Coffee without the coffee beans. Is this something that we need? Not sure but it’s interesting anyways.
But then something came into his mind. “Why settle for a regular cup of joe?” he thought. And so he set out to re-engineer coffee to a coffee without the bitterness, and without the bean.
“I started thinking, we have to be able to break coffee down to its core components and look at how to optimize it,” he explains.
Stopforth, who has worked with other food brands such as Chobani, Kettle & Fire and Soylent, partnered with entrepreneur Andy Kleitsch to launch Atomo. The pair turned a Seattle garage into a brewing lab and spent four months running green beans, roasted beans and brewed coffee through gas and liquid chromatography to separate and catalog more than 1,000 compounds in coffee to create a product that had the same color, aroma, flavor and mouthfeel as coffee.
“As we got deeper into the process, we learned more about the threats to the coffee world as a whole — threats to the environment from deforestation, global warming and [a devastating fungus called] rust, and we were even more committed to making a consistently great coffee that was also better for the environment,” Stopforth says.
Unfortunately, Stopforth’s company Atomo doesn’t reveal what their beanless coffee is made of.
What are your thoughts on this one? Is a bitterless, beanless coffee still considered coffee?
After civet coffee and elephant dung coffee, another poop coffee enters the market: Jacu bird coffee. This coffee is probably the most expensive in the world, because there is a limited amount of it, and unlike civet coffee, there is not yet an alternative market around it.
The Jacu is the name given to a family of birds, the Guans, who live in the forests of Latin America. The Jacu eats only the ripest coffee cherry, and during digestion only the flesh is fully digested. The coffee pits are only partially digested leaving the important compounds in the coffee bean intact. Because the birds’ diet is vegetarian, their poop is not contaminated by animal proteins. The pooped coffee beans are one of the most prized coffees in the world, selling for over $100 for a 4 ounce bag.
The Jacu coffee is sweet, robust, and slightly more acid than the traditional coffee. The Jacu Bird coffee produces a mild cup. The dry fragrance is characterized by a delicate hazelnut flavor, while the aromatic compounds contain hints of lemon balm with a faint spicy aftertaste.
When Henrique Sloper de Araújo first spotted the wild jacu bird feasting on fruit from the coffee trees on his fazenda in the foothills of the majestic Pedra Azul, he threw up his arms in despair. He had no doubt that the organic farming practices on his 740-acre estate, called Camocim, just outside of the Pedra Azul National Park, was causing the birds to wander in and feast on the abundance of pesticide-free coffee cherries. Sloper had previously visited Indonesia, where the prized kopi luwak—coffee extracted from the treated excrement of the coffee cherry–eating Asian palm civet—had gained fame for its taste and steep price. There might be something in the ample bird droppings left behind by the jacu, Sloper thought.
When life gives you bird poop, you can only very rarely turn it into staggeringly good coffee, but that is just what Sloper did. In 2006, he produced the first jacu bird coffee, made from washed and roasted grains that had been hand-picked from the defecated remains of the birds’ meals. Today, it is among the most expensive in the world, selling at around $110 for a measly 4.5 ounces of coffee. Prominent French chef Alain Ducasse is a fan, and Harrods sells it in England.
The jacu, which looks a bit like a pheasant with a distinctive bright-red waggly decolletage, is a protected bird in Brazil. Wild birds of the forest, they suffered from the country’s deforestation initiatives (just between 2000 and 2006, Brazil destroyed a swath of forest land that rivaled the size of Greece). Now there’s a jacu sanctuary near Camocim estate.
The birds know their coffee well. They choose only the ripest fruit to eat, and the digested coffee has a distinctive nutty flavor, with an aftertaste of aniseed. The jacu bird’s vegetarian diet plays a part in the coffee’s flavor: Some batches will have notes of apricot seed and truffles, or other wild berries consumed by the bird. Harvest season typically runs April through October, and the jacu sightings on the estate multiply around this time. Workers fan out to collect bird droppings, which are then washed, de-husked, and roasted, for a truly invigorating hit of caffeine.
If you think that coffee world is made up of Arabica and Robusta, you are only partly right. There are many other coffee species that could dethrone the monopoly of the two. Coffee with so little caffeine content that can be sold as decaf – Charrier Coffee. But let’s not forget the elusive Coffea stenophylla, which is famous for its fantastic flavor that beats Arabica.
This is what Dr. Aaron Davis does on a regular basis – he searches for new and unique wild coffee species. His work is more like an Indiana Jones’ adventures than your typical research. We are waiting for the mass production of Coffea Stenophylla that will reinvent the coffee industry. But mostly I am waiting for a hybrid between Stenophylla and Charrieriana that will let me drink a double espresso at 9:00 PM. Unfortunately, my dreams will have to wait a bit…
On a routine toilet break in the Vietnamese jungle, Aaron Davis got a nasty shock – as a poisonous snake came up out of the ground, looked around and, mercifully, slithered off.
A scare like this would send most of us back to civilisation, but it’s all in a day’s work for Kew Gardens’ head of coffee research, an explorer-cum-botanist who has discovered more species of coffee than anybody in history. If the coffee world can playfully be said to have its own equivalent of Indiana Jones, then it’s surely Davis.
He’s leading the charge to make the world’s favourite beverage resiliant to climate change – a quest to discover heat- and drought-resistant species of wild coffee that has taken him to the world’s remotest forests over the past 25 years.
In Tanzania he was nearly trampled to death by forest elephants, in Mozambique his car got stuck in the middle of a river for four hours and in Papua New Guinea he had to cross a 40 metre wide “river of death” using a slippery, chopped-down tree as a bridge.
“It was a 100-foot drop into a raging river – I wouldn’t have survived – and the only way to cross was on a wet, mossy log,” Dr Davis tells i, standing by the much tamer surroundings of Kew’s coffee plant collection.
“I’ve had worms and all sorts of weird fevers and spent a couple of weeks in the school of tropical medicine with parasites – but I’m still here,” says Davis.
“I’ve had worms and all sorts of weird fevers and spent a couple of weeks in the school of tropical medicine with parasites – but I’m still here,”
“Some of the places were really remote. We’d fly into the nearest airport and take a boat or drive for a couple of days and then walk for three days sometimes to get to a place that people have almost never been to before.”
His brushes with death have not been in vain, however, as he and his colleagues at Kew have discovered 23 of the 124 known wild coffee species in the world. Overall, Kew staff have discovered 43 of these species.
The total number may soon rise to 125, as Davis thinks he may have just discovered a new one: a wild coffee species from Madagascar. He is playing it cool until more analysis can be done to confirm this, however.
Despite this large number of species, just two types of coffee – Arabica and Robusta – have come to dominate coffee cultivation and consumption around the world in recent decades.
That’s because the vast majority of species aren’t suitable for mass cultivation. This is because it’s extremely difficult to find beans that are reasonably disease-resistant, able to grow in areas and conditions where there is land to grow them in large quantities and that taste nice, which many don’t, Davis explains.
Further complicating matters, there can be considerable variation in taste and other properties between plants of the same species depending on where they are grown.
And making life even more difficult, an astonishing 60 per cent of all coffee species face the threat of extinction from global warming, habitat loss, disease and pests, a revelation that caused shock when Davis and his team reported it to the world in January this year.
With climate change already making many traditional growing sites unsuitable for Arabica and Robusta, the race is on to find replacement beans that can grow in temperatures that are two or three degrees hotter than in the past, with around half the amount of water, he says.
Arabica and Robusta account for nearly 60 per cent and 40 per cent of global consumption, respectively. They will not disappear altogether, but because many of their traditional growing sites are no longer viable – and only so much cultivation can be moved to cooler areas – their contribution is expected to decline considerably.
Davis and others experts around the world are therefore hunting for species to replace them, to prevent huge shortages and knock-on price rises in the future – although even if some standins are found, he could see the coffee price potentially doubling in real terms in the next 30 years.
In an ideal world, Davis would identify a replacement species that is fully formed and ready to go, as Robusta was, for the new climate change era and farmers could start replacing some of Arabica and Robusta crops with that one.
Alternatively, they may need to cross breed some of the properties from other wild coffees with Arabica and Robusta, or with each other – a process that could take 20 to 30 years to get right.
Davis’s search is advanced and all being well, he hopes to identify one or two new species in the near future that could then be cultivated on a small scale within five years – and potentially on a much bigger scale beyond.
“We’re doing evaluations of coffee taste and will have a clearer idea in about a year. It will be climate tolerant and come from somewhere where coffee’s not usually grown, I’d say.”
Does he have any hints as to the Arabica and Robustas of the future? Frustratingly, it’s still to early to say, he replies – but he does have a couple of possibilities in mind.
If – and it’s still quite a big if at this point – they are found to be suitable, the coffee species Liberica and Stenophylla could start gradually replacing Arabica and Robusta in the coming decades.
Otherwise known as the ‘Highland Coffee of Sierra Leone’, represents something of an enigma among coffee species. Growing in isolated forest patches in a few countries in West Africa, it is fabled as having an exquisite flavour that is said to surpass Arabica coffee. The only problem was that no one had seen this species in the wild since 1954, and it has all but disappeared from coffee plantations and botanic gardens.
In December 2018, Kew’s Aaron Davis and Prof Jeremy Haggar, from the University of Greenwich, went to Sierra Leone in search of this elusive species and eventually found a single plant.
While paling into insignificance next to Arabica and Robusta on a global scale, Liberica is the main source of coffee in the Philippines.
It is grown on a local scale in some parts of Indonesia and in the West African countries of Sierra Leone and Liberia – from which it takes its name, although it is drunk there in large quantities.
Although it is potentially more climate tolerant than Robusta, there is a bit of an issue with its taste, Dr Davis says. “The taste of some of them is disgusting, really bad – although some of them are better. But the genetic diversity of Liberica is huge, so it might be a case of searching through that diversity to find the best tasting types – that’s a project we’re trying to get funded now.”
Alternatively, it may be possible to cross breed Liberica with something a bit tastier.
OK, if you thought this was poop coffee you are wrong. We are talking about regular coffee picked from the tree, although at $803 per pound normality kind of dissipates. Intrigued?
The coffee is Elida Geisha Natural from Panama, a rare coffee produced in small quantities and it is very prized for its flavor. The plant’s origins are from Ethiopia, but the seeds were imported in Panama from Costa Rica.
As an Ethiopian coffee, the flavors include strong floral notes, with sugar cane and stone fruit. Some berry notes are also present, imparted by the natural processing.
The coffee is commercialized by one of my favorite coffee roasters Klatch Coffee, and if you are interested in trying the most expensive coffee in the world, you can. Klatch Coffee announced a one day event on May 11th at 11:00 AM. The event is appropriately called “The Elida 803 Geisha Natural Experience Event“. The admission is $75 and it includes a cup of coffee. A sip would cost about $5.
Our humble daily coffee is getting “fortified” with all kind of substances, from alcohol and cannabis extracts to oils. In all fairness, all work. But so does if you take the items separately. Why do I need to mix butter and coffee when I can simply eat my butter toast and drink my coffee. Yeah, I know. That toast is unnecessary carbs that you are ingesting. Whatever… I digress.
There is apparently a new trend in coffee, to fortify it with nootropics. Here are a few options listed by Inverse. My question is: why not nootropics in bulletproof coffee? But some people want their coffee to go the extra […]
For most people, they start their day with a cup of coffee. There’s just something about the slightly bitter yet rich flavor of a good cup of coffee that wakes you up and can help you face the day. But some people want their coffee to go the extra mile and prefer nootropic coffee. Nootropics are substances that can range from supplements to administered drugs that help with improving cognition and focus and they can be added to a variety of foods to improve their benefits. So if you want a fortified cup ‘o Joe that goes above and beyond a caffeine kick, these eight nootropic coffees should be on your shopping list.
If you prefer a lower acidity coffee, Kimera Koffee is an excellent choice. Their coffee offers a nuttier flavor with a medium roast. Most importantly, Kimera features a proprietary nootropic blend that includes Alpha GPC, DMAE, Taurine and L-Theanine. The brand promises that consistently drinking their coffee will help to improve short and long-term brain functions. As if that’s not enough, Kimera’s nootropic blend is said to improve mood, increase memory, cognition and serve as a stress reliever.
Not everyone has a sophisticated coffee set up. Sometimes you just have a simple coffee machine, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy nootropic coffee. Four Sigmatic appears on this list multiple times because they’re truly focused on creating a premium nootropic coffee that’s flexible for your lifestyle. Their Mushroom Ground Coffee can work with pour over, French press, and drip coffee makers. Their coffee’s nootropic edge is credited to the Lion’s Mane and Chaga mushrooms. The Lion’s Mane supports improved focus and cognition while Chaga provides essential antioxidants to improve immunity.
Mastermind Coffee is another brand that appears more than once on this list. Their first entry is a ground coffee specifically designed for drip coffee makers. The Cacao Bliss coffee uses 100% Arabica beans and cacao and promises that it doesn’t contain any fillers, artificial colors or additives. The nootropic properties are thanks to the added cacao which helps to improve focus, mental acuity and provides sustained all-day energy.
Some of us are very particular about the coffee we drink. We don’t drink it to be hip, and we won’t frequent an establishment just because it’s trendy. For these people, they have a favorite brand of coffee and want to be able to drink it whenever or wherever they want to. Four Sigmatic returns with their popular mushroom coffee in an instant version. The 10-pack variety features half the normal amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee (50mg versus the standard 100mg. While all of Four Sigmatic’s coffee products are vegan and paleo friendly, these features are heavily promoted with the instant coffee packets.
Did you know that the main reason many people have trouble tolerating regular coffee is because of the acidity level? The acids can cause upset stomach or acid reflux. But espresso naturally contains less acid—making it an ideal alternative to traditional coffee. Mastermind Coffee’s Espresso is a nootropic dark roast that still offers all of the benefits of their other coffee styles but is gentler on your stomach.
Four Sigmatic isn’t the only coffee maker that incorporates mushrooms in their blend. NeuRoast’s Classic Smarter Coffee also contains Lion’s Mane and Chaga mushrooms but takes it a step further by adding Cordyceps, Reishi, Shitake and Turkey Tail extracts. Besides the mushrooms (which you can’t taste), NeuRoast is an Italian dark roast coffee that has hints of chocolate and cinnamon in the flavor profile. This particular coffee also has a lower caffeine level at roughly 70 mg per cup brewed.
Elevacity is a bit unique in that this is the only coffee tub packaging on this list. All the other brands listed are either in bags or single-serve instant packets. The nootropics in this coffee are based on a proprietary blend of amino acids. In addition to the nootropics, the Elevate Smart Coffee is also meant to reduce fatigue and appetite. Based on the brand’s claims, this coffee could also serve as part of a weight loss strategy as it promises to increase metabolism and burn fat. Each tub can make approximately 30 cups of coffee.
Not everyone likes full strength coffee. Whether it’s how your body processes caffeine or a need to avoid it due to pregnancy or other conditions, you shouldn’t have to forego the benefits of nootropic coffee. Mastermind Coffee offers a variety of nootropic coffee options, and this one is geared towards decaf coffee drinkers. Decaffeinated coffee is often viewed negatively because of the harsh processes typically used to remove the caffeine. But Mastermind Coffee relies on a water process to gently remove that caffeine without sacrificing flavor or nootropic potency.
Differences between light and dark roast coffee beans are explained in this article. These differences are not that surprising, and if you understand them you might choose a lighter roast next time you buy a bag.
“Roast can really make or break a coffee,” Sam Sabori, the national quality control and roasting manager for Intelligentsia Coffee, says. “Too light and you can get asparagus notes, too dark and the all-too-familiar tastes of carbon begin to show.”
Conscientious consumers obsess over countless aspects of our coffee, from fair trade alliances, to agricultural and ecological footprints, to how we brew the beans. Why, then, don’t we pay more attention to roast?
Light and dark roasts produce very different coffees. One isn’t categorically better than the other, either, no matter what that self-serious barista or proselytizing cafe regular tries to tell you. It all depends on what you want from your cup.
There are three main steps to the roasting process. First, you dry the beans, removing their natural moisture.
“All our coffee has anywhere from 9.5 to 12 percent moisture, so part of the water has to be removed before we can start other reactions in the roasting process” Sabori says. “Once we have brought down the moisture content… then we start turning to the color.”
The second stage, browning, develops aromas and flavors in a process called the Maillard reaction. “The reducing sugars and amino acids react, making hundreds of different aroma and color compounds,” Kaija Rae, a barista at Graduate Seattle, says. “At the end of the browning process, the beans expand and begin to pop.”
This is called the “first crack,” and it leads directly into the third and final stage, development. The beans continue to crack as they roast, producing an exothermic reaction that ultimately affects their density and darkness of the roast.
“The roast process creates 800 to 1,000 different aroma compounds, and roast profiling allows us to determine the flavor of the coffee,” Rae says.
Light-roasted beans are not exposed to heat following their “first crack,” so they retain more moisture. The result is a denser bean that looks more sepia-toned than mahogany, and feels smooth and dry to the touch. The coffee will have a lighter color and thinner consistency, too. Think toast, not roast.
Dark-roasted beans, on the other hand, are almost black in color, and their surfaces can feel somewhat slick. That oily sheen is evident in the finished cup, which will be thicker and fuller-bodied than brews made from light-roasted beans.
Coffee made from lighter-roasted beans tends to have more delicate, complex flavors. Rae describes light-roasted coffee as “sweeter, bright, and more acidic.”
“The roast date is the most important piece of information on a bag of coffee,” Alex Delany writes in Bon Appetit. Whether you are shopping for light- or dark-roasted beans, look for ones that have been roasted within the last two weeks. After that, they start to lose flavor.
Rumors abound about which roast provides the most caffeine, but coffee, like most things, is nuanced. “Some say light, some say dark, but for the most part the difference is nominal,” Sabori says.
“Truth be told, it’s all about the way the coffee is brewed, rather than how it’s roasted, when it comes to caffeine,” adds Rae.
For example, dark-roasted beans contain slightly less naturally occurring caffeine. They are less dense than light-roasted beans, though, so you tend to use more dark-roasted beans when you brew coffee. The caffeine differential is null.
Besides, Sabori says, whether you prefer a light or dark roast, quality coffee is more than just a vehicle for caffeine. Wake up to all that coffee has to offer.
This year, coffee beans from Brazil will be more bitter. This is due to the heavy rains from the El Niño. Farmers have to pick their harvest earlier than usual this year, which means beans will not have the necessary time to fully ripen.
Coffee drinkers with developed palates may notice a change in the flavor of their morning cup.
Beans grown in Brazil are expected to be more bitter this year. Farmers there are picking coffee beans earlier than usual because of above average rainfall due to the El Niño effect.
“Sweetness really comes from a longer maturation cycle,” said Hiver van Geenhoven, co-founder of Chromatic Coffee in San Jose. “If there isn’t enough sweetness and there isn’t enough acidity from higher elevations or varieties that produce more acids, there’s not enough of it to counteract the bitterness.”
The impact on the Brazilian coffee crop could disappoint the taste buds of many people as the more acidic roasts have been increasingly popular, said van Geenhoven.
“That’s why companies like Starbucks have introduced the blonde roast in response to people drinking more light-roasted coffees,” said van Geenhoven. “Just having less of that charred, heavy, burnt flavor.”
When you buy that great coffee from your local roaster, you think that “This is it.” You found the perfect beans for your daily dripping caffeinated adventure. The floral notes and the earthy undertones are exactly what you were looking for. You buy that coffee for a few months, and everything is great. Until the day that your local roaster says they don’t have that coffee anymore. You ask nicely: “You certainly plan to bring it back, my friends and I love those beans, you have at least 5 clients from my circle.” The answer comes back shocking, the farmer got a contract with a larger coffee roaster from Europe, and they can’t sell it to your local roaster. “Maybe you can buy the same beans from another farm?” you attempt. And this is where the things get even more complicated. There is no easy way to know what variety that coffee is. Perfectdailygrind.com has an article on the subject. I included here a few snippets for your reference.
Understanding The Myth of Heirloom Variety Coffee
When we speak of Ethiopian coffees, we use descriptors such as “rosehips” and “magnolia”. But if you’re curious to know what specific variety produces these flowery notes, you’re often stuck with just one word: heirloom.In the early days of third wave coffee, heirloom was used as a catch-all name to describe coffees from Ethiopia. But it’s not a very useful term. Because there is no recognition of the different varieties, Ethiopian producers are being deprived of transparency and the opportunity to earn a higher income. Roasters aren’t able to differentiate between Ethiopian coffees, and consumers are denied the chance to savour new, exciting flavours because it’s not clear which variety is on offer.
But changing the terminology is easier said tha
What Heirloom Actually Means
The word heirloom describes an old cultivar of a plant grown for food. Some say that a cultivar must be over 100 years old to be classed as heirloom, others 50 years. And then there are those who classify heirloom plants as from before 1945, which was roughly when hybrids were introduced, or 1951, when hybrids became more widely available.
In the coffee world, you’ll find the term heirloom applied to varieties introduced to Latin America and Asia over a hundred years ago, and also to many coffees from Africa, particularly those from Ethiopia.
Broadly, you can classify Ethiopian coffee varieties into two types: JARC varieties and regional landraces.
JARC varieties are those that were developed by the Jimma Agricultural Research Centre (JARC), one of Ethiopia’s agricultural federal research centres, for increased resistance to pests and higher yields. There are around 40 such varieties. Regional landraces are coffees that grow wild in Ethiopian forests. Getu tells me that there may be over 10,000 of these.
This means that when a consumer picks up a bag of Ethiopian coffee and sees the variety described as heirloom, the beans come from some combination of the more than 10,000 varieties.
The Advantages of Using Specific Variety Names
Using variety names could also help producers in other ways. Planting a large farm with coffee you know only as heirloom could mean that you make a significant investment in plants that are not resistant to disease. By using variety names, producers can be more informed of the risks of the crop they select.
n done. Let’s take a closer look at what heirloom means and the difficulties in achieving more transparency about Ethiopian varieties.
A dark-roasted espresso blend, Lavazza Crema E Gusto has a bold flavor, and the classic espresso taste that we all recognize. A special blend of Brazilian and Indian beans, this Lavazza coffee reveals rich, chocolaty undertones that are accentuated by a full-bodied, syrupy mouthfeel.
Lavazza Crema E Gusto Ground Coffee is an Arabica/Indian/Robusta blend pre-ground espresso. It is a bold, chocolaty flavor and dark roasted. Designed for espresso machines it is packaged in 8.8-ounce bricks. You can buy it on Amazon.
Lavazza Crema e Gusto is a blend of carefully selected coffee beans. The blend contains some Robusta beans which give the coffee an amazing crema, and Arabica beans which will impart the sensational taste. Crema e Gusto produces a full, rich coffee with great hints of chocolate (imparted by the Brazilian beans in the blend). Open a bag and the scent will quickly fill your kitchen. One of Lavazza’s darkest and boldest roasts, it is a the preference for classic espresso lovers.
This is an espresso blend, and you can use it with your favorite preparation method, including: moka pot, French press, or even drip coffee. I do recommend it for auto drip coffee but for pretentious manual drip coffee lovers might not have enough acidity to balance the syrupy mouthfeel.
It produces a rich cup of espresso with thick crema and no bitterness. Lavazza Crema e Gusto offers the convenience and consistency of pre-ground espresso.
This particular blend is created for the North-American market, and it is a bit different than the Italian Crema E Gusto, but it is as delicious, and Italians love it too.