Monday, June 29, 2009

F**K the Fancy Labels

I am starting to get pissed off at the amount of Fancy Labels that's starting to come out relating to coffees. Fairtrade this and Organic Certified that, I heard to be Organic Certified the farmers had to pay the organization a large sum of money and wait 2-3 years before they can be certified, and how many farmers in the 3rd world country can afford this crap? Most coffee beans are Organic anyway, as those farmers won't be able to afford Chemical pesticides and Fertilizer, just because it's not "Organic Certified" doesn't mean it's not "Organic".

A lot of Coffee Company has adopted this new trend of "Fancy Labels" thinking it will aid their sales, the company I work for is a big sucker for those labels although I won't mention their names. And a lot of the times those Organisation has such a large overhead in staff salary and expenses, the amount that's left to go to the farmers are only a small percentage in that bag of cash.

I believe the only way of doing this is to deal with the Farmers direct, Pay the fair price for a good product, this way all (or most) of the money is going directly to the farmers and we end up getting a higher quality BEAN as well.

Why the bad Wraps on Robusta Beans

A lot of people seem to be scared of the word "Robusta", it's like the black sheep in the Coffee Varietal world. OK most Robusta beans drank on its own could taste a bit rubbery and the Aroma isn't the most attractive, but I tend to treat Robusta as a spice, with the correct percentage in an espresso blend it can be fantastic. Dark Chocolate, Bitey and it also add an extra dimension to the flavour profile... Flavour you cannot obtain from Arabica beans. It's like cooking, treat Robusta like Chilli or Saffron, you wouldn't eat them straight right? Although I am hearing there are some specially selected Robusta beans that's nice enough to be drank on its own, but until I have tried it myself I cannot comment on that one.

To prove what I believe, I am entering the Danes Grand Barista Championship with a blend that contains the Indian Monsoon Robusta bean, it's got all the nice Robusta properties minus some of the offensive bits and the rough edges, and it should aid the mouthfeel in my espressos and will work a treat in Milk.

So is Robusta Bad? It depend whether you believe what a lot of people tell you or believe your own taste bud? If it's the latter, go out and try a Blend with Robusta and see whether you prefer it over the trendy "100% Arabica" beans. Remember McCafe also uses "100% Arabica" and also "100% Rain Forest Alliance", but have you tried one? enough said...