Introduction to Green Coffee Part 2
Part 2: Le Gourmet TV meets with Derek from Merchants Of Green Coffee in Toronto; we start on the road to learning about buying green unroasted beans.
Glen: So if after five days it begins to loose or has lost the certain amount of freshness then I would imagine that most people have never really had a fresh cup of coffee.
Derek: Yes, I’m sorry to say, but that is one of the truths, and that’s really what we’re trying to get across.
Derek: It’s that more consumers today are wanting to find out more about their product.
Derek: They want to know where it’s coming from. They want to know some of the details maybe how it’s processed, and one of the things that we do here is we educate on just exactly that. It’s about bringing the issues of coffee back into the market, and one of the issues is consumer’s lack of awareness around freshness. We often hear about you know the special tea coffees, and in different country where my coffee might be coming from. But very rarely do we know the date of roasting, and if you don’t know the date of roasting you really don’t know when and can tell whether or not your coffee is fresh.
Glen: I find that kind of amazing that of all the coffee that’s in the supermarket.
Glen: That could have been roasted and packaged six months earlier?
Derek: Six months? We often talk about coffee on average at its best is maybe two weeks old.
Derek: At its worst is two years old.
Derek: So just doesn’t kind of fit with what they’re always to be describing on a lot of the packaging about you know making sure that was grown and process with care. High elevation coffee all these great stories, but then we lack that one piece of information which in many ways is one of the most important pieces of information.
Glen: When it was roasted?
Derek: When was it roasted?
Glen: So, now as a consumer I'm now interested in green coffee. Should I be afraid of the roasting process? What’s involved in it?
Derek: Now we like again just to go back and think it’s a little more traditional. Traditional in the sense that it’s just two generations ago you would to have access to green beans at the market.
Derek: And you would have roasted it in some ways. You can still find sort of many cultures hold on to that. A simple example would be any Ethiopian restaurant has the Ethiopian coffee ceremony where they will base your order in advance, but they will come out at the end of your meal and roast the coffee in front of you and brew it right up. And they bring up Ethiopian because again, one of the most important things to know this is the second most popular beverage next to tap water, and most people don’t realize that Ethiopia is the origin of every single pound of coffee. And in just 400 years this coffee tree transplanted all the way around the world to become the second most popular beverage.
Glen: Now so just one variety of coffee tree?
Derek: No, there are about three or four varieties.
Derek: But two are really known in the industry that’s because they’re out there in the commercial market.
Derek: This is Arabica coffee and Robusta coffee.
Derek: And you can find these on a lot of the packaging and I would say one of the key sort of defining features of the special tea market is that their talking about only Arabica coffee. Now Arabica coffee is considered to be the true specialty coffee because it has more flavor.
Derek: Less caffeine and half of the acids that are prone to bothering your stomach or the digestive system whereas Robusta coffee it maybe a little hardier to be able to grow in some regions, but it’s a lower elevation coffee that has twice the amount of caffeine, twice of the acids and very little of the better flavors in coffee, but so there’s almost of the two different strains of coffee out there in the market place. And what we focus on is Arabica.
Derek: Because there’s more of it. It’s high elevation coffee, the higher you get up in the mountain. It’s got cooler temperatures, and basically it forces the bean to mature over longer period, but create sweeter flavors in those coffees.
Glen: So in most instances where if it where it doesn’t say Arabica, could you at that point fairly assume that it is Robusta?
Derek: Or a blend of Arabica and Robusta.
Glen: Or of the two, Okay. And it has something that happens and they blend the two to kind of smooth one?
Derek: Oh! Definitely.
Derek: You’re purchasing a Robusta coffee on the London market and it’s purchase for a little less than a cent per cup. And you’re purchasing the Arabica coffee in a New York market and right now it’s averaging around the dollars about two cents per cup.
Derek: So it’s a difference in price, so often a lot of roasters will do because the customers and demanding any better will put a very low quality coffee, and then flavor it which is some better Arabica beans.
Introduction to Green Coffee Part 2
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