News / Coffee
Thanks to a determined customer in Norway, who was so keen to have our Kenya Kaproret tea that he tracked us down on eBay to buy, we would never have known that our web page set-up was actually stopping anyone from outside the UK from buying from us.
So to all our potential customers from around the world: you can buy off our site, where ever you are…
It goes without saying that if I have somehow managed to get it wrong again please email me and I will employ professional help…
Whoever is our first non UK customer to purchase from us will get a free sample of tea or coffee. Hope to hear from you soon.
DRIED RED BOURBON AND SUDAN RUME COFFEE BLOSSOM PETAL TEA.
We recently attended a coffee cupping attended by a major specialist coffee importer, and got conversing with Licensed Q Grade, Coffee Trader, Priscilla, about tea… Obviously it was a conversation about Coffee Blossom Tea, something I knew a little about but wondered if she knew anything herself, not only did she know about it but had some… It transpired that Café Granja La Esperanza , one of our favourite Colombian Coffee Growers and Exporters, has been gathering the petals as they fall from the coffee bushes, (as simple as clean white sheets laid on the ground) and then carefully drying them. La Esperanza is famous in coffee circles for its dedicated research into different varieties, clones and cultivars and their growth and quality relative to the terroir. They have collected petals from seven different varieties; Red Bourbon, Sudan Rume, Geisha, Red Bourbon Tekisic, Yellow Bourbon, Laurina and Pacamara, and Priscilla was able to send a small quantity of the Red Bourbon and the Sudan Rume.
Bourbon Coffee Trees, depending on cultivar, can produce equally as well as the typical Red Cherry also Yellow and Orange. The trees all originated from the island of Bourbon, now Réunion, and they were planted around 1708 by the French from stock given to them by the Dutch. Sudan Rume is a rarely found variety that originated in south-eastern Sudan near to the Ethiopian border.
All these seven aromatic Tisanes differ, producing complex and flavourful aromatic teas. We have no prices for the teas but they will not be cheap, the petals weigh very little and are collected by simple collection methods but at the obvious vagaries of winds and breezes sweeping the dried petals off the sheets.
West Timor Coffee
It is quite unusual to find a Timor Island coffee being offered especially one as good as this. The Island has been politically divided in two parts for centuries. The Portuguese settled in the east of the island, (Timur is Malay for East) at the end of the 16th Century. The Dutch settled in the mid-17th Century and based themselves in Kupang, in the West, this side of the island was called Dutch Timor right up until 1949 when it became Indonesian Timor. The Portuguese and the Dutch fought for control of the whole island up until it was divided by treaty in 1859.
Timor coffee is unusual in that it comes from an interspecific hybrid of Coffea canephora var, Robusta and Coffea arabica that occurred naturally on this island in the mid 1940’s. We suspect that this coffee may well be grown either close to the East Timor border or even across the border and then shipped to West Timor to be sold onto the international market.
This ‘Indonesian type’ coffee is unquestionably one of our favourite kinds; strong, with full body, a fantastic aroma, not particularly bitter but definitely a characteristically ‘Italian espresso style’ flavour. Would work well with a cafetiere or in an espresso.
Dominican Republic Cibao Altura
Apparently my love for Caribbean Coffee is known not just to my gentle readers but fellow roasters too, who couldn’t wait to casually drop in the conversation that they had a new Dominican Coffee, and did I want to try some? Is water wet? Is the sky blue? Is snow white? Do bears….. you get the picture.
So basically a Co-operative made up of family small-hold farmers who get to grow and produce their own coffee which the co-operative ‘coffee processing machine’ processes and then the co-operative pays back the families accordingly. Admittedly no Fair Trade certification but to be honest that would probably just be an additional expense that comes off their bottom line, but we know that it is as good as.
Does it live up to my Caribbean expectations, you bet your Dominican Peso it does. Rich, full of flavour, no bitterness, smooth, it pretty much has everything any coffee drinker wants. The Italian roast is perfect for this bean or rather blend of 90% Typica 10% Caturra beans. The mix is perfect combining old school beans with a smattering of new; simple and unpretentious.
Also this coffee has the added advantage it comes from a Caribbean Island that America and ‘the largest online payment system’ company don’t view as illegal. Enjoy, enjoy and enjoy.
So my favourite coffee from the largest Caribbean Island has been banned by P*y**l. Basically if we sell any of this fantastic coffee they will not allow us to use their service. The reason is down to the Helms-Burton act, or to give it its longer name ‘An Act to seek international sanctions against the Castro government in Cuba, to plan for support of a transition government leading to a democratically elected government in Cuba, and for other purposes’.
This act has been condemned by the Council of Europe, the European Union, Britain, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and other U.S. allies that enjoy normal trade relations with Cuba. The governments argued that the law ran counter to the spirit of international law and sovereignty.
The law has also been condemned by humanitarian groups who argue that sanctions against an entire country will affect only the innocent population.
The European Union introduced a Council Regulation (No 2271/96) (law binding all member states) declaring the extraterritorial provisions of the Helms-Burton Act to be unenforceable within the EU.
The United Kingdom had previously introduced provisions by statutory instrument extending its Protection of Trading Interests Act 1980, (originally passed in the wake of extraterritorial claims by the U.S. in the 1970’s) to United States rules on trade with Cuba. United Kingdom law was later extended to counter-act the Helms-Burton Act as well.
Mexico passed the Law of Protection of Commerce and Investments from Foreign Policies the Contravene International Law, in October 1996, aimed at neutralising the Helms-Burton Act.
Similarly, Canada passed the ‘An Act to amend the Foreign Extraterritorial Measures Act C-54’ a law to counteract the effects of Helms-Burton.
And yet here we, are a small British business wishing to sell roasted Cuban coffee beans to members of the British public being told that we will lose our ability to trade on eBay or our own site, if we continue to offer Cuban coffee. Unfortunately as we need to use the most widely used internet payment method we have had to take down our Cuban coffee. We can only apologise. Sorry Cuba.