Starbucks, Coffee Bean and a variety of coffee cafe’s across the country have made Americans crazy for coffee. We spend on the average up $1092 a year on these luscious cups of goodness and according to the Huffington Post, coffee may be extinct by the year 2080.
Think about it. No matter where you go in the world, someone is sitting somewhere enjoying a nice cup of coffee, espresso, cappucino, etc… Actor/Activist Danny Glover proudly admits that coffee gives him the “perfect opportunity to start his day off in just the right way”.
So, needless to say when I heard about a documentary solely about coffee, I grabbed my favorite cup of joe and braced to be educated. Educated is a mild understatement!! My mind was blown to discover that every coffee has its season and that the beans are mostly exported to America and Europe from Africa, Honduras, Brazil and Guatemala.
Did you know that a coffee bean comes from a fruit that looks very similar to cranberries and that there are hundreds of farmers that pick this fruit? Picking is the easy part. Afterwards, the coffee is sent through a very rigorous process of being sorted, wet milled, scrubbed and dried (sometimes in the sun) at least twice before we see a single bean? I know, right?
There is even a process called “cupping” in which coffee growers, roasters and buyers smell and taste the coffee to get a sense of how robust, fruity, bitter or flavorful a coffee may or may not be. Kinda like the process professional wine tasters use to ascertain which wines are full-bodied, dry, sweet, etc…
Most farmers and growers are unable to travel the world to sell the wares. That’s where competitions like Cup of Excellence are vital and essential. Cup of Excellence gives all coffee farmers the opportunity to auction their product on the internet. In addition, Sustainable Harvest is an organization that assists in strengthening relations between growers, roasters and buyers.
Like most business ventures worldwide, coffee was mostly a male driven industry until “Las Hermana” broke onto the scene. These women farmers of Nicaragua are giving the men a run for their money and making very strong strides in the South American coffee business.
So, the next time you smell that aroma or take a sip, think of all the men and women who have worked so incredibly hard for you to enjoy you favorite cup of joe…I know I will!
CAFFEINATED will open Tuesday, July 14 on iTunes, Amazon, Googleplay, Xbox, Vudu and all major cable providers.