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Archive for the month “May, 2012”

The Six Hottest Coffee Trends Happening Right Now

by Linnea Covington

Long gone are the days of just brewing a pot of joe or mixing some hot water into a cup of instant coffee crystals. Today’s java drinkers can have a mug filled with steaming brew made in a variety of ways and from beans sourced from around the globe. As the craft coffee culture continues to grow, new trends have popped up—so, we enlisted a couple of coffee experts to explain what is hot (and in one case cold) in their barista world.

The Pour Over

What it is: Leaving the basic drip method of brewing behind, this style makes each cup an individual experience. First they pack a ceramic (or metal) cone with a filter and fresh grounds; next, they slowly pour hot water over the coffee in a steady stream, which drips out pure and uber fresh.

What they say: “In New York, the average consumer doesn’t just order the drip,” says Cora Lambert, the coffee director at RBC Coffee in New York. “More and more specialty coffee shops are investing in better pour over coffee.”

Artisanal Drip Coffee

What it is: Everyone knows the basic Mr. Coffee drip-style way to make coffee, but with new technology, this method is having a renaissance. Lambert says at RBC they use special fancy coffee makers, which she says makes a superb cup of Joe – and, with a price tag that runs in the hundreds to thousands of dollars, it better.

What they say: “If you are really paying attention to your drip coffee, which is often overlooked, you can actually get more consistency with these machines than with other methods.”

Light Roasted Coffee

What it is: Coffee beans start out green and from there can be roasted super dark like an Italian or French roasts; medium brown like city or American roasts; and finally light brown. The paler beans include the cinnamon and New England roasts and tend to give the coffee heavier acidic tones but, according to the experts, this style also brings out more of the natural qualities.

What they say: “At the roasting level the trend is towards more light roasted coffees,” says Jason Cain, coffee purveyor at Pablo’s Coffee in Denver. “The thought being that a lighter roast allows more of the origin character to shine through without giving over to the carbony flavor of a dark roast coffee. ”

Cold Brew

What it is: Though we left iced coffee behind months ago, a big trend last summer was cold brewing coffee instead of adding ice to hot coffee or letting the already brewed coffee cool off. This method employs course-ground beans and cold water, about a ratio of one part coffee to four parts water. You soak the grounds for at least 12 hours, then strain and serve.

What they say: “A lot of people love cold brew coffee and are a lot less likely to make hot coffee and then just add ice,” says Lambert. “I am a big fan because it’s smooth and less astringent. ”

Sourcing Beans

What it is: Just how detailed packaging for meat has boomed, Lambert says coffee growers have started adding information on their actual bags of beans. “Now it’s not only the country [listed], but the region, the name of the farmer and sometimes the elevation it’s grown at,” says Lambert. So far, she added, only Africa hasn’t really gotten in the game.

What they say: “Consumers are less content to just know the country or region where a coffee is grown,” says Cain. “It is becoming increasingly common to have coffees traced all the way back to the exact farm or farmer and many roasters are also bypassing importers completely and forming direct relationships with the farmers themselves. ”

Micro Roasting

What it is: Local has a new meaning in the coffee world as increasingly small shops have started roasting their own small batches of beans. For example, even though Cain’s employer Pablo’s only has one location, they roast their own beans and sell them to local businesses. A few other places that do this include Gorilla Coffee in Brooklyn, Blue Bottle in San Francisco, and Coffee by Design in Portland, Maine.

What they say: “On the national spectrum micro-roaster shops are becoming more apparent,” says Lambert. “As more small craft roasters open up, variety becomes the spice of life more people are saying they want to jazz up their product and bring more types in.”

http://www.zagat.com/

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NEW STUDY FINDS COFFEE DRINKERS LIVE LONGER

Coffee Reporter
May 2012
According to a new study from the National Institutes of Health, coffee drinkers appear to live longer than non-drinkers. Among the findings, men who drank four to five cups a day of coffee saw a 12% reduction in the risk of mortality while women logged a 16% cut.The largest-ever analysis of coffee and mortality, the study appears to upend inconsistent results from prior, smaller studies. The current study finds a clear, inverse relationship between coffee consumption and the risk of mortality across all daily consumption levels of one cup or more. There appeared to be no distinction between regular and decaffeinated, suggesting that the benefit stems from another one or more of coffee’s 1,000-plus compounds.The reduction in mortality risk held true for deaths overall as well as for deaths related to specific causes. Among them were heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke and diabetes but not cancer, for which results were neutral. Also, the link was found to be stronger in coffee drinkers who had never smoked.

The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Society and AARP, tracked 400,000 people – 229,000 men and 173,000 women – between 50 and 71 years of age for nearly 14 years. Essentially, the coffee drinkers among them were less likely to die during the study’s duration.

Lower consumption levels also reduced the mortality risk among the subjects, as compared with those who drank no coffee at all. For men, risk was reduced as follows: one cup – 6%; two to three cups – 10%; and six or more cups – 10%. For women, the corresponding numbers were: 5%, 13% and 15%.

The study, Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality, was conducted by Neal Freeman, Ph.D. and his team at the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Funding was also supplied by the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics of the National Cancer Institute and AARP, which also co-founded the original NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study on whose panel the current study was built.

Where the British Coffee Scene gets its attitude from.

 

Swiss Water Process

A detailed explanation of the Swiss Water Process for making Decaffeinated Coffee

What makes the Swiss water process for decaffeination the best extraction method?  The most prevalent method for decaffeination is utilising methylene chloride or ethyl acetate to strip the caffeine molecules from the green bean. Whilst effective for the job, is not so good for the humans drinking the product afterwards. With the advent of the Internet, and a growing awareness of health matters, many people prefer to avoid the chemical route to achieving a caffeine free coffee.

Interestingly enough, in the 1930’s, one company founded a method to extract 99.9% of the caffeine from a bean completely chemical free. Here is a brief description of the process:

Green coffee beans are cleaned and pre-soaked using water which hydrates the beans and prepares them for caffeine extraction.

A Green Coffee Extract (GCE) is important to the process. GCE was created by taking a number of containers of Arabica coffee beans and soaking them in water until the caffeine migrated from the beans. The GCE is passed through a carbon filter to capture the caffeine resulting in water that is saturated with soluble coffee solids less the caffeine.

Green coffee is placed in the GCE after a brief pre-soak (to expand the coffee and make it ready for caffeine extraction).

The concentration level and the stability of the soluble coffee components in the GCE are balanced by volume with the green coffee beans – which is absolutely crucial to the decaffeination process.

Careful monitoring of time, temperature, and flow, and high pressure results in an extraction by osmosis of the caffeine only, which leaves the bean intact with all its flavor and characteristics.

The GCE, now saturated with caffeine, moves from the bean holding tanks to a proprietary carbon filtering system which is designed specifically to hold the caffeine molecules solely.

This is a continuous process in which the GCE flows from the carbon filtration system back to the extraction columns until the coffee beans are 99.9% caffeine free. The cycle takes approx. 8-10 hours to complete.

When the carbon is saturated with caffeine it is moved to the carbon regeneration furnace where the caffeine is vapourized.  The carbon is revitalized with new carbon added to bring it back to full filtration requirements.

After the beans are decaffeinated, they are removed from the holding tanks, dried, bagged, tagged, and ready to be roasted.

Not only is the final product chemical free, the taste is the closest possible to fully caffeinated beans available. If you long to have coffee but are caffeine sensitive, then the Swiss process is for you.

How important is tamping pressure?

It is taught universally that 30lb (15 kg) of pressure is the optimum amount to compact coffee in the portafilter, so as to facilitate the correct denseness of the coffee for extraction. As a person who leans toward scientific proof, I did some research on the subject.

Tamping itself, is a method of compacting coffee as closely together as possible to remove air pockets or channels within the plug. Once tamped, the compacted coffee within the portafilter can be inverted to show its adhesion to each other facilitated by the force of pressure. Once the portafilter is inserted in the grouphead, and water is added, either by pre-infusion or by a straight pour, the tamped coffee loses pressure integrity immediately. Even lightly wetting a tight tamp will negate the effect.

Most modern coffee machines force water through at, give or take, 9 bars of pressure. If you work it out, that is 15-16 times greater than a 30lb tamp. Bearing in mind that a 30lb tamp has already lost its integrity and hold when initially wetted, the coffee itself during extraction, is no longer under tamp pressure, and will also be under much less integrity and way below pump pressure.

So what can we summarize from these observations? Firstly, a lot of barista’s out there are making fine coffee and NOT doing everything by the barista’s bible. I guess the obvious answer is that the coffee machine pump normalizes a poor tamp, or indeed, will pressurize the water through the grinds regardless of the tamp. I ran a test over 2 days of approximately 80 extractions, and found that there was a more basic component to good pours than tamp.

Grind density and dose size.

Make sure the basket is at the correct level for coffee grinds. Make sure the grind is fine enough to force the water through the coffee at the best rate. My two best pours were when the coffee was fine enough and I applied the tamp weight alone and swirled for a light polish with no added pressure!

It would appear then, that if a barista can apply the same pressure consistently to a correctly dialed in grind, that the coffee will be consistent for quality. Conversely, if the coffee is fine enough and dosed correctly, the same quality can be achieved with little or no tamp!

In talking with some “old school” masters of European coffee experience, men in their 60’s who still have restaurants and coffee bars in Italy and Spain, I noted that agreement between them regarding tamping produced some of the finest expressos and Cappuccinos I ever tasted. They filled the portafilter, and LIGHTLY tamped about 5-10lb pressure and then extracted. It was all one fluid movement of making a coffee. The tamping seemed to be just to settle the grind in the portafilter.

I also am experimenting to see if pre-infusion actually “settles” the coffee before full extraction. Some people have commented that a straight pour without pre-infusion, with or without tamping, can lead to channeling. I have not seen this issue but will continue the research.

For over twenty years, I’ve longed to get my hands on a Whitmee coffee roaster

BISHOPS’ HATS AND SCALLY CAPS

For over twenty years, I’ve longed to get my hands on a Whitmee coffee roaster. Due to their extreme scarcity and cost – whenever one did come onto the market in the UK, it carried a price beyond my means – the dream eluded me. I contented myself instead by diligently researching and collecting heavy-duty ‘Monitor’ roasters built here in the U.S. and amazing open-drum and open-flame ‘Uno’ roasters manufactured in England.

Why Whitmee? I fell in love with their design – especially their gothic “Bishop’s Hat” profile, and their über-cool cast iron combination charge/discharge chute that projects out and downward from their face plate like a ski-jump – many years ago after seeing my first photograph of a Whitmee coffee roaster. Taken somewhere in Britain, and first published in 1922 in William H. Ukers’s seminal book “All About Coffee”, the photo shows one of the larger Whitmee Simplex roasters (their 168 lb batch machine) in action.

love the roaster chap standing proudly next to his belt-driven Whitmee machine, with his working-class ‘scally’ cap perched squarely on his head and his white shirt and tie protected by a long shop coat – sleeves rolled up and ready for action. (You have to respect a man wearing a hat and tie whilst roasting coffee – very proper and professional, and very British.) What I wouldn’t give to be able to chat with him for a few hours about roasting coffee with his Whitmee – ideally over a pint or two of ale at his favorite pub!

I discovered my Whitmee last winter, while searching on-line in the UK for interesting roasters. The fellow that was selling it had a couple of roasters for sale; an older, mid-sized Probat that wound up being acquired by a roaster in Canada, and the smaller Whitmee shop roaster that I eventually acquired. I contacted the owner, and grew quite excited when I saw the pictures he e-mailed me. I learned the roaster wasn’t currently operational because of a fire, but otherwise he claimed it was in pretty good shape, relatively speaking (aside from someone painting it a vibrant – and completely inauthentic – shade of blue at some point in its past). He believed the roaster to be from the 1960s, but I suspected upon seeing the photos that it was much older, as its splay-legged style and Gothic-arched design resembled the post-WWI Simplex-class Whitmee roasters I had seen in old photos, not the Romanesque-arched Whitmee roasters I’d seen from the post-WWII era through the 1960s, after which the business appears to have folded.

There was one other clue about the age of the roaster in the photos that the English fellow sent me, which I’m not sure many other people would have discerned. His photos showed that his Whitmee’s drum was not driven by a V-belt connecting a pulley on the drum to a smaller pulley on the shaft of an electric motor, as I would have expected in a machine from the 1960s. Instead, it was powered by a complex off-set chain-drive system, with a huge circular sprocket on the back of the drum that struck me by its resemblance to the chain-drive systems once common on pre-WWII motorcycles, such as the American-built Indian or the British-built BSA and Norton bikes. But what was this chain-drive – common on early motorcycles – doing on this coffee roaster?

The answer I arrived at actually gave additional support of my supposition regarding the early post-WWI vintage of this roaster. In my research into Whitmee (or, more properly, ‘The Whitmee Engineering Co., Ltd.’, located at the ‘Alecto Works, Grove Road, Balham, London’), I learned something very interesting. I’d discovered that the Whitmee company in the 1920s and 1930s – in addition to manufacturing coffee roasters and tea equipment – also manufactured a line of touring and sporting motorcycles that were sold under the brand-name ‘Alecto’! How crazy was that?! ‘Today, lads, we’re assembling coffee roasters, but tomorrow come ready to build motorcycles!’ But with some further investigation, it turned out that it wasn’t such an unusual idea after all. I uncovered the fact that in that era there were literally dozens of brands of motorcycles produced by many different manufacturing companies in Britain – all rivals for a strong domestic market for ‘cycles, plus a lucrative export market that existed at that time throughout the British Empire for inexpensive transportation. So perhaps designing and building coffee roasters and motorcycles with the same team of engineers and fabricators under the same roof wasn’t as crazy as it sounds, being instead simply a prudent diversification of manufacturing resources in uncertain times – while incidentally creating another puzzle for a steampunk roaster enthusiast to try and solve someday.

http://www.coffeebeanintl.com/blog/roaster-restoration-%E2%80%93-part-2

British Roasting Machines

SALVATION OF A STEAMPUNK ROASTER

I’m the first to admit that I’m passionate about coffee – and in particular, coffee roasters. That probably explains why I decided years ago to collect coffee roasters, and now find myself owning seven of them (not counting my three sample roasters, of course…they’re so petite!) in sizes ranging from a husky half-bagger all the way down to a diminutive three-pound countertop beauty.

Some guys collect cars. I round-up roasters. Same disease, different symptoms.

My current project is an extremely rare, British-built “Whitmee” shop roaster from the late 1910s or early 1920s. Discovered languishing in a junk-filled farmer’s shed outside of a small village east of London the roaster was thought by its UK owner to have a seven pound per batch capacity. However, after getting it to the States, taking it apart and examining it, I have discovered it is actually a much rarer – and more desirable – 14 pound per batch machine! In fact, it’s only the second 14 pounder I have ever seen anywhere in the world, and without a doubt the only Whitmee of any size in the United States.

The old Whitmee roaster – part of their Simplex-class of roasters, which ranged in batch size from 7 pounds to 224 pounds – is a beautiful piece of early 20th century industrial engineering and design. With a style that is almost steampunk in character, the roaster is built of cast iron and hand-shaped steel. Nothing digital or plastic here, thank you very much. I suspect roasting on it will be like driving a fully restored old-school stick-shift pickup truck. The kind of truck that turns heads, and makes you jealous of the guy behind the wheel. Minimal controls, maximum appeal.

My Whitmee roaster is a legacy of the era when Great Britain had few rivals anywhere in the world in building machinery that excelled in both form and function. The roaster features a perforated drum with the gas burner mounted inside – a style of roaster radically different than those built today. “Direct flame” roasters were nearly universal in Europe and the United States in the years between WWI and WWII, but went out of style because of their low fuel efficiency and the extensive training needed to operate them properly – not because their coffees didn’t taste good!

Led by the Jabez Burns Company and their “Thermalo” class of roasters, “direct flame” roasters such as the Whitmee were eventually replaced with “indirect flame” machines featuring solid drums instead of perforated, with the gas burners moved from inside the drum to underneath it. Less cost to roast because of greater fuel efficiency, and less chance of burning the coffee. However, as one of the few people in the country to have an intimate familiarity with both “direct flame” and “indirect flame” roasted coffees, I mourn the passage of these great machines. When operated by someone that really knows what they’re doing, the flavor of “direct flame” roasted coffees can be incredible, with flavors and aromas seldom found in conventionally roasted coffees.

coffeebeaninternational

Britain’s coffee love affair: by numbers

Britain’s coffee love affair: by numbers

As Costa coffee shop chain owner Whitbread spends £59.5m on a vending machine business to satisfy caffeine addicts in a rush, the latest figures show Britain’s love affair with the black stuff is not running out of steam yet.

 

£5bn – Value of the UK coffee shop market in 2010

14,022 – Number of coffee shops in Britain

6bn – Number of cups of coffee bought from vending mahcines in Britain each year

12.9pc – Sales growth by branded coffee shop chains in Britain in 2010, including Costa and Starbucks

1,175 – Costa coffee shops in Britain

731 – Starbucks coffee shops in Britain

440 – Caffe Nero coffee shops in Britain

109 – Caffe Ritazza coffee shops in Britain

83 – Coffee Republic coffee shops in Britain

4,645 – Number of branded UK coffee shops at end of 2010

5,719 – Number of branded UK coffee shops forecast for the end of 2013

Figures: Allegra Strategies

History of Coffee in Peru


Peru is located in Western South America, bordering the South Pacific Ocean, between Chile and Ecuador with a total area of 1,285,220 sq km. Peru’s climate is highly diverse, ranging from tropical in the east to dry desert in the west, from temperate to frigid in the Andes Mountains. The different climates closely match Peru’s primary geographic regions including a western coastal plain (costa), the high and rugged Andes in center (sierra), and eastern lowland jungle of Amazon Basin (selva) 1.

Coffee

Coffee production came to Peru in the 1700s. After two centuries, the heirloom typica variety still comprises 60 percent of the country’s exports. There are more than 110,000 coffee growers in Peru, most of whom are indigenous to these landscapes and speak Spanish as a second language. The average land-holding farmer lives on two or three hectares, hours away from the comforts of electricity and running water. Peru’s coffee exports account for two percent of both the national economy and the global coffee supply2, Peru is quickly building a global reputation for producing traditionally cultivated, shade grown, high quality Arabica beans.

Peruvian coffee farmers’ landholdings are small, and the country’s typical micro-wet-milling operation is even smaller. From May to September, farmers pick ripe cherries and carry them to hand pulpers and wooden fermentation tanks. This tradition of micro-wet-milling has protected Peru’s water resources from the devastating effects of river-polluting pulping factories. After processing their coffee, most farmers hike their beans by foot or mule into the nearest town—a trip that can take anywhere from thirty minutes to eight hours. On Saturdays, the plaza of the closest town becomes a buying and selling station for the surrounding remote coffee growers. Farmers sell their coffee and buy goods for their homes before heading back up the mountainous foot trails.

An unfortunate–but all too common–experience at these buying and selling plazas is the arrival of only one buyer. This dramatically decreases the price paid to farmers for their coffee. With no personal warehouse space and only unreliable, expensive collective storage in town, farmers generally have no option but to accept lower prices. Buyers in the main city of the region then repeat this process during the week. The more remote the farms, the more times the coffees are mixed and traded before they arrive at the coast. Once there, the coffee is dry-milled and prepared for export. This unorganized trading system and isolation has caused farmers to become estranged from the end beverage that comes from their farms. For many years, growers have worked on a weight/dollar exchange for their coffee in the parchment, completely disconnecting the idea that they produce a beverage that will be enjoyed—or thrown away—based on its quality. Intermediary traders have even been known to increase the weight by throwing sand and water into each bag3.

Fair Trade cooperatives: cultivating alternatives with Peruvian coffee’s futures

During the last decade, Peru’s smallholder cooperatives consolidated their movements and provided a more organized and rewarding opportunity for tens of thousands of smallholders who were once subjected to the exploitive trading practices explained above. An estimated 15 – 25 percent of Peru’s 100,000+ smallholders now belong to cooperative organizations2. These cooperatives have linked with international Fair Trade and organic networks to stimulate their growth. Working together with partners like Equal Exchange, Peruvian smallholder cooperatives quickly became the second largest suppliers of Fair Trade certified coffee after Mexico and one of the world’s top organic producers. The higher prices offered through these certified and specialty markets have strengthened cooperatives and offered at least some price premiums to farmers. The more direct market access has also helped four Fair Trade Certified co-ops establish themselves among Peru’s largest 21 coffee exporters2.

Cooperatives have invested these price premiums and many donations from international development agencies into building infrastructure for improving coffee quality, processing and exporting, training farmers in their transition to certified organic production and social development projects.

The significant differences that farmers experience go well beyond better prices received at the farmgate. The differences are about being organized and developing a collective sense of identity through participation in their cooperatives, about the ability to own and control their means of production, and about the shared learning process through trainings and farmer exchanges. One farmer shares her reflections, “Before there were no trainings. But now they tell us about the roles of men and women. You learn to value yourself. You learn about participation.”2.

Sources

  1. Peruvian Coffee: The flavour and aroma of the Andes. Andesa. 16 Aug. 2005.
  2. Walsh, J. 2004 Fair Trade in the Fields: Outcomes for Peruvian Coffee Producers. Masters Thesis. City Planning. MIT, Mass.
  3. O’Keefe, K.C. Jungle Tech. 16 Aug, 2005.
  4. The World Factbook. CIA. 16 Aug. 2005.
  5. “Peru’s Economy.” Travel Blog. 16 Aug. 2005.
  6. “The Economy.” Country Studies. 16 Aug. 2005.
  7. Geographia.com
  8. CEPICAFE. (2003) “Liquidacion Campana 2003.”

Indian coffee may brew success with untapped potential

May 6, 2012:

The second-most traded commodity in the world after crude oil, coffee is one of the most valuable primary products in world trade. It is an important source of foreign exchange to producing countries. Its cultivation, processing, trading, transportation and marketing provide employment to more than a hundred million people worldwide. It is one of the most important commodities for many of the least developed economies in Africa.

Considered as the alternative hot beverage of India, coffee is said to have originated in Ethiopia, from where, it spread to Egypt and Yemen. Today, there are two main coffee species cultivated commercially- Coffea arabica and Coffea robusta.

GLOBAL SCENARIO

Global production of coffee was estimated to be around 8.36 million tonnes (mt) in 2010 with Brazil accounting for almost 35 per cent of total production as the world’s leading green coffee producer. This is followed by Vietnam (13 per cent), Indonesia (9.6 per cent) and Colombia (6.5 per cent) in 2010.

Arabica coffee is cultivated in Latin America, eastern Africa, Arabia, and Asia while Robusta coffee is grown in western and central Africa, throughout South-east Asia, and to some extent in Brazil. Major consumers of coffee include the US, the EU nations particularly Germany, France and the UK followed by Brazil, Japan and other countries in Europe and North America.

INDIAN SCENARIO

Production: India is the sixth-largest producer of coffee after Brazil, Vietnam, Columbia, Indonesia, and Ethiopia. With 4,04,645 hectares under coffee cultivation, India accounts for 3.8 per cent of total coffee production (3,02,000 tonnes in 2010-11). In India, Karnataka (70 per cent), Kerala (20 per cent) and Tamil Nadu (7 per cent) are the major producers of coffee. Arabica production amounted to 31 per cent of total output, the remaining 69 per cent being contributed by Robusta. In 2010-11, coffee production in Karnataka and Kerala stood at 2,13,780 tonnes and 65,650 tonnes, respectively, while Tamil Nadu produced 16,650 tonnes during the period. Production of coffee, which was highly concentrated in the South, has now extended to non-traditional areas particularly Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and to North East in the recent years to almost 40,000 ha.

Consumption: Coffee has become increasingly popular in India over the last few years. It is no longer a traditional beverage, but positioned as a youthful and trendy beverage. According to the Coffee Board, domestic consumption is increasing 5 to 6 per cent annually, partly due to expansion of the café culture and the spread of the coffee drinking habit throughout India. Coffee consumption is estimated to be 108,000 tonnes (2010). Urban consumption dominates with about 73 per cent of total volumes and the remaining from rural consumption. South India alone consumes nearly 78 per cent of total coffee consumed in India.

Recent Trends: The coffee planting and bearing area in India has shown an upward trend mostly due to expansion of cultivation in non-traditional States. Arabica coffee productivity in the non-traditional areas is reported to be much lower than in the traditional belt (9.2 quintals/ha), which has brought down the overall yield to 8.4 quintals/ha. Compared to an yield of 21 quintals in Vietnam and 13 quintals in Brazil, productivity is low in India on account of limited mechanisation, pest infestation and labour shortage. Higher price realisation during the past three to four years has prompted coffee growers to follow better agronomic practices, supporting higher production. However, labour costs, which account for almost 65 per cent of the cost of coffee cultivation have continued to escalate in the past few years.

Policy: The Indian Government/Coffee Board provides various subsidies, mostly to small and marginal coffee producers to increase production and improve quality. In addition, the Ministry of Commerce has included coffee in the list of products eligible for the duty entitlement passbook (DEPB) scheme and the Vishesh Krishi Upaj Gramodyog Yojana (VKUGY).Total duty credit under the programmes is subject to a maximum of 7.5 per cent. On April 29, 2010, the Finance Minister announced a new Debt Relief Package in Parliament, intended mainly for small coffee growers. Accordingly, 50 per cent of the pre-2002 term loans taken by coffee growers were to be waived, subject to a maximum of Rs 5,00,000 for a farmer.

WAY FORWARD

Globally coffee consumption is expected to grow at 6 per cent annually. Both domestic and international coffee prices hit record highs in calendar year 2011, coupled with all-time high exported volumes. The domestic coffee production is expected to increase at a CAGR of 6.2 per cent for the next three years, while consumption is expected to grow at 6.4 per cent. With coffee outlets set to increase multi-fold in the next 3 years, the coffee industry is likely to continue witnessing similar growth trend in future. India being a minor player in the global market has great potential to improve its market share through higher yields and improved quality. Besides, with domestic consumption being very small when compared to the consumption trend globally, there lies a huge opportunity to expand the market with the help of intensive coffee promotion. At the same time key pressing issues of labour shortage and migration, and tremendous increase in cost of labour are major concern areas for the industry, which are to be critically addressed through effective policy interventions.

Source: YES Bank

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