Category Archives: Coffee Trivia

African Coffee

Many people do not know that coffee is of African decent. The original beans were allegedly discovered in Ethiopia by a goat farmer who then brought his discovery to the attention of the monastic world who later made it available to other countries. These beans are now known world wide and have many variations throughout different growing climates, location and farming practices.

Lion

African coffees are considered to be some of the world’s most exquisite beans, they are grown at high elevations with very balanced soil conditions. Coffees from this region range in flavours between countries and regions but in general most carry similar brightness, balance and floral like notes.  It is because of there full body and medium acidity that pairing them with fruits, cinnamon, chocolate and raisins is so delicious to the palate.

Zebra

The three regions that we carry at Coyote’s are Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania. All of these regions are known and loved for different reasons, and bring delight to those who try them.

Ethiopia

Kaffa, Harar, Arsi and Sidamo are the original homes of coffee located on the south-western side of Ethiopia. The coffee plants grow wild in the mountain rain forests in many different varieties in this region.

The original origin of all coffees, also brings many people to believe it must be the truest form of coffee. Kaffa beans have rustic flavours and finish with a bold yet smooth acidity. It is because of its boldness that it pairs quite well with milk for cappuccinos and lattes.

Ethiopian Kaffa coffee has been a superstar since its original beginnings, next time your in take a look and see if its something you want to add into you morning routine!

Kenya

Kenya’s grading scale includes Kenya E, Kenya PB, Kenya AA, Kenya AB, Kenya C, Kenya TT, Kenya T and Kenya MH/ML. The beans are graded as green coffee beans and then sold to be roasted.

The A-grade coffee such as Kenya AA, are washed and sundried during harvest allowing their classic flavours to develop. Kenya AA coffee is considered by many to be one of the most top rated coffees worldwide. It is grown at 6600 feet above sea level where growing conditions are slower, allowing for more nutrients to reach and develop within the bean and for their flavours to mature. The high plateaus in which they are grown lend a full body, rich and strong in flavour with a wine-like finish. We recommend scooping these beans up before their gone!

Tanzania

Coffees are grown on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, under shade of bananas trees. Some believe that the flavor profiles of these beans are somewhat similar to those of Kenya. The one thing that varies is the presence of the ever-so-famous peaberry. Although peaberries can be found in Kenya, Ethiopia and throughout coffee cultivating regions, they are tightly associated with Tanzanian coffees.

The Tanzanian Peaberry is something many associate with specialty coffee boutiques and stores. Grown within the same crop of regular beans, the peaberries always seem to give a different flavor profile to that of the original crop. The small dense beans are roasted according to their proportion and in most cases, give a lighter body, slightly more acidic flavours than the crop they were grown amongst. These beans are seen as exotic and worldly. It is because of their abundance that they have become so popular.

The Tanzanian flat beans are readily sold to consumers and the peaberries are then able to become a crop of their own.   Typically, medium bodied with bright tones and fruit acidity, this bean has notes of black currant and can finish into a smooth chocolatey flavour.

Cuban Coffee

Cuba is well known for producing one of the most sought after coffees in the world.  With the Castro Cuban scenario over the past 60 years, the US trade and international embargo, as well as many other issues Cubans have encountered, their coffee production dropped significantly making it difficult to acquire.  Given the equation of high demand plus short supply, their prices often vary dramatically without notice.  Nonetheless, their coffee story is one for the ages, and at Coyotes we are pleased to share it with you.

Cuba began planting beans in the Sierra Maestro Mountains in the mid-18th century. Its natural climate and geography is almost identical to the climate Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee and it is grown just 150 miles to the south east. For those familiar with Jamaican Blue Mountain, it is one of the world’s most expensive and prized coffees.

At its peak coffee production, Cuba exported 20,000 tons of coffee annually prior to the revolution.  After the revolution in 1956, the quality and quantity of Cuban coffee drastically declined. The revolution in 1956 led to the coffee industry becoming simply a government commodity. The decline in quality is directly associated with replacing the skilled farmers for unskilled workers in order to keep up with demand, as well as the inevitable migration of the rural workers into cities.  The family-owned, operated and perfected farms were placed under government control and the decline in quality was evident. Even with attempts to reverse this, the industry has never rebuilt itself to what it once was. However, over the past decade Cuban coffee has come back to life a new renaissance of sorts and it has flourished. The quality has   been raised dramatically due to improved farming techniques, higher prices, demand for specialty grade coffee, and  revitalized government support of Cuban-made products.

Cuban medium bag design

Cuban coffee is most available in Japan and France, as the European coffee culture has fallen in love with Cuban coffee, and it is well known that the Japanese are also  the ones who are buying the best crops around the world including Cuban and have been doing so for the past 20 years.

In particular,  Japan prizes the Crystal Mountain beans most. These beans exude a sweet, nutty, full-body with low acidity, and the Japanese only buy the largest beans. Although their ability to continue to buy these beans has declined, they still place Cuban coffee as top rated.

Cuban coffee signCuban Serrano and Turquino coffee is now being coveted as Crystal Mountain, is almost impossible to get. Interestingly, both these varietals are now receiving great reviews in coffee cuppings, which is drawing the attention of the coffee connoisseurs around the world.  These beans are grown and cultivated under the forest canopies of the Seirra Maestra Mountains within rich soils and grown without the use of chemical products.  The Seirra Maestra mountain range extends eastward from Cape Cruz to the Guantanamo River Valley.  The mountains rise quickly from the coast coming to Cuba’s highest peak at 6,476 fee above sea level.  This peak is known as Turquino Peak, believed to be named after the turquoise views of the island at that view point. Soils at this altitude are rich in copper, iron, manganese, silver, chromium and marble.  These attributes not only help the cultivation of many hard woods such as mahogany and cedar but also lend nutrients to the coffee plants that flourish there.

Cuban roastery

Overall, Cuban coffees are known for their bold, full-body, nutty flavour and  they work wonderfully as an espresso or a pressed coffee. They can be roasted either as Medium or Dark, which is rare for most coffees from other countries.

At Coyote’s we are please to be able to offer a medium and a dark roast Cuban coffee. It is one of our most sought after coffees, by our customers. We do our best to keep it in stock for those who seek its unique flavour profile.

Breaking News…

Cuban coffee has finally arrived and is npw available at Coyote’s.

A History of Coffee

Kaldi
Kaldi

Coffee has a long and winding story of discovery, starting in the Ethiopian mountainous forests which according to African folklore is where it was first discovered.

GoatOne story has it that Kaldi, a monk, discovered it after his goats had eaten red berries from a specific tree he noticed they would have so much energy that they could not sleep through the night. Kaldi reported his findings to the Abbot of the local monastery who then boiled the berries to create a drink, that he found kept him alert through long hours of evening prayer. The Abbot then spread his discovery to other monks and the love of coffee began.

The drink gained large popularity through Arabia and word was spreading to other countries of this medicinal drink.  In order to keep coffee to themselves, they formed laws to ban the export of fertile beans.  The beans that were being exported were first boiled to render them infertile, and this meant only they could cultivate the coffee plants.  An Asian Indian, Baba Budan, snuck a  few fertile beans with him back to India and began cultivating them there.

Kaldi coffee

Coffee cultivation and trade began in the Arabian Peninsula, and was being grown in the Yemeni district of Arabia.  By the 16th Century coffee was known in Persia, Egypt, Syria and Turkey. European travellers brought back stories of the unusual black beverage by the 17th century, and began to make its appearance across the continent.

As demand grew for coffee cultivation, the Dutch planted coffee in Batavia, and the Island of Java, these plants thrived and soon the Dutch had a successful growing trade in coffee and expanded to the islands of Sumatra and Celebes.

From here beans were cultivated, shipped and enjoyed in  many countries, which is a much longer and more detailed story to tell. Coffee shops and bars  became a way of socializing, enjoying company as well as an ideal  way to start your morning. With coffee’s social aspects the need for it exploded and this brings us to today’s coffee culture.

Espresso pouringThere is so much more to know of the story of how coffee began and landed in countries all over the world.  To many, the idea that it originated in Ethiopia may seem absurd, as we now know and love many other different areas of the world for their coffee cultivation.  Coffee is seen throughout history in many tales, and stories written by travelers or seen in documentation as “the black drink” or descriptions such as this.

The book “Travels and Adventures” written by John Smith (British Traveller) describes drinking a Turkish drink called “Coffa” along his travels as well as enjoying a few cups with Princess Pocahantas. Coffee has had a long and whimsical history of being seen as magic, medicinal, and then as a social norm.

Perhaps after reading, you will see your morning cup as a drink with many more tales to tell.

Indonesian Coffee

Header Indonesian Coffee

These mountain ranges are home to many well-suited micro-climates for coffee plantations. In general ,Indonesia produces coffee with low acidity and strong body which make them a great match when it comes to blending with other coffees, especially more acidic coffee from Central America and East Africa.

Today more than 90% of coffee grown in Indonesia is grown by small holders on farms averaging about one hectare.

Sumatra is the western most island in the Indonesian complex. This area is known for their smooth and sweet body that is well balanced and intense. Notes of cocoa, tobacco, cedar and wood is common for coffee grown in this area. Sumatran coffees usually have a greater acidity which helps to balance its body nicely.

Sulawesi is a primary region for high altitude production. The coffees produced from this area are clean, sound and generally have nutty and warm notes like cinnamon and cardamom. The finish is smooth and soft and has the classic sweetness of the Indonesian region.

Indonesia

Java, found between Bali and Sumatra, are known for their heavy body and overall sweet impression that is smooth, supple and sometimes herbaceous in finish. This area bodes nicely for coffee growth as it has a rich biodiversity and many different climates throughout its mountains. This gives coffee growth the rich soil and weather it needs.

Balinese farmers hold traditional farming systems including the belief in the three causes of happiness. These three causes include:

  1. Good relations with God
  2. Other people
  3. The environment

It is because of this belief that they favour the production of Fairtrade, organic coffee and use organic fertilizers. There love for their people, and their environment help to create wonderful coffee beans all while creating as little disturbance to their environment as possible. Coffees from this region are generally sweet, soft with good consistency and may have subtle notes of bright citrus.

Coffee beans

Most farmers from the Indonesian islands use “wet hulling” to cultivate their beans. In this process, farmers remove the outer skin from the cherries mechanically using a pulping machine. The beans, still coated in their mucilage, are then stored for up to a day. Following this period of time, they are washed and partially dried. The coffee is hulled in a semi-wet state, this gives the beans their classic blue-green hue. This process reduces the acidity and increases the body of the cup. This classic balance of acidity and balance is what we recognize and associate with coffees from this region.

A prized blend from this region is the Mokka Java blend which we at Coyote’s are proud to offer. We also offer Balinese, Sumatran, Javanese and Sulawesi beans.

Indonesia map

Caffeine’s Surprising Effect on Inflammation and Aging

If you enjoy drinking caffeinated coffee or tea, here’s a new reason why this could be a healthy, anti-aging habit for you.

Coffee drinkers tend to live longer than those who don’t drink coffee. And thanks to new research, we’re beginning to have a better understanding of why.

Research published in the journal Nature Medicine in January 2017 shows how consuming caffeine in the form of coffee or tea may be able to protect against age-related inflammation, which is linked with most diseases of aging.

What is inflammation and how is it connected to aging?

Inflammation is an important function of the immune system, helping to fight off infections and remove toxins. But as we age, our bodies become less effective at managing inflammation.

Read the rest of the article »