Coffee is an intrinsic part of our lives today – a classless indulgence, enjoyed by millions around the globe. But have you ever wondered from where our love of coffee originated?
- Native to Ethiopia, legend has it that coffee was discovered by a goat herder who noticed that when his goats ate the coffee bean they became frisky!
- At least 1,000 years ago some enterprising trader took coffee beans across the Red Sea to what we now know as the Arab States.
- Napoleon went to war fortified with coffee.
- The writings of Balzac, Kant and Rosseau were inspired by it.
- In Germany, Bach wrote the famed Coffee Cantata, dedicated to the flavoursome brew.
Coffee Industry Overview
- Coffee beans are grown in many countries around the world; the major coffee bean plantations are in Brazil, Costa Rica,Java and Ethiopia.
- In Australia, coffee growing is a booming industry, well-established in several regions including the Atherton Tablelands and Northern Rivers.
- It is a growth area with coffee being a replacement plant for tobacco.
- Coffee is the second largest world trade commodity – second only to oil.
- In Australia alone, coffee is a $600 million a year industry – although instant coffee dominates the market ($500 million annually).
- Although originally a nation of tea drinkers, Australians now drink 50% more coffee than tea – a six fold increase since 1940.
Good Coffee Starts with the Coffee Bean
- There are two main types of coffee bean – the Arabica coffee bean and the Robusta coffee bean.
- The world’s finest coffees are made from Arabica beans.
The Arabica Coffee Bean
- The Arabica coffee bean is a high quality bean that produces a very flavourful and aromatic coffee.
- Grown in high altitudes, they require more rigid growing requirements and are more expensive.
- They are low in caffeine and acidity but high in flavour and have a distinctive aroma.
The Robusta Coffee Bean
- The Robusta coffee bean is an inferior bean that leaves a bitter aftertaste in the mouth after drinking.
- It grows in low altitudes and is cheaper to buy which means it is often purchased as a ‘filler’ bean for canned or instant coffees in order to reduce costs.
- It has twice the caffeine of Arabica beans and is higher in acidity.
The Arabica / Robusta Coffee Bean debate
- Many coffee companies try to argue that the use of the cheaper Robusta beans are acceptable due to the popularity of milk-based coffees.
- These milk-based coffees usually mask the characteristically bitter taste of Robusta beans.
- However, it is not a debate of quality – it is a debate about economics. Robusta beans are one third the price of Arabica beans and are often purchased as a ‘filler’ bean to reduce costs.
- Our roaster uses only 100% quality Arabica beans.
- The expertise of the roaster is what gives us a superior coffee.
The Road to Good Coffee
- Before the distinctive aroma and flavour of coffee is captured in the coffee cup, it has been subjected to a range of processes ensuring that the best is derived from the beans and that a quality coffee is produced.
- Aarons Coffee at Work’s supplier source coffee beans from around the world.
- The highest quality Arabica coffee beans are used for all Aarons Coffee blends – Gold, Platinum and Continental. The coffee beans are sourced from Colombia, Indonesia, Guatemala, Brazil and Papua New Guinea (PNG).
- Through roasting, the coffee beans’ volatile oils are released to give coffee its characteristic flavour,body and aroma.
- It is important to remember once coffee beans are roasted the natural staling process begins. That is why Aarons Coffee at Work’s supplier roasts all beans in Australia, reducing the interval between roasting and consumption.
Coffee Cupping (or Tasting)
- Coffee tasting or ‘cupping’ as it is known is used within the industry to distinguish the blend’s flavour and quality.
- Like fine wine, our coffee will undergo stringent quality controls to ensure that the highest standards of taste and aroma are maintained.