The coffee journey

The Future Of Coffee

The Coffee Journey

The history of coffee

The History Of Coffee

Ever wondered why we started drinking coffee? Or how it become a beloved brew all over the world? Well, we’ve got the answers.

Legend has it that a 9th-century Ethiopian goatherd discovered coffee when his goats became unusually energetic after eating what looked like red cherries. He took the fruit to a holy man, who then made the world’s first coffee. And the rest is history.

Inventing instant coffee

Inventing Instant Coffee

In 1930, the Brazilian government asked us to help preserve their huge coffee surpluses. The idea was to produce a quality cup of coffee that could be made by simply adding water. After eight years of research, NESCAFÉ was born and the coffee industry was revolutionised.

Starting in Ethiopia and going on to the Middle East, the popularity of coffee was spread throughout Asia and Europe by travelers and merchants. Coffee now grows in areas that have the right combination of altitude, soil and weather. Here are some of the world’s finest coffees:

Ethiopian Kaffa

As the original home of coffee, it’s no surprise that Ethiopia produces some of the world’s finest. What makes Kaffa special is that it’s harvested from trees growing in the wild – just as it was discovered.

Yemen Mocha

Mocha is one of the first cultivated coffees and is named after the Yemeni port of Mocha, from where it was exported around the world. It’s grown in the mountains near the Red Sea using traditional methods.

Jamaica Blue Mountain

As its name suggests, this coffee is grown in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica. High altitude, rich, volcanic soil, low rainfall and dense cloud cover give this coffee a mild flavour and lack of bitterness. 

Hawaiian Kona

Kona can only be cultivated on the slopes of Hualalai and Mauna Loa on the Big Island of Hawaii. Sunny mornings, overcast afternoons and mild nights create the perfect growing conditions.

When coffee meets culture

When Coffee Meets Culture

Coffee houses started in Cairo, Mecca and Damascus, where men would gather to socialise and play games. Eventually, they were popping up in Europe and became popular with intellectuals who would discuss Enlightenment ideals and brew revolutions. Today, coffee shops have become a part of everyday life all over the world.

From bean to brew

From Bean To Brew

Before becoming a brew, coffee is carefully farmed and delicately roasted. There are different kinds of coffee and different ways to roast them, each of which results in a unique taste and distinct flavour.

Coffee beans are actually the seeds of cherries from a coffee plant. The cherries grow along the stem and take about nine months to mature into bright red coffee cherries. Once ripe and ready, they are hand-picked by coffee farmers, who then extract the beans by either soaking them in water for a few days, or sun drying for a few weeks.

Arabica Coffee Beans

Arabica is the first coffee to ever be cultivated. It accounts for more than 60% of the world’s coffee production and is also the most popular. It has a soft, sweet taste with ideal acidity.  

Robusta Coffee Beans

Robusta is more robust in many ways. It has more caffeine and antioxidants, and resists disease better than Arabica. In flavour, it has a lower acidity, with more body and bitterness.

Green Coffee Beans

After harvesting, coffee beans are called ‘green coffee beans’ because of a tinge that develops during drying. At this point, they smell and taste nothing like coffee. They need to be roasted first.

Decaffito Coffee Beans

Instead of removing caffeine from the bean, farmers are breeding new Decaffito plants whose cherries contain no caffeine at all.   

White Coffee Beans

White coffee beans are under-roasted to give the bean a lighter colour and the brew a smoother taste.

Espresso Coffee Beans

You can use any type of coffee to make an espresso, but medium to dark roasts are usually better as they reduce the acidity created during the espresso brewing method.

Ready to roast

Ready To Roast

Raw, green beans need to be roasted before they can make a brew. During roasting, the coffee beans expand and change colour. They turn to yellow as they absorb heat; brown as they lose water content; and darker still as they secrete their oils. The longer they roast, the darker they become and the more flavour they release.

There are many names for the different kinds of roast, but they generally fall under these four broad categories:

Light Roast

A light roast has a mild and toasted grain taste with a light body, pronounced acidity and no oil on the surface of the beans. The lightest roast is called Light Cinnamon.

Medium Roast

A medium roast will have more body and less acidity than a light roast, but also has no oil on the bean surfaces. It’s commonly known as American Roast.

Full Roast

A full roast is dark, full-bodied and with a well-developed aroma. A Full City Roast is strong, whereas a Viennese Roast is rich brown in colour and slightly oily.

High Roast

High roasts are the strongest and their smoky-sweet flavour can also be bitter. French Roast beans are almost black. Italian Roast beans are black, caramelised and oily.

Coffee Cupping

Mix It Up

Coffee blends are created when you combine different types of beans or flavours. You can roast coffee beans with flavours like vanilla or hazelnut, or add flavours during the brew.  

A respected process

A Respected Process

Around 60 million people work in the coffee industry across the globe. Along the way, our job is to make sure the coffee in your cup has been Grown Respectfully.

What is sustainable coffee?
What Is Sustainable Coffee?

Sustainable coffee farming means being able to remain productive over a long period whilst meeting social, environmental and economic standards. We’re committed to using sustainable processes in our coffee production by using methods that take care at every step.

Grown Respectfully
Grown Respectfully

Our Grown Respectfully ambition guarantees the future supply of coffee through responsible farming and sustainable production. We work with coffee farmers, agronomists and organisations such as the Rainforest Alliance, the Sustainable Agriculture Network and the Common Code for the Coffee Community.

Case by Case
Case by Case

In the Philippines, we have an ongoing soil and water conservation programme in coffee farms throughout the region, which focus on encouraging coffee farmers to grow the plant Jatropha Curcas, or “tuba-tuba”, as a secondary crop. Jatropha Curcas prevents soil erosion during dry months and is a good source of glycerol and bio-diesel, providing extra income for farmers.