Share the Tradition - Growing Coffee

"The more that we learn about coffee, the more we realize there is to know," says the Specialty Coffee Association of America. Our sentiments exactly! We started with a simple question, "What is gourmet or specialty coffee and what makes it better than non gourmet or non specialty coffee?" We quickly found the question cannot be answered simply or quickly. Therefore, in the next several Share the Traditions we will trace the life of the coffee bean from the time it is still part of the coffee plant to its being harvested, processed, exported, taste tested, blended, roasted, ground and finally brewed.

Coffee belongs to the botanical family Rubiacaeae and the genus Coffea. It is a tropical plant grown between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn under specific environmental conditions. Two species of Coffea, Coffea Arabica (pictured) and Coffea Canephora (var. Robusta), are especially important to coffee drinkers. Coffea Arabica represents approximately 70% of the world's coffee production including the world's finest gourmet coffee. The arabica plant is an evergreen with dark green oval leaves and small flowers with a jasmine like fragrance. The flowers give way to the coffee cherry - oval shaped berries with, usually, two beans side-by-side with their flat sides together. The beans are green with sliver/bluish shades. Arabica trees prefer a seasonal climate of 60 - 75 degrees F and annual rainfall of 60 inches. The most expensive arabica grows at altitudes above 5000 feet sea level. Robusta is grown on low lands, such as rainforests, and produces a yellow or light brown bean that is smaller and rounder than the arabica bean. Robusta is hardier and more disease resistant, less expensive to maintain, produces a higher yield and is used for less expensive canned and instant coffee.

Drive Time Travel Mug
Ceramic Travel Mug

COFFEE TRAVEL MUGS It is not always possible to slowly savor a cup of coffee or tea in the quiet of one's garden and on-the-go coffee or tea drinkers need a travel mug - something that keeps hot drinks hot, cold drinks cold and looks great! Trudeau's Drive Time Travel Mug does exactly that! The double wall stainless steel insulated Drive Time Travel Mug in pearlescent blue, stainless steel or fire-engine red holds 18 ounces of your favorite beverage. When the lid is closed the mug is absolutely leak-proof. For lefties the mug transfers into a left-handed model. The smaller Travel Coffee Mug - Ceramic holds 12 ounces of your favorite liquid and the ceramic mug feels just like your mug at home. This ceramic travel mug has a plastic lid that keeps liquids from splashing out when least expected. There are virtually no other mugs on the market with the look and functionality of these great mugs. They are great for commuters, travelers, picnics and gifts.

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International Coffee Organization
Coffee World
Specialty Coffee Association of America
National Coffee Association