There is allot of buzz around our new arrival at Strictly Coffee. We recently received our first stock of Ethiopia Sidamo Organic Coffee. What makes this coffee so special you may ask. Well here is some inside information on how and where it’s grown plus a taste chart. We would love to know what you think of this truly organic coffee.
Where it’s grown: Situated between savannah and lake, the rich volcanic soil of the Sidamo region is ideal for growing garden coffee. Farmers plant small coffee plots in their family gardens, using traditional organic-certified farming methods. With its lemon aroma and very berry taste, the resulting coffee is complex and refreshing.
The cooperative farmers use organic fertilisers to supplement the natural fertility of the soil. Moreover, as close to 50% of the natural production is consumed locally, representing the highest national consumption in any coffee-producing country. Local consumers insist on top quality and would never accept the use of chemical inputs. Garden coffee production means that coffee is planted at low densities, ranging from 1,000 to 1,800 plants per hectare.
And the taste:
||wild at heart, all lemons and berries
||cedar vanilla and dried cranberries
||youthfully refreshing, Riesling-dry
||shaggy with lemon oil and fruit
Each day nearly 2.5 billion cups of coffee are consumed. It is one of the most widely traded commodities in the world and millions of people depend directly or indirectly on the production and sale of coffee for their livelihoods. The global market for coffee is characterised by volatile prices and production levels which impacts directly on the incomes and survival of producers.
The Coffee Paradox
Experts on the world coffee market often make reference to the “coffee paradox”.
A coffee crisis in producing countries with a trend towards lower prices, declining incomes and profits affecting millions of people in the world’s poorest countries. A coffee ‘boom’ in consuming countries with rising sales and profits for coffee retailers and roasters. A widening gap between producer and consumer prices only partly offset by the influence of Fair Trade in the coffee industry.
The World Bank estimates that out of 140 developing countries, 95 depend on exports of commodities for at least 50 percent of their total export earnings. Coffee is an example of “commodity-dependency” representing, for example, 75% of the total exports of Burundi and 54% in Uganda. About 25 million families produce and sell coffee for their livelihood and most are small-scale farmers with limited financial resources and scope to diversify out of coffee.
Globally, coffee sales each year exceed $70 billion, but coffee producing countries only capture $5 billion of this value, with the bulk of revenues retained by developed countries. A recent Oxfam research report showed that Ugandan coffee farmers only get about 2.5 percent of the final retail price in the UK market.
Because the supply-side of the world coffee market is fragmented – with millions of small-scale producers – the market power lies with coffee roasting companies who buy raw coffee beans and process them into coffee-based products.
When buyers have power over the market price, this is a monopoly, and this purchasing power over coffee growers can force down the price that farmers receive for their products – creating poverty and damaging the chances of sustainable development for regions dependent on coffee production.
There have been no price controls in the global coffee trade since 1989, when the buffer-stock system run by the International Coffee Agreement broke down. Since then prices have been determined by the market supply and demand. Over the last ten years coffee prices have been volatile.
Consumption of coffee and price elasticity of demand
Coffee demand has been stagnating in many of richer nations but consumption growth has been stronger in emerging market countries and especially in some of the former eastern Bloc countries most of whom are now part of the European Union.
The main buyers of raw coffee beans are the large multinational buyers, dominated by four firms: Nestlé, Kraft, Procter & Gamble and Sara Lee.
Employment in coffee producing countries
Coffee production employs a labour force estimated at around 25 million families by the ICO and accounts for more than 50% of export earnings in many countries.
An increase in consumption favouring a gradual rise in world prices would be a positive factor for economic growth and increased per capita incomes in these countries.
In Brazil alone more than a million jobs are generated by the coffee industry
The International Coffee Organisation (ICO)
The International Coffee Organization (ICO) brings together producing and consuming countries to tackle the challenges facing the world coffee sector through cooperation.
Brazil is effectively the “swing producer” for the global coffee markets, in other words, since Brazil is the largest coffee producer, changes in Brazil’s supplies of coffee account for a large portion of the change in the world total supplies of coffee which then directly affects the prevailing international price.
There are book clubs, social clubs, collecting clubs and wine clubs. And there is definitely no reason why you can’t also develop your own coffee club to share the delights of coffee with friends, neighbors and acquaintances who also share your love of coffee. Here are some suggestions to help you start your own coffee club.
1 Decide on where your club will exist. Unless you’re a very generous benefactor, it’s likely you won’t have a clubhouse or member’s rooms, so as with a book club, consider having the coffee club rotate between member’s houses. You can also benefit from visiting cafes and coffee houses as part of the meeting circuit, which is a great way to get out and about and enjoy yourselves.
2 Start collecting some good books on coffee. Look for books that detail the history, the manufacturing process, the methods for making coffee and coffee recipes. All sorts of books about coffee exist, so have a search through online sales for ideas. These books will serve as a source of information for members to prepare information sessions, write newsletters, decide on events to hold, etc.
Offer to house the books and materials to begin with but be ready to institute a lending system as the club grows stronger.
3 Find members. Ask people you know love coffee and that you enjoy spending time with first. As time goes on, they’ll invite more people to join. Initially you might want to waive any fees and rules but these are things to consider for covering costs and keeping things clear once the club is more certain.
4 Hold the first meeting. At this meeting, discuss the sorts of things you’d like to do as a club, plus any grand goals such as tours of coffee regions of the world (it can’t hurt to dream large from the start). Have new members suggest what they’d like to do and have a list of prompts to help guide the conversation. Things that the club might like to do include:
Taste different coffees each meeting
Do blind tastes for fun
Try cooking with coffee and sharing the results with everyone
Publishing a club newsletter with coffee tips and information
Get bulk discounts on coffee purchases as a club
Visit local cafes to enjoy different coffee styles
Read or discuss information about coffee within each meeting
Plan a tour of a coffee region in a year or so.
5 Keep good records of membership so that you can notify everyone of upcoming meetings and send out newsletters etc. Once the club becomes more formalized, elect position holders who are responsible for various aspects of running the coffee club.
6 Meet regularly and keep aiming to grow the club. Ensure that all members are getting something out of belonging to the club and it’ll endure for a long time.
Strictly Coffee is very proud of its heritage and we would like to share with you a little about the wonderful town we are situated in, the beautiful town of Robertson. The town was founded in 1853 and named after the Scottish Dutch Reformed Church Minister, Dr William Robertson.
Situated in the fertile Robertson Valley, farming and wagon building were the town’s original industries. However, after the Second Anglo-Boer War of 1899, the wagon building industry collapsed when the railways took over the transport of all goods.
Robertson subsequently became famous for its ostrich farming, but this industry collapsed as well shortly after World War I and thus the farmers of the area switched to wine and fruit farming. Later, several successful racehorse stud farms were founded. Agriculture remains the mainstay of the town’s economy up to the present day.
Known as the “ small town with a big heart”, you will be pleasantly surprised by the warm welcome which awaits you in this quaint country town. Situated in the shadow of the majestic Langeberg mountains with the Breede River as its life blood, Robertson is the western gateway to The Heart of Route 62, only 1 ½ hours leisurely drive from Cape Town.
With 150 years of history, Robertson has grown into one of the most attractive Cape Winelands towns. Victorian buildings, jacaranda-lined streets, rose boarded vineyards, columns of red and yellow cannas as well as bright bougainvilleas all form the back drop to this delightful town.
Our region may be best known for its wines but the variety of attractions, activities, accommodation, and culinary delights on offer – combined with spectacular scenery and the warm hospitality of the people, makes it a superb getaway. No matter what time of year and no matter whom the visitor, Robertson ensures visitors an unforgettable stay.
National Monuments include the Pink Church (1859), the Museum (1860), the Edwardian No 12 Piet Retief Street (1904), the Victorian No 59 Van Reenen Street (1914) and the Powder House.
Next time your in the area, feel free to pop in any time for a chat and a cup of the best coffee this side of the equator: Below are our details: See you soon …
5 Voortrekker Road,
Monday to Friday: 7am – 5:30pm
Saturday: 9am – 2pm
Recently Strictly Coffee has made some changes at our shop in Robertson, we have introduced the AeroPress as an alternate coffee making solution. The customers love the new brew and here are some reasons why:
There are several reasons why AeroPress coffee tastes so good:
• Total immersion of the grounds in the water results in rapid yet robust extraction of flavor.
• Total immersion permits extraction at a moderate temperature, resulting in a smoother brew.
• Air pressure shortens filtering time to 20 seconds. This avoids the bitterness of long
processes such as drip brewing.
• The air pressure also gently squeezes the last goodness from the grounds, further enriching the flavor.
• Because of the lower temperature and short brew time, the acid level of the brew is much lower than conventional brewers. Laboratory pH testing measured AeroPress brew’s acid as less than one fifth that of regular drip brew. The low acid is confirmed by coffee lovers who report that AeroPress brew is
friendlier to their stomachs.
Comparison with other brewing methods:
Drip brewing passes water through a bed of grounds. When the water first drips into the bed, it is too hot and bitterness is extracted. As the water filters downward through the bed, it becomes too cool and extraction is weak. The water doesn’t contact all of the grounds uniformly. Grounds at the edge of the bed are under-extracted while grounds at the center are over- extracted and contribute bitterness.
Total immersion of the grounds in the AeroPress completely solves these problems. All of the grounds contact the same water temperature, and the brewing process is short and sweet. The gentle air pressure of the AeroPress also extracts extra flavor from the coffee. Ordinary drip brewers leave a lot of flavor in their soggy grounds.
The drip method cannot make a robust single cup because the small amount of water doesn’t heat the bed enough for rich extraction. It is also slow. AeroPress makes one to four servings with a single pressing in less than a minute. The flavor is equally rich for any number of cups.
Next time you’re in Robertson, why not pop into Strictly Coffee and try our new Aeropress coffee for yourself, we would love to hear your feedback.
When entering a coffee shop, even the biggest coffee lover can become overwhelmed with the abundance of choice they are presented with. “Do I go for one shot, or two?” “What flavor bean shall I have?” We have put together a guide for every life style which hopefully will help you find your way to the perfect coffee for you.
“Pretty Lady” – These ladies tend not like the taste of strong coffee too much, so blending the coffee bean with something sweet would match their taste buds perfectly. More importantly, these ladies do not want their make-up to sweat off their face and so will want to avoid an overly hot drink at all costs. Strictly Coffee recommendation: Latté’
“Alpha Male” – Think James Bond! You wouldn’t catch these guys drinking a frothy Cappuccino. Strictly Coffee recommendation: Choose an Espresso and if you’re feeling adventurous or extra-manly, opt for two shots.
The “Writer” – If you sit in coffee shops with your laptop, glasses and woolly jersey then this applies to you. These deep-thinker types need their thirst for details and intricacy to be met; something too simple and plain will not appeal to the J.K.Rowling’s of the world. They love experimenting with different blends. Strictly Coffee recommendation: Indonesian Kopi Luwak
The “Stressed Out Mum” – These women need a break from their daily lives of constantly tidying away after children, their husbands included, and so need to be taken to another world which is filled with silky smooth coffee blends and traditional-tasting coffee beans. Strictly Coffee recommendation: A nice frothy Cappuccino.
Coffee doesn’t always make work better, but you can definitely work to get better coffee, here are some quick tips and tricks to help you make the perfect cup:
When brewing your coffee, use bottled or filtered water. Doing so, you will obtain maximum flavor for your brew. However, you do not want to use water that is too soft. The flavor will not be extracted as well. Look for a nice balance. Compare the flavor of your coffee with different brands or types of water.
Many people use baking soda to keep smells from permeating refrigerators, but used coffee grounds have the same effect. Coffee acts like a natural sponge, and it will absorb any odors it comes in contact with. This is why you should place a small dish of them in your refrigerator to keep odors at bay.
If you want to brew your own espresso, you need to use beans that have been finely ground. A good grinder will allow you to control the consistency to suit your preferences. We don’t recommend that you use coffee, which has been ground for espresso, in a perculator. It might taste stronger, but it also has more bitter tastes. You could use coffee, which was ground for a percolator, in a plunger though.
We don’t recommend you keep coffee in the fridge. Every time you take it out of the fridge, condensation forms on the beans, which in effect means that you add water to the beans. Rather keep it in the pack or glass, in a cupboard, out of direct sunlight. This will ensure the freshest coffee.
To gauge which roasts are right for your taste preferences, pay close attention to the color of the beans. Typically, the darker a bean is roasted the stronger its brewed taste will be. French roasted beans are dark but Italian roasted beans by far produce the darkest and strongest coffee.
When brewing coffee that will end up iced, make it extra-strong. Use up to two tablespoons of ground coffee for every four ounces of water. This ensures that your coffee will not taste diluted or watered-down once you pour it over the ice. Never pour hot coffee into a cold glass, however; allow it to cool first.
Fortunately, with or without the caffeine, coffee is rich in biologically active substances that contribute to its aroma, taste and color. Some of these have been investigated to determine which components of the drink are responsible for its well-documented health benefits.
Caffeine, which is found in coffee and other foods (cocoa, tea), is that substance that keeps us awake, both when we need it and when we don’t want it. Unfortunately, to some people this and other side effects of caffeine are not welcome.
Decaffeinated coffee or “decaf” is coffee that has had most of the caffeine removed. By weight, the amount of caffeine found naturally in coffee is only about 1% for the Arabica and 2% for the Robusta coffee beans. There are currently two main methods used commercially that remove caffeine from coffee:
Most decaf coffees are made using a chemical process first used in Europe. This process involves soaking the beans in water and then “washing” them in methylene chloride to absorb the caffeine from the bean. After this, the beans are rinsed clean of the chemicals, dried and shipped to the coffee roasters. The advantage of this method is that it provides decaf coffee with more flavor than the Swiss water processing. Although there is virtually no trace of any chemicals left in the bean after roasting, some people are uncomfortable knowing that the coffee they are drinking was chemically processed.
Swiss Water Process
The second method is known as “Swiss water processing”. This process uses no chemicals, but rather hot water and steam to remove the caffeine from the coffee. The “life” of the bean is taken into the water, and then the water solution put through activated charcoal filters to remove the caffeine. Once the caffeine is removed, these same beans are then put back into the decaffeinated solution to re-absorb everything except the caffeine. The beans are then dried and shipped to the roasters. The disadvantage is that the water processing removes more than just the caffeine. Some of the oils from the coffee bean are removed as well, making it less flavorful.
The best thing to do for those who really want this kind of decaf is to start out with a high quality, Arabica bean. Even though some of the flavor will be lost, there will still be a lot left to enjoy.
What would Italians do without coffee and biscotti? What would South Africans do without their rusks and coffee? What would Canadians and Americans do without their doughnuts and coffee? These coffee pairings are ingrained in the daily lives of many. Here are a few popular ways to enjoy pairing coffee with baked goods.
Baked Goods Pairings
• Biscotti – Perhaps the most popular baked good to enjoy with coffee in the U.S. outside of doughnuts, biscotti comes in flavors and varieties to suit nearly any palate. Almond is classic, but cherry, chocolate and other types are also well worth trying. Full-flavored biscotti is also great with espresso.
• Cakes – Cake and coffee is a classic pairing. Carrot cake is fantastic with Colombian coffee. Chocolate cake pairings are listed above under “Chocolate Pairings.” Beyond these few suggestions, the possibilities are endless!
• Caramel Flan – The rich, salty-sweet flavor of caramel flan works well with Indonesian and Guatemalan coffees.
• Cinnamon Buns – The caramel and chocolate notes in Colombian and Guatemalan coffees are a natural fit for cinnamon buns.
• Coffee Breads – Anyone who is inclined to bake should check out this list of top ten coffee breads. Use their individual flavor profiles to pair them with coffee.
• Coffee Cake – Danishes and coffee cakes pair well with most coffees, but light- or medium-roast Hawaiian and Nicaraguan coffees are particularly good.
• Croissants – You can pair unadorned coffees with croissants, but why not take a cue from the French? CafÃ© au Lait pairs so much better!
• Doughnuts – Different types of doughnuts pair well with different coffees. Many coffee-and-doughnut lovers swear by milk and sugar with pretty much any type of coffee and any type of doughnut. Smooth, sweet Costa Rican coffee is especially well suited to pairing with doughnuts.
• Muffins – Like doughnuts, most muffins work with most coffees. Some find that Costa Rican and Mexican coffees are especially good with muffins.
• Oatmeal Raisin Cookies – Light- to medium-roast Nicaraguan and Kona coffees are ideal for pairing with the lighter flavor of oatmeal raisin cookies.
• Scones – They’re not just for tea! Fruit scones are great with winey coffees from Yemen, Kenya and Haiti. Unflavored scones are good with Costa Ricans and maple raisin scones are perfect for Kona or Nicaraguan coffee. Citrus scones are great with Mexican and Ethiopian coffees.
• Shortbread – The buttery, dense flavor and texture of shortbread is delicious with Costa Rican or Brazilian coffees.
• Sweet Breads – Zucchini bread with nuts is amazing with Colombian. Banana nut bread is great with Costa Rican, Kenyan or Kona coffee, and pumpkin bread with nuts is incredible with Colombian or Costa Rican coffee. They’re all great with Espresso con Panna.
Breakfast Food Pairings
The light, balanced flavor of most Central American coffees is ideal for many breakfast foods, but here are a few breakfast coffee pairings that go beyond the basics.
• Crepes – Pair savory crepes (those with ingredients like vegetables, herbs, cheese and meats) with bold Pacific Island coffees. Pair Nutella or chocolate crepes with Colombian coffee. Berry crepes are great with Kenyan or Haitian coffees. They’re all also easily paired with espresso and espresso-based drinks.
• Eggs and bacon/sausage – This British-style breakfast is great with medium-roast Costa Rican coffee.
• Omelets with Mushrooms, Basil and/or Chevre – Java, Sumatra and Indonesian coffee can handle the full flavors of savory brunch foods like omelets.
• Oatmeal – Light-roast Kona or Nicaraguan coffee is ideal with oatmeal.
• Pancakes with Maple Syrup – Kona and Nicaraguan coffee complement the maple and the pastry flavors of this classic breakfast food.
• Quiche – The full, savory flavors of many Pacific Island coffees is great with quiche.
• Wheat Toast – Light- or medium-roast Costa Rican, Colombian, Guatemalan and Brazilian coffees are great with simple, grainy breakfasts, such as toast or cereal.
Not sure what to buy for your husband or friend this Christmas? Well if they are a coffee lover why not try the suggestions below:
To give a really special and practical Christmas present you can buy any coffee lover their very own personalized coffee mug. Their favorite drink will be even more enjoyable from a personalized mug!
There are literally hundreds to choose from both online and in stores. Get creative, find a great family photo and have this put onto the mug, or opt for a personalized message. Or why not choose a cheeky message to add a bit of humor.
To complete your gift, select one of our quality coffee beans from our online shop and pop this into the mug.
For those who spend hours at their computer, there is also the quirky little USB mug warmer. A clever little gadget that plugs into your PC and keeps your coffee warm longer. A USB device which keeps your coffee nice and warm no matter how long you’re typing away. An ideal gift for the coffee monster workaholics.
Bring out their creative side with a Latte Milk Frother, there are several inexpensive models to choose from and some fancier ones to suit any budget.
Another variation is to buy a one cup plunger filled with Strictly Coffee House Blend Coffee , or if you are looking to really spoil someone, why not buy them their very own coffee maker, complete with supply of fresh coffee beans.
Strictly Coffee wishes all their customers a blessed Christmas and a very happy New Year
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