Coffee Story and History
Over the last several decades an international phenomenon has occurred, making coffee everybody's favorite "feel good" drink & launching its popularity to new heights. Coffee has taken the world by storm or shall we say by “The brewing of the storm”! This new found popularity has made coffee one of the world's most valuable & traded commodities.Throughout Europe it is astonishing how many coffee establishments are open and serving people each and every day. Europe's coffee capitals such as Vienna, Berlin, Barcelona, Paris Amsterdam, Nice, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Oslo and Prague have all brought a uniqueness and class to a centuries old profession, contributing heavily to coffee cultures world domination. Modern society has made Coffee more popular than tea in 2017! Now with climate warming the industry faces higher prices and specialty blends more valuable than ever. This has made proper Coffee Storage an important factor, indispensable for maintaining the value of your purchase, its freshness & flavor.
Roasted coffee beans emit comparably large amounts of gas, carbon dioxide to be specific. This is why most coffee manufacturers use foil bags with a one way degassing valve to store beans. The valves on these bags open at a specific pressure, allowing for the excess gases to escape. At the same time the one way valve is preventing oxygen from entering the bag & causing the beans to go stale. Absolutely the best way to store coffee beans or grounds is in an airtight container away from light, moisture and heat.
Coffeevacs offer several ways to store coffee. Our unique patented vacuum system creates a partial vacuum ensuring freshness. The 2 way press button acts in exactly the same way as a one way degassing valve, allowing natural gas pressure to escape, without allowing any oxygen into the container. Freshly roasted coffee requires the release of more C02 gas and our patented Coffeevac V - valve allows this excess build up to escape without the compromise or loss of flavor and freshness. Coffeevacs are a revolution in coffee storage; Airtight & Odor-Proof, they create a vacuum seal every time you open and close the container. They come in a large selection of sizes & in Solid, Tinted or Clear body styles. Tightvacs and Coffeevacs are also refrigerator & freezer friendly.
It has been a long time belief & practice that freezing coffee is the best way to maintain the flavor & taste. This only applies to whole beans; not the ground coffee. Whole beans naturally preserve the flavor by keeping the inside of the bean from exposure to the elements. As soon as the bean is ground, it begins to lose its essence, flavor and vitality. By storing beans whole you can preserve the rich aromatic coffee taste you expect & enjoy. There are many experts who disagree with freezing coffee, citing that a frozen coffee bean causes the cell walls on the outer layer of the bean to burst. This changes the molecular structure and the coffee goes stale quickly. Gases are released, moisture and oils evaporate. In addition, people do not thaw coffee properly after freezing & moisture from the condensation will also cause damage to the bean. There are many who are totally against the freezing of coffee. On a personal note i myself do not believe it's necessary to freeze coffee for short periods of time.
Italy is said to run on coffee, and from 1600 when coffee was first released into into the Venice market, this new Venetian habit flourished and black gold became a status magnate, this luxury made you more than what you were and the masses ached for the negro nectar. Venice was said to have over 200 “coffeehouses” in the mid 1600’s! Take us to present day Italy, where the Italian government has a set price for an espresso, currently at E1.20. However this often depends upon where it is you park yourself. If you drink your coffee at the “bar” then this price is max. If you decide to sit down, the price will most definitely fluctuate. Italian “bars” are on every corner, serving espresso’s to almost every citizen of Italy! Italian coffee culture is its own unique story of this amazing coffee plant. With this incredible diversity of design, quality and craft shine. Italian coffee companies specialize in coffee pods, pads and beans for all types of brewing machines. Many coffee pods are refillable so you can use your own brand of coffee without throwing away a plastic vessel each time. The branding of all these unique coffee companies is astonishing, one just needs to visit the HOST Milano fair (every 2 years) to see almost 1000 coffee companies, all serving the italian market. Let's talk about espresso machines, invented and patented by the italian Angelo Moriondo in 1884 which started a revolution, literally. With major brands, selling globally like Nuova Simonelli, La Marzocco, De’Longhi, La Cimbali, Astoria, Bezzera, Elektra, Carimali, Faema, La Spaziale, Victoria Arduino, Orchestrale, Rancilio, La Pavoni, Arte Caffe, Sanremo and CaffItaly. We have not listed all the espresso machine companies that exist in Italy and we humbly apologize to these companies, as they are all important. With coffee credentials like these one can easily believe, Italy is Europe’s coffee powerhouse!
SOME INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT COFFEE……
Like Tea, Coffee has a long history & folklore, from medicinal & spiritual use in the ancient Middle East to the modern day office coffee break. From ancient times the Middle east region, specifically Yemen traders controlled the cultivation of coffee plants. The coffee beverage was largely associated with islamic rites, rituals and healing. Controlled by islamic leaders and preachers the trading of coffee was protected and the outside world viewed this black liquid with suspicion and foreignness. The Arabic word Quwwa means power or energy and Kaffa is the ancient kingdom of Ethiopia where the coffee plant is believed to have been exported to the Arabic world. Arabs controlled coffee production until Dutch traders brought us the word Koffie in the 1500’s. So the english language owes The Netherlands a THANK YOU. The race to supply the new “coffeehouses” of Europe was met head on with the Dutch merchant and agent for the Dutch (British) East Indies Trading Company, Pieter van den Broeke who secured some coffee plants from Mocha Yemen in the early 1600’s. It is easy to make these statements, however the actual business of procuring closely guarded coffee plants and seeds, leaves one to wonder how this was done. Basically to do this under the radar, it had to be a cloak and dagger operation - procured by cunning, bribery and deception.
By all accounts this was a 100% success as no written evidence has ever been discovered that such a crime ever took place. The seedlings then sailed to Amsterdam, The Netherlands and thrived under the care of the Amsterdam botanical gardens best botanists. These plants were cloned many times and then brought to Dutch colonies in Asia, Ceylon & Java and in South America, Surinam. This dramatically changed coffee production and by the late 1600’s, the Dutch were in a position to supply Europe’s popular coffee commodity and introduce it to other parts of the world. Meanwhile, thanks to the British East India Company, England became a coffee power house boasting over 3000 coffee establishments in the late 1600’s. These “coffeehouses” became a common gathering place for political and religious discussions which of course threatened the political and religious leaders. Many of Europe's “coffeehouses” allowed both men and women to frequent these establishments. Charles II in 1675 literally tried to undermine and close the coffeehouses, labelling them as subversive elements in society. Many proclaimed that Coffee's medicinal properties was reason enough for keeping these establishments open and thriving. Present day Coffee culture is deeply rooted in all of Europe. Almost all the world's top 20 coffee consuming countries are located in Europe!
COFFEE IN THE USA
Most Americans can trace their roots back to Europe. By the 1700’s coffee was a beverage most knew, Taverns turned into Tea and Coffee houses during daylight hours. As settlers moved west to colonize coffee was a big part of their journey. Giving them a lift when things were tough and something to look forward to after a long days horse and wagon ride. Then in 1773 with American settlers fed up with British taxes, the pivotal moment of US independence was declared by the Boston Tea Party. This was Coffee’s biggest moment in the mighty USA and Tea drinking became unpatriotic for a brief time and coffee consumption escalated dramatically. The 1st President of the United States George Washington was a green bean importer and his wife Martha Washington worked at learning the art of brewing coffee. They were said to have the best cup of coffee in North America. Probably why Thomas Jefferson, The 3rd President of the United States actually said that coffee would become the “Beverage of the civilized world”. Easy to say when your best friends (in the early days) wife is making killer lattes all day long!
As settlers moved west in the 1800’s to colonize coffee was a big part of their journey. Giving them a caffeinated lift when things were tough and something to look forward to after a long days horse and wagon ride. The coffee was brewed on campfires making the aroma of coffee something pleasant to the nose and always giving an uplifting feeling to the travellers. Then the Civil War came to change the face of the New America in 1861 to 1865. Coffee was one of the chief food items which was included in daily rations, on both sides! Cooking the coffee on huge kettles was a morale booster and gave wary soldiers a well deserved lift during a tragic time of USA’s history. The military leaders realized to keep soldiers focused and enthusiastic about mundane drills and marches, that coffee was needed!
Now coffee’s reputation and use was undeniable throughout America and many believe it was the Civil War that launched it mainstream appeal. During the 1930’s the Great Depression stifled America and soup kitchens across the United States served free meals along with and sometimes only, coffee and donuts. This forever impacted these 2 things and nowdays is synonymous with the USA. Police officers eating donuts and siping coffee is probably the biggest cliche that originated from this 1930’s era.
By 1940 coffee was once again endorsed by another President, Theodore Roosevelt, whose famous words “its good to the last drop” live on to this day. World War II changed coffee in America, with soldiers, once again tired of fighting required coffee caffeine for alertness, focusing and general well being. They consumed 1000’s of pounds of coffee each day! Coffee was rationed by the US government and only 1 pound of coffee could be consumed in a 5 week period. This was solely to make sure that American GI’s could get a cup of coffee whenever they could. Companies focused on easy to brew coffee which is why we have freeze dried instant coffee on our supermarket shelves to this very day! Maxwell house was the biggest brand at this time of history and have been riding this instant coffee wave ever since!
Today we know coffee contains antioxidants that prevent free radicals from causing cell damage. Coffee beans also supply caffeine, through decaffeination, Pharmaceuticals, beverages (sodas) and cosmetics all need their coffee! Spiritual use remains, as we all know a cup of coffee will lift the spirit!
Many of us do not consciously realize the amount of coffee that is consumed daily around the world, from North & South America, The middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia. As the 3rd most consumed beverage globally, after water and tea, and coffee being served on every corner in cities around the world, coffee beans are the 2nd most traded commodity on our planet!!! Expected coffee consumption Worldwide in 2018 is 152 Million 60 kilogram bags of coffee will be produced and used!!! Below are some of the countries consuming the most amount of coffee.
TOP 20 COFFEE CONSUMING COUNTRIES
Amounts indicate per person use in each country.
1. Finland - 12kg
2. Norway - 9.9kg
3. Iceland - 9kg
4. Denmark - 8.7kg
5. Netherlands - 8.4kg
6. Sweden - 8.2kg
7. Switzerland - 7.9kg
8. Belgium - 6.8kg
9. Luxembourg - 6.5kg
10. Canada - 6.2kg
11. Bosnia and Herzegovina - 6.1kg
12. Austria - 5.9kg
13. Italy - 5.8kg
14. Slovenia - 5.8kg
15. Brazil - 5.5kg
16. Germany - 5kg
17. Greece - 5.4kg
18. France - 5.1kg
19. Croatia - 4.9kg
20. Cyprus - 4.8kg
TOP 50 COFFEE PRODUCING COUNTRIES
|14. Ivory Coast|
|15. Costa Rica|
|17. Papua New Guinea|
|19. El Salvador|
|27. Dominican Republic|
|29. Democratic Republic of the Congo|
|39. Timor Leste|
|40. Central African Republic|
|43. Sierra Leone|
|48. Trinidad and Toba|