, winter mornings.
It turns out that coffee tasting is an art form and that coffee beans have more than 750 flavour characteristics that can be detected – almost twice as much as red wine. Spicy Ethiopian, vibrant Colombian, full-bodies Indonesian, chocolaty Guatemalan and luxurious Jamaican.
Apart from coffee tasting, two areas that I am particularly interested in are the ethical and economic aspects of the coffee industry. For example, over 90% of coffee production takes place in 3rd world countries; most of the consumption however is in the developed world – Brazil, Vietnam and Indonesia account for around 58% of coffee production (United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, 2010). Historically, farmers in the 3rd world have only received a fraction of the revenue and even with Fair Trade Agreements farmers often only receive a relatively small percentage of the extra charge imposed by Fair Trade Organizations.
There are several sections in this blog (which admittedly will end up looking more like a website):
“Tasting Diary” – here you will find my diary which I have split into several pages:
- Four separate tasting diary pages for the following regions: Africa; Caribbean and Central America; South America; and, Middle East and Asia. I will update these pages as and when I sample new coffees
- One page for “Blends” which I made myself or which I purchased
- One page for “Tasting Basics” and another for “Cupping“
“Preparation”: you can find information about roasting, grinding, brewing and recipes
“Economics and Ethics”: the main page is pretty static and includes my take on the coffee market over the next couple of years as well as information about ethical issues like fair trade and sustainable farming. There are two dropdown pages “Ethics” and “Economics” where I will once a month collate all the relevant stories I publish on the blog updates.
“Favourite Cafés”: in this section I will review my favourite cafés in London and the UK and I encourage all visitors to review their favourite cafés wherever they are living.
“Blog Updates” is where I will regularly post new coffees that I have reviewed, links, news, articles, research etc. These will eventually get stored in other sections for future reference.
I hope that you enjoy reading the blog and that you find the information contained within it useful.