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This week we love...

God in a Cup

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This week we love the much talked about book - God in a Cup.

God_in_a_cupAuthor and journalist Michaele Weissman spent a year travelling the world visiting coffee farms, interviewing influential people in the industry and digging deeper than most journalists would. Her book documents her travels, but also asks a few tough questions about the sustainability and social implications of this massive industry.

Here's an extract of an interview with Weismann on Salon.com:

You say that while coffee is one of the most popular drinks it is also one of the most misunderstood or little understood beverages. How so?

Probably a billion people around the world drink coffee every day, and yes, for the most part, they know little about the contents of their cup. Coffee is damned confusing -- growing it is complicated, processing it is even more so. Coffee politics and economics are contentious and off-putting. And until the last dozen or so years, coffee markets were completely controlled by traders who had little interest in transparency.

Then there is the culinary aspect. Coffee has had few champions in the culinary world. Unlike wine, a beverage to which coffee is often compared, the professional culinary elite and foodies in general have paid little attention to coffee. If you don't believe me, check out the coffee at most high-end restaurants.

Maybe this lack of attention to coffee has something to do with coffee's relative newness. People have been growing grapes and making wine for thousands of years, but the coffee bean has been exploited commercially much more briefly -- coffee didn't arrive in Europe until the 1600s. Coffee doesn't really have a place in the culinary pantheon, but I strongly believe that is beginning to change. At least I hope so.

When did you get interested in coffee?

In 2005-2006, I had this sense that the post-Starbucks generation was demanding and drinking better coffee at work, so I did a piece for the Washington Post on the upscaling of office coffee. That's when I first heard the term "specialty coffee," and that's when I learned that the specialty sector of the coffee business generated a ton of money, was growing fast, and that it was run by a bunch of geeky young guys whose passion for coffee reminded me of Steve Jobs' devotion to computing.

So what exactly is specialty coffee?

Coffee grows in about 50 different countries strung along the equator. Before being sold, coffee is graded by professionals. Most of the coffee in the world is sold on the commodities market, the so-called C market.

Specialty Coffee is, however, not sold on the C market. It is sold by quality-oriented exporters to quality-oriented importers for prices that vary but are generally above the C market price.

Professional coffee tasters -- they're called cuppers -- grade coffee on a scale of 1 to 100. To be considered specialty, coffee needs to earn a cupping score of 80 or above. The best specialty coffees have cupping scores above 84 or 85.

Moo Bean Caffe

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This week we love Moo Bean mobile coffee bars.

moo_bean_1MooBean is an up-market mobile coffee bar service for any type of event or function. They offer a range of menu options which not only include premium coffees (cappuccino, latte's, americano's etc.), but also teas and other alternative non-alcoholic beverages, hot or cold. Moo Bean also offer customized menus and branding for any event or function.

Their service is fully-inclusive, accounting for every possibility - they take the coffee hassle out of your hands. With a wide range of costing packages and options which includes all the ingredients, labor and setup, this is a true "all in one" service.

For more information on Moo Bean mobile coffee bars visit www.moobean.co.za or contact them on 0861 112 876.

Finca Vista Hermosa

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Finca_Vista_HermosaThis week we love Tribeca's single origin from Guatemala. It is called Finca Vista Hermosa, translated as "farm with the beautiful view".

Guatemalan coffee is revered as one of the most flavourful and sought after cups in the world. Estate owner, Edwin Martinez, grows his coffee in an ecologically sound manner. Above and below the farm are virgin rainforest belts, and all coffee is planted under native species of shade trees to provide building materials and fire wood to the local families. Sheep and chickens are kept to provide natural fertilizer and pest control.

This Finca Vista Hermosa roast combines sweet lemon and spice aromas, with a pleasant winey flavour and woodsy finish.

Available from Tribeca:    www.tribeca.co.za

Aerolatte Milk Frother

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Aerolatte_Milk_FrotherThis week we love the Aerolatte milk frother from Yuppie Chef.

The Aerolatte was the first-ever steam free milk frother, invented so you could enjoy creamy drinks at home without having to operate a full-on appliance every time. The Aerolatte can be used to froth milk for lattes and cappuccinos but it's also handy to use when making other drinks like milk shakes, iced coffees, frappuccino's and cocktails.

  • 18/8 stainless steel frothing head.
  • Electroplated brass & chrome handle to prevent rusting.
  • Comes with AA batteries.

 

The Aerolatte frother retails at about R225 and is available from Yuppie Chef.

Yourstruly

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Yourstruly_CoffeeshopThis week we love Yourstruly. This Long Street coffee shop has all the right ingredients: wholesome food, amazing coffee, a great vibe and even a bit of local art on display. The owner, Daniel Holland, seems to know what he’s doing and he’s certainly doing something right if the lunch hour queues are anything to go by.

Daniel studied textile design and worked as a graphic designer prior to Yourstruly. He decided to take the plunge and exchange his office job for something a bit more fulfilling. The tiny little shop oozes cool and Dan’s effervescent personality is indeed the heart and soul of this business.

Yourstruly mainly offers fresh sandwiches, made on the spot while you wait. The sarmies start from about R24 each, which means they are not only delicious but also affordable. The coffee is from local roasters, Deluxe Coffee Works, and it defiantly doesn’t disappoint.

Yourstruly, 175 Long Street, Cape Town.