Why the new coffee culture also needs a different appreciation.
The pandemic has sent people into remote working and prompted many to adopt a new routine in their daily work life. Coffee which was previously consumed in offices is now consumed quite consciously at home. As a result, interest in what coffee to choose and how to prepare it is growing. Many of the customers who visit our café are very well informed about coffee and outshine many restaurateurs with their knowledge. We're delighted about this - and it's also an important driver in terms of quality: the demand for high-quality coffee is growing steadily. But how does coffee actually get into the cup?
Back to the roots:
Back to the roots: coffee production - a journey with many steps.
Seconds pass before coffee flows from the machine into the cup. Producing it, however, is a process of several years. It takes about two years for a young coffee plant to be planted in a plantation. After another four years, the plant begins to be productive. It reaches its maximum at the age of eight to ten years. Throughout its lifetime of about 20-25 years, the coffee plant must be continuously nurtured and cared for.
Just like the cultivation of coffee, its harvest is a process that requires patience, sensitivity and hard work. Depending on the geographical location and the type of plant, the harvest period takes up to 6-9 months. In most growing countries, the coffee cherries are still lovingly picked by hand. This is especially important for premium coffees to avoid damage to the fruit. The harvest is collected in a large basket on the back - up to 60 kg are carried by pickers several times a day.
Immediately after harvesting, the coffee is processed. Here, a distinction is made between two basic methods - dry and washed preparation. Eachmethod allows certain flavors to be emphasized, but differs primarily in the amount of work involved. For further processing, the coffee is then dried. This is usually done by natural sunlight, but can also be done with a mechanical drying process. Before the coffee is finally packed into bags, many other small steps follow.
How is climate change changing the future of coffee?
Where coffee comes from is a lot easier to figure out than where it will go in the future - because climate change is causing profound changes. Among the consequences is the loss of harvests due to new periods of rainfall and drought, or even the emergence of new pests. The new situation makes the harvesting of coffee much more costly than before - labor costs will quadruple. But despite these developments and the high costs in the producing countries, prices in the consuming countries remain almost stable. The main victims of climate change are therefore the producers - irrespective of labels such as 'Fair Trade' etc. Entire cultivation areas are changing in parallel with the climate: they are shifting, disappearing or completely reestablishing themselves (see graphic). It is only a matter of time before all these profound changes will get to us.One thing is certain: coffee will become more expensive. This is because climate change is changing the entire coffee culture, from the cultivation of the plant to the enjoyment in the cup.
Here & now:
How do we consume coffee today?
Coffee consumption in industrialized countries remains high and even continues to rise when tasting high-quality specialty coffees. The trend is also up in emerging markets - countries like Brazil, Thailand, Malaysia, Colombia are consuming more and more coffee.
The good news? Not only the price, but also the awareness of coffee will increase. Coffee is once again becoming a luxury product, as it was in earlier periods of its history. However, the luxury does not only refer to the price, but also to many of the beautiful aspects: The sense of preparation, the celebration of every sip, the sensitivity to the palette of flavors and aromas. Coffee is moving back into focus, from everyday companion to the main protagonist.
Coffee is not a co-worker in the our every day work lives. It is not a thirst quencher nor a wake-up call. It does not fulfill needs, but broadens horizons. It is one of those rare and slow moments when we simply enjoy and are fully present. That's why not only coffee culture, but every single cup deserves our appreciation and our full attention.
In our café, we want to invite people to this very experience. With selected premium-quality coffees and homemade pastries, we welcome all those who share our love of coffee culture.