Hi coffee lovers, we’re back again! Leo month never disappoints to bring colours. August is kind of a setting stone for two opposite periods of the year, summer and winter. That’s why this month besides the two juicy recipes, we’ll mostly be talking about climate change.
When it comes to climate change, right now, the world is in a very sticky situation. These two articles will showcase the impact of climate change from the coffee industry’s perspective.
“If Your Coffee’s Going Downhill, Blame Climate Change” by Reuters.
The Robusta beans are much stronger and bitter than the Arabica beans. The Arabica beans are much more delicate in the heat than the Robusta beans.
Brazil is the world’s biggest producer country of Arabica. Meanwhile its output of cheaper Robusta, it’s generally grown at much lower altitudes and the Reuters writers state that it’s more often viewed as of inferior quality. This expansion is challenging Vietnam’s long-established Robusta dominance and leaving a focused output in fewer regions that are the most vulnerable to price spikes if extreme weather occurs.
The expansion of Brazil’s coffee production also promises to gradually start altering the flavour of the coffee worldwide over the coming years (as more of the harsher and more caffeine-charged Robusta varieties, widely used to mostly make instant coffee, make their way into the pricier ground blends currently dominated by Arabica).
A scientist named Enrique Alves, who is specialized in coffee seed cultivation in the Brazilian state agri-tech research centre called Embrapa, said that whatever your coffee taste, it might ultimately be a credit to the Robusta bean that “our daily coffee will never be missing” as the globe warms.
The two varieties that are dominant contrast a lot. Arabica, which accounts for about 60% of the world’s coffee, is generally sweeter with more variation in flavour and can be worth more than twice as much as robusta coffee.
“It is much more robust and productive than arabica,” Enrique Alves added. “For equivalent levels of technology, it produces almost twice as much.”
Robusta coffee bean might be much less refined, however, it offers much higher yields and is more resistant to high temperatures and is also becoming an increasingly attractive option for Brazil’s farmers. Brazil is the place that produces an overall 40% of the world’s coffee.
“The world will in the near future use a lot of Brazilian robustas, I’m sure of that,” said Carlos Santana, Brazil-based head coffee trader for Eisa Interagricola, a unit of ECOM, one of the world’s largest agricultural commodity traders. “It is gaining ground in the world blend.”
“In Response To Climate Change, Brazilian Producers Are Switching To Robusta” by Sprudge.
This article from Sprudge covers the same topic as the previous Reuters article. The writer of this article, Zac Cadwalader, expands on climate change and shares his subjective thoughts on the same subject and point of view as Reuters’ writers do.
“It’s impossible to overstate just how significantly climate change is impacting coffee production (and the coffee industry at large really). We recently took a deep dive—albeit an incomplete one—at some of the ways global warming is affecting coffee, but a new article in Reuters brings to light another one: the rise of Robusta.
As reported by Reuters, the reasons for the switch are obvious. Robusta has traditionally been considered a quantity-focused plant; they can grow in hotter temperatures, produce more fruit more easily, have higher caffeine content, and aren’t as finicky about growing conditions as their Arabica counterparts. The downside, though, is that Robusta has been traditionally viewed as inferior to that of Arabica and thus only fetches a fraction of the cost.
Per Reuters, in the past three seasons alone, Brazil has increased their Robusta output by a staggering 20%, to 20.2 million 60kg bags. Meanwhile, in the same amount of time in Vietnam, the largest exporter of Robusta, production has fallen by 5%, to 28 million bags. As it stands, though, Vietnam still has a significant buffer before being overtaken by Brazil, currently in second, as the largest Robusta exporter. The vast majority of Brazilian Robusta gets consumed domestically, with only 4.9 million bags leaving the country last year, as opposed to Vietnam’s leading 23.6 million.”
Coffee recipes of the month
Rainbow Connection Iced Coffee by Peace Coffee.
“This colourful concoction is the perfect celebratory coffee drink of the summer! It’s bright, sweet, and refreshing. Put on your swimsuit and enjoy this magical beverage on a boat, poolside, or at a beach party!”
What You Need
- 2 oz Lavender whipped cream (see below)
- 1 strawberry, sliced
- 2-3 mint leaves, minced
- 1 oz strawberry syrup (see below)
- 6 oz milk / non-dairy milk substitute of your choice
- 6 oz cold brew concentrate (we’re using Peace Coffee Party Animal Blend, Yeti will work as well)
- Optional Garnish: Circus Animals Cookies, sprinkles, edible glitter, etc.
How to make the Strawberry Syrup
- ½ lb fresh strawberries
- 1 cup sugar
- Remove stems from strawberries and slice thin. Toss sliced strawberries with sugar until strawberries are completely coated and no sugar remains dry.
- Put in a sealed container in a refrigerator overnight. The next day, strain strawberry solids out. Yield 1 cup strawberry syrup.
How to make the Lavender Whipped Cream
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp dried Butterfly Pea Flowers (for colour, optional, available via Rishi Tea) or a mix of red and blue food colouring
- ¼ tsp dried lavender flowers
- 2 tbsp sugar
- Bring cream to a simmer and add all other ingredients and stir well. Allow ingredients to steep for 10 minutes. Strain teas out of cream and refrigerate until cold.
- Whip to stiff peaks.
Make the Rainbow Connection
- Mix cold brew concentrate from Peace Coffee Party Animal blend, milk, and strawberry syrup in a pint glass with 3-4 ice cubes. Stir well.
- Top with lavender whipped cream.
- Garnish with strawberry slices, minced mint leaves, pink glitter, and whatever else magical your heart desires.
Mococa Granada by The Barn.
The writers from The Barn share how they asked one of their baristas to make a drink reminiscent of a summer specialty from their home town and the result was Mococa Granada coffee. They also share how the sugar they use is named Whole Cane Dulce sugar and it’s grown in the Tayutic Valley in Costa Rica.
This sugar is the result of a very refined and intensive labour process and unlike more refined sugars, it is not heated and spun to transform it into a crystalised form. The Whole Cane Dulce sugar is very rich in vitamins and minerals. It’s an easier sugar for the body to digest, and it’s metabolised more slowly than regular white sugar.
- Mococa double espresso
- 60 grams of pomegranate juice
- 16 grams of cane sugar syrup
This recipe must be shaken together with 80 grams of ice and garnished with a sprig of rosemary for aromatics.
Tip from The Barn: clap the rosemary and run along the rim of the glass to enhance the aroma.
Until next time!