It's the beans baby

From liQuid heaVen’s ‘Didjaknow’ Department...
Worldwide, more than 26 million small coffee producers in more than 52 coffee producing countries rely on ‘the beans’ as their principal means of earning a living.
Next to oil baby it’s C*O*F*F*E*E*!


Fiat Offers In-Car Espresso Maker

Oh how those Italians love their espresso. And starting in October, they'll be able to have a doppio on the go in the new Fiat 500L.

At the presentation of the car to the global press in Turin this month, Fiat announced that the 500L will be "the first standard-production car in the world to offer a true espresso coffee machine."

The espresso maker will be an option in the new, bigger, four-door 500L that goes on sale in Italy in October and in the rest of Europe shortly after. (Think of the 500L as the Fiat 500 equivalent of the Mini Cooper Countryman -- there's even a vague similarity in silhouette.)

Fiat says the machine "is perfectly integrated in the car with a deck designed expressly by Fiat." The espresso machine, which comes with matching cups, is being made for Fiat by Italian coffee importer Lavazza -- known as "Italy's favorite coffee" -- and uses the company's "A Modo Mio" coffee pods. Lavazza also runs a Starbucks-like coffee chain.

The 500L, which is being built in Serbia, is due in the U.S. in 2013, but the espresso maker seems unlikely in the current climate of concern over driver distractions in cars. You could argue that it would do wonders for driver alertness.

The 500L may be oh so Italian, but Fiat said at the presentation that it also will have a very American touch that shows the company's Chrysler connection: A branded Beats Audio (Beats by Dr. Dre) premium sound system like that in the Chrysler 300.

Via:  USA Today

Oregon Is Caffeinating the Pacific Ocean

A new study from Portland State University researchers has shown that the Northwest's fame as a destination for coffee (and caffeinated techies) doesn't come without its environmental costs. Waters off the coast of Oregon were found to have elevated levels of caffeine, a drug that, in the Pacific Northwest, can only be traced to human activity.

The researchers expected to find higher levels near the outflow of waste treatment plants (where the remains of that Trenta end up, at the end of the day), but instead found the spikes of jolt juice lingering in relatively remote locations. Since humans are still the only possible source of the caffeine, the researchers are guessing that big rainstorms that overpower the sewer system and septic tanks in the state parks might be to blame for the findings. Yup, even Oregonian nature lovers are java junkies.

The amount of caffeine that counts as "elevated" is pretty minor, but the study cites some earlier research showing that even small amounts of caffeine can have an impact on marine life. Any fishermen out there noticing a little extra flop in their catch?

Source: BonAppetite


Analysis: Coffee roasters stick with less costly robusta

liQuid heaVen has NEVER and will NEVER use the extender Robusta in our coffee. Period. End of story. We have settled on and will continue to use 100% Arabica hand picked beans cultivated for their flavor and aroma.

Reporting by Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Coffee roasters quietly pulled off a financial feat last year that went unnoticed by most customers: Adding a higher proportion of cheaper, lower-grade robusta to their grounds as the price of top-notch arabica beans surged.
As new data reveals the surprising extent of that substitution, which appears to have been far more widespread than experts had thought possible, the industry faces a vexing question: As the price premium for arabica beans returns to historically normal levels, will roasters switch back?
The short answer seems to be no.

The "swing" in demand was surprisingly decisive and swift. U.S. robusta imports rose by almost 80 percent in the first quarter of this year versus a year ago, while arabica fell by close to a third, International Coffee Organization data shows, likely reflecting purchases made during last year's rally.

"What we're realizing is that everybody underestimated the amount of demand in robusta because everybody thought ... that there was just a (certain) amount of robusta people could add to their blends," said Ernesto Alvarez, chief executive of U.S.-based coffee merchant COEX Coffee International.

Part of the increase in robusta demand can be explained by changing tastes as some U.S. consumers sought out lower-priced brands due to soaring prices. Lower-cost makes Folgers, owned by U.S. roasters J.M. Smucker, and Kraft Foods' Maxwell House both won market share last year, research shows.

The data are beginning to provide some credibility to widespread market speculation that some U.S. roasters have raised the robusta content to a higher level in their top-secret blends than many thought - in effect sacrificing quality in order to keep their profit margins.

The trend started last year, with U.S. robusta purchases from Brazil, the world's second-biggest robusta grower, tripling to 813,000 60-kg bags in 2011. While the total was still much less than the 5.84 million bags of arabica brought into the country, the rate of growth outpaced the premium grade's 3-percent rise year-on-year, ICO data showed. (Graphic: http://link.reuters.com/qub28s)
Now, however, market forces have reversed. The arabica premium has shrunk by almost 70 percent from its 2011 high of nearly $1.90 per lb to around 60 cents, making it far less financially advantageous to buy the lower-quality blends.

Experts say roasters have likely reached the limit of how far they can push the fine balance between robusta and arabica in their blends, but they may be able to maintain that ratio if it is economic and there is no consumer backlash.

"If the consumer has accepted the product well, and it's selling well, I don't see them going back to a higher arabica content, unless something's triggering it," said Carlos DeAldecoa, president of Maximus Coffee Group in Houston, which roasts coffee for 11 roasters, buys green coffee, and processes instant and decaffeinated coffees.

Smucker declined to comment on any changes in its green coffee purchases for proprietary reasons. Kraft said it could not share specifics about its blends.


Not all roasters can introduce lower quality beans to their blends. Those with premium taste and aroma profiles may not have the flexibility to use robusta beans, which typically have a less appealing taste described as earthy and bitter.

But those that can dabble according to price and bean availability - typically the national retail brands sold in supermarkets - set their sights on robusta beans in 2011 to help lower the cost of their brewed blends as arabica prices soared.

A steep and steady 11-month rally more than doubled the ICE benchmark arabica coffee futures price, lifting the market above $3 per lb to a 34-year high in May 2011 and pushing the arabica premium over robusta futures to nearly $1.90 per lb. (Graphic: http://link.reuters.com/bat58s)
"We're certainly seeing a change in the blends to include a higher percentage of robusta than they did in the past," said DeAldecoa.

Victor Garcez, chief executive of Italian-based Cafeco, which steams robusta beans on behalf of roasters to improve their quality, says demand for steamed robustas doubling at Cofaco's Vietnamese facility during the coffee rally as roasters tried to squeeze more out of lower-quality beans.
Massimo Zanetti USA, a mid-sized roaster that makes brands including Chock full o'Nuts and Hills Bros., was one of the only companies to discuss the blending issue publicly.

In November, it said it had increased its robusta usage by over a quarter year-to-date in order to reduce the impact of soaring Arabica prices and keep its retail prices as low as possible.

Arabica futures have since dropped nearly 50 percent to two-year lows at $1.561 per lb on Thursday, while Liffe robusta futures rallied on surging demand to an 8-1/2-month high at $2,269 per tonne at the end of May. They have since eased back to around $2,100.

Meanwhile, Liffe certified arabica stocks in Europe have seen an uninterrupted decline for 10 straight months, falling nearly 60 percent since mid-July 2011, indicating firm demand.


So far many consumers have been more sensitive to prices than their palates, drinking less premium coffee or buying cheaper brands last year as coffee companies hiked prices multiple times, according to Garima Goel Lal, beverage analyst for consumer analyst Mintel, in Ithaca, New York.

Those who cut prices in response to the falling futures market won market share. Folgers' share retail volume climbed to 21.6 percent in 2011 from 19.7 pct in 2010 and Maxwell House rose to 10.5 percent from 10 percent in 2010, Euromonitor International data showed.

"If they didn't see any impact on their consumer from a quality standpoint, they might not change it because ultimately their total blend cost is going to be lower than it was years ago," DeAldoca said, speaking in general terms.

And without any resistance to the new blends, there is little incentive for roasters which have aided their profit margins with the new brew to switch back.

Some traders have taken steps preparing for the change to be long term.

COEX, which trades 3-1/2 million 60-kg bags annually, recently opened offices in Vietnam, the world's biggest grower of robusta, and Holland, strategically located for West African imports, to source robusta beans.

"We used to be an arabica house completely. Five, six years ago we traded no robustas. Now it's 40 percent of what we do," said Alvarez.

K-Cup plastic, continues to be very dangerous

Comments from coffeedetective.com

Jul 14, 2012re: BPA in k-cups
by: katyq4u

What is your most reliable source? You say above that these contain no BPA and then have information below stating they do, but BPA is not harmful according to FDA.

Take what the FDA says with a grain of salt. As long as there is no specifically correlated proof that BPA causes significant harm, doesn't mean it is healthy. BPA messes with hormones. Especially in the growth and development stages. This can result in issues related to thyroid and obesity.

I'm not against using this product, but I am frustrated that they are considering a recyclable option, but appear to ignore the BPA issue. I will be the first to purchase the product if it stated BPA free and meant it.

Jul 11, 2012Coffee causing sickness
by: Linda Moore

I was wondering if there has been a recall issued on the Keurig K cup Breakfast blend. Several times my husband has gotten very sick, to the point that he had to stop his car on the way to work and vomit. The only thing he had have was the Keurig coffee. I on the other hand am experiencing gastric upset after drinking the same blend. Wondering who I could contact about this. Thanks!
Linda Moore
Alexandria, TN

Jun 06, 2012What are the ingredients in the coffee?
by: Anonymous

what are the ingredients in the coffee? How is the coffee itself processed?

Disposable French Press in a Bag Makes a Great Cup of Coffee


The Coffeebrewer is a disposable French press. Inside the pouch is a filter with 26 g of freshly ground specialty coffee. To brew 3 cups of coffee, all you need is to open it, pour 1/2 L hot water into it, and let it brew 5-8 min. Now we know we're all about single serve coffee, but we think this coffee in a bag hits the mark. It's contained, portable, and makes a great cup of coffee.

How does it work?

1. Open

  • OPEN the top from side to side
  • PULL OUT the red string
  • SHAPE the bottom to make it stand

2. Brew

  • POUR in 1/2 L of hot water
  • CLOSE zipper in the top
  • BREW for 5—6 min

3. Serve

  • SERVE as illustrated
  • ENJOY 0,5 liter of gourmet coffee!

Source: SingleServeCoffee