Good Food and Coffee

The best of Cusine

Archive for the tag “coffee cafe”

Where it started



Coffee origins

The late 1950s saw the resurgence of the coffee drinking trend of which had all but died out. It reinvigorated the love of “the syrup of soot or essence of old shoes” as it was described in the 18th century. England’s first coffee house was established in Oxford in 1650 but it was only two years until a Greek servant named Pasqua Rosee began running a coffee house in Cornhill, and soon there would be dozens of coffee houses in London.

In these coffee shops men would meet, discuss and conclude deals, it could be argued that these establishments sowed the seeds that would put London on course to become Europe’s leading commercial centre. By 1675 a thousand coffee houses were to be found in London and soon became the exclusive clubs of the influential. But by the 1700s England abandoned coffee as the East India Company pushed the domestic market into tea.

It was after the Second World War in 1945 that Gaggia altered the espresso machine to create a high pressure extraction that produced a thick layer of crema that signalled the return of the coffee culture. It was soon to be christened cappuccino for its resemblance to the colour of robes worn by Capuchin monks.

E_PellicciItalians already had a large community around Saffron Hill nicknamed ”Little Italy” but many after being interned during the war drifted westwards, setting up cafes with the distinctive Formica tables and Art Deco chrome Vitrolite exteriors. One of the last examples is E. Pellicci to be found in Bethnal Green Road. From the yellow and chrome Vitrolite exterior to the warm wooden interior this is an unbelievable Deco classic. Every part of this superb cafe should be held in trust for the nation.

It wasn’t long before the boys from Seattle arrived offering their milky concoction far removed from a real Italian cappuccino. Their largest coffee cup at 916ml holds more liquid than a human stomach. So weak is this brew many of their customers have been asking for an extra shot and they have recently announced they intend to put coffee in their coffee. But if a Dark Chocolate Cherry Mocha is your thing – enjoy.

Soho once a French district was to become the centre for Italian coffee culture. By 1953 coffee bars had sprung up. The first was The Moka espresso bar at 29 Frith Street opened by actress Gina Lollabrigida but soon many would follow with their distinctive trend of Formica and real coffee. Only a few doors down from where The Moka opened and just celebrating 60 years in Soho is that most famous coffee bar of all Bar Italia.

So here is the way Italians make their coffee:

If you ask for a “caffè” in a bar in Italy, you would be given an espresso. If you ask for a “latte” in an Italian coffee bar, you will be given a glass of milk.

“Capucco” (“Cappuccino”) is the breakfast drink – Italians can’t understand why you would have a drink containing milk with food later in the day; it doesn’t help your digestion. The perfect cappuccino is served in a cup no bigger than 6fl oz. A third would be coffee, a third steamed milk and third silky-smooth foamed milk. You then drink the black coffee through the steamed and foamed milk. The water hitting the coffee should be between 90°C and 95°C, you should never use boiling water to produce a coffee; using water at 100 °C would smash the flavours.

The shape of the cup is very important. If you have a square-shaped cup with a flat bottom and right angles, when the coffee hits, the crema (the nice golden brown foam on top of an espresso) is dispersed. What encourages the crema to rise to the top of the coffee is the cup shape. If it’s curved-based, often with a nodule at the bottom, it encourages the cream to creep up the sides and on to the top of the coffee, which is where it should be.


RAVE Coffee. Unit 7, Stirling Works, Love Lane, Cirencester, GL7 1YG

 Coffee Roasting was not something Rob Hodge ever envisaged in his future. After his marriage to Vikki in 2002, Rob and new wife spent their honeymoon in Australia and developed a love for the country during their stay there. When they returned to the U.K. and went back to their industry Jobs, Rob in Telecoms and Vikki in I.T. they never forgot the country of their dreams.

Working hard and saving money, they finally managed to obtain the elusive visa and moved to Sydney in the late 2000’s. Vikki enrolled as a student in catering and worked her way through the rigorous and tough Australian college system which culminated in her becoming a professional Chef.

Rob and Vikki, always being interested in coffee as a drink, were amazed to find a really outstanding and mature coffee “scene” in Australia, with some of the most knowledgable people on the doorstep.  After discussing between themselves, Rob made the decision to study the subject of coffee making in depth, and looked around for a suitable school/teacher.

 It wasn’t long before the name of Tony Vitello popped up. Now Tony has been around coffee for all of his life and has an unsurpassed reputation as a teacher. Tony is a founder of the Australian Coffee Gang and his successful students are sought after for job placements.

Rob sought out Tony and was accepted on his course. By applying himself diligently, Rob soaked up all the information he could from the Coffee Gang teacher and practiced, practiced and practiced.

 Finishing his professional course, Rob sought more learning and worked with Rob and Dean from the Mona Vale based ROC Café.

At the same time, Rob began a detailed background investigation into roasting proper and worked with some established artisan Roasters. It was here that Rob began to develop a love for the process of taking coffee from its raw state, and roasting it so as to extract its full potential in the cup.

 In the meantime, Rob and Vikki purchased and fitted out a coffee van and serviced the North beaches of Sydney.

Rob was invited to be the only Barista of choice at the Hyde Park event of Australia Day in 2010. Rob served over 7 kilos of coffee between 7am till 2pm on that day.

Robs professional skills continued to be noted, and in February, one month later, he was invited to be barista at TAFF College and powerhouse museum, serving the entire campus.

Moving on with life, a young family, external circumstances dictated that a return to the U.K. was required. Heartbreaking as it was in leaving their beloved Sydney, Rob and Vikki sold the profitable coffee van business. Rob threw himself into intensive final training and knowledge gathering regarding roasting and all things production.

Upon their return to the U.K. The Hodge family ordered a professional Coffee Roasting machine and set up RAVE coffee immediately.  Buying best green coffee from reputable sources only, they worked night and day to produce the Roast profiles for each varietal that Rob had worked so hard on. Working to a strict business plan, and roasting ONLY to orders for best freshness… and working with the worlds leading online purchase company, RAVE coffee has become one, if not THE most noted artisan coffee roasters the UK today.

When you buy a bag of coffee from RAVE, you have the collective knowledge and experience from coffee masters all over the world. No piece of information has ever been discarded by Rob, and only integrated into his practice when he has tested it for himself. Buy RAVE. Taste the difference.

Rave Coffee, Unit 7, Stirling Works, Love Lane, Cirencester, GL7 1YG

For all enquiries:


Office: 01453 832616

Mobile: 07833 532942

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 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.


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.


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

Post Navigation