The Story of Coffee
The story of how coffee growing and drinking spread around the world is one of the greatest and most romantic in history. It starts in the Horn of Africa, in Ethiopia, where the coffee tree probably originated in the province of Kaffa. There are various fanciful but unlikely stories surrounding the discovery of the properties of roasted coffee beans. One story has it that an Ethiopian goatherd was amazed at the lively behaviour of his goats after chewing red coffee berries. What we know with more certainty is that the succulent outer cherry flesh was eaten by slaves taken from present day Sudan into Yemen and Arabia, through the great port of its day, Mocha, now synonymous with coffee. Coffee was certainly being cultivated in Yemen by the 15th century and probably much earlier than that.
Mocha was also the main port for the one sea route to Mecca, and was the busiest place in the world at the time. But the Arabs had a strict policy not to export any fertile beans, so that coffee could not be cultivated anywhere else. The coffee bean is the seed of the coffee tree, but when stripped of its outer layers it becomes infertile. The race to make off with some live coffee trees or beans was eventually won by the Dutch in 1616, who brought some back to Holland where they were grown in greenhouses.
Initially, the authorities in Yemen actively encouraged coffee drinking as it was considered preferable to the extreme side effects of Kat, a shrub whose buds and leaves were chewed as a stimulant. The first coffeehouses were opened in Mecca and were called `kaveh kanes`. They quickly spread throughout the Arab world and became successful places where chess was played, gossip was exchanged, and singing, dancing and music were enjoyed. They were luxuriously decorated and each had an individual character. Nothing quite like the coffeehouse had existed before: a place where society and business could be conducted in comfortable surroundings and where anyone could go, for the price of coffee.
The Arabian coffeehouses soon became centres of political activity and were suppressed. Coffee and coffeehouses were subsequently banned several times over the next few decades, but they kept reappearing. Eventually a solution was found when coffeehouses and coffee were taxed.
COFFEE COMES TO ASIA
The Dutch were also growing coffee at Malabar in India, and in 1699 took some to Batavia in Java, in what is now Indonesia. Within a few years the Dutch colonies had become the main suppliers of coffee to Europe. Today Indonesia is the fourth largest exporter of coffee in the world.
COFFEE COMES TO EUROPE
Venetian traders first brought coffee to Europe in 1615. This was a period when the two other great hot beverages also appeared in Europe. Hot chocolate was the first, brought by the Spanish from the Americas to Spain in 1528; and tea, which was first sold in Europe in 1610.
At first coffee was mainly sold by lemonade vendors and was believed to have medicinal qualities. The first European coffeehouse opened in Venice in 1683, with the most famous, Caffe Florian in Piazza San Marco, opening in 1720. It is still open for business today.
The largest insurance market in the world, Lloyd`s of London, began life as a coffeehouse. It was started in 1688 by Edward Lloyd, who prepared lists of the ships that his customers had insured.
COFFEE COMES TO THE AMERICAS
The first reference to coffee being drunk in North America is from 1668 and, soon after, coffee houses were established in New York, Philadelphia, Boston and other towns. The Boston Tea Party Of 1773 was planned in a coffee house, the Green Dragon. Both the New York Stock Exchange and the Bank of New York started in coffeehouses, in what is today the financial district known as Wall Street.
It was in the 1720s that coffee first came to be cultivated in the Americas, through what is perhaps the most fascinating and romantic story in the history of coffee.
Gabriel Mathieu de Clieu was a French naval officer serving in Martinique who in 1720, went to Paris on leave. With assistance and no little personal charm he acquired a coffee tree which he took with him on the ship back. The plant was kept in a glass case on deck to keep it warm and prevent damage from salt water. The journey was eventful, or at least Mr. Mathieu de Clieu`s journal of the voyage was. Pirates from Tunis threatened the ship, there was a violent storm and the plant had to be tied down. Our hero faced an enemy on board who was jealous and tried to sabotage the plant. There was a violent struggle in which a branch was torn off, but the plant survived this horror.
Then the ship was becalmed and drinking water was rationed. De Clieu had his priorities right and gave most of his allowance of precious water to the coffee plant. It survived, as did he.
Finally, the ship arrived in Martinique and the coffee tree was re-planted at Preebear, where it was surrounded by a thorn hedge and watched over by slaves. It grew, and multiplied, and by 1726 the first harvest was ready. It is recorded that by 1777, there were between 18 and 19 million coffee trees on Martinique, and the model for a new cash crop that could be grown in the New World was in place.
But it was the Dutch who first started the spread of the coffee plant in Central and South America, where today it reigns supreme as the main continental cash crop. Coffee first arrived in the Dutch colony of Surinam in 1718, to be followed by plantations in French Guyana and the first of many in Brazil at Para. In 1730 the British introduced coffee to Jamaica, where today the most famous and expensive coffee in the world is grown in the Blue Mountains. By 1825, South and Central America were on track towards their coffee destiny. That date is also important as it was when coffee was first planted in Hawaii which produces the only US coffee, and one of the finest.
For North Americans, the world`s largest consumers, Seattle is the new spiritual home of coffee. The wettest major city in the USA gave birth in the 1970s to a cafÃ© or `Latte` culture which swept the USA and has dramatically improved the general quality of the coffee Americans drink. Today, any public place in the USA will have one or more coffee carts, serving a variety of coffees, drinks and snacks.
This new found `coffee culture` has started to spread to the rest of the world. To those countries with great coffee traditions of their own, such as Italy, Germany, and Scandinavia, added new converts to the pleasures of good coffee. Today it is possible to find good coffee in every major city of the world, from London to Sydney to Tokyo; tomorrow the world will drink more and more importantly, better coffee.
COFFEE IS A GLOBAL COMMODITY
The importance of coffee in the world economy cannot be overstated. It is one of the most valuable primary products in world trade, in many years second in value only to oil as a source of foreign exchange to developing countries. Its cultivation, processing, trading, transportation and marketing provide employment for millions of people worldwide. Coffee is crucial to the economies and politics of many developing countries; for many of the world`s Least Developed Countries, exports of coffee account for a substantial part of their foreign exchange earnings in some cases over 80%. Coffee is a traded commodity on major futures and commodity exchanges, most importantly in London and New York.
COFFEE DRINKS TODAY
A large percentage of the population loves to drink both gourmet coffee and espresso drinks. We are all aware of the fact that coffee and espresso provide a boost of energy and they also warm your body up on those cold winter days. Most, however, are not familiar with the history of the coffee and the espresso machine, themselves. Without these machines, we probably wouldn’t see such a large population that can easily and affordably prepare these common drinks.
In 1822, the first espresso machine was made in France. In 1933, Dr. Ernest Illy invented the first automatic espresso machine. However, the modern-day espresso machine was created by Italian Achilles Gaggia in 1946. Gaggia invented a high pressure espresso machine by using a spring powered lever system. The first pump driven espresso machine was produced in 1960 by the Faema company.
COFFEE OVER RECENT YEARS
Through the years, the coffee machine has become a reliable, dependable and easy to use product. In the 1960’s, the first filter machines were invented with modifications greatly improved even more since then. Coffee making machines began as crude looking inventions, but have evolved into many different styles, such as Bean to Cup, Traditional Pump espresso Machine's, Pod, & Now The Gaggia Caffita Capsule Coffee Machine. making it possible for Royalty and the average person to own the same style! Found in just about every home, the coffee machine is made by many manufacturers, including: Gaggia, Jura, Saeco, Bodum, Franke, Stafco, and Francis Francis, to name but a few.
We supply a large range of Coffee Machine(s). We have various makes and styles to suit most budgets and lifestyles. A Coffee machine can become an essential part of any home. Coffee Xclusive can supply your coffee machine with sameday shipping so as to get you your coffee machine as quickly as possible.
A coffee maker is more than just a Coffee maker. It has become an essential piece of kitchen equipment. Browse our collection of Coffee Maker(s). With brand names like Bodum, La Cafetiere, Bialetti, and many other makes of coffee maker. Whether you are looking for the home or an office environment Coffee Xclusive can help.
An Espresso Machine is a traditional coffee machine which uses a pressurised boiler to force steam through finely ground coffee into the cup. A Commercial Espresso Machine can be seen in most café’s and restaurants. There are many smaller espresso machines that will fit neatly into any modern kitchen. Browse our Espresso machine section and own your very own domestic espresso Machine.
JURA IMPRESSA MACHINES
A Jura Coffee Machine is considered by many the Bang & Olufsen of coffee machines. Swiss engineered to brew top quality espresso coffee. Lattes, and cappuccino’s. We can supply domestic or commercial bean to cup Jura coffee machine. We currently offer either installation on the larger commercial coffee machines and a telephone set up service on our domestic range of Jura Coffee Machines.
We stock and sell a complete range of Gaggia Coffee Machine (s), Gaqgia Commercial machines, Gaggia Espresso machines, Gaggia Coffee Machine(s)and their new Cappuccino machines like the Gaggia Cappuccino X Two, We also stock and sell Gaggia Coffee’s and a full range of Gaggia accessories and Gaggia Cleaning products like their Gaggia baby descaler.
Cappuccino Machine(s) draw milk from a milk container and then froth it straight into your cappuccino cup. Some of the top of the range Automatic Cappuccino Machines can make one or even two cappuccino(s) and even layered latte drinks at just one touch of a button.
These fully Automatic Cappuccino Coffee Machines still use whole fresh coffee beans stored in a hopper within the machine and grind on demand but have the addition of these extra features. To view our range of Cappuccino machine click here
POD & CAPSULE COFFEE MACHINES
Pod Machine(s) and Capsule Machine(s), Coffee machine(s), use a pre set dose of ground coffee in a pod or capsule. The water is forced through the pod by an electric pump under pressure in the same way an espresso coffee machine.
The advantage of this type of coffee machine is that the coffee dose and tamping is always preset so a greater degree of consistency is usually achieved by all but the most skilled coffee maker.
With Pod machine brands like Francis Francis, Ascaso,Gaggia and Capsule machine like the Gaggia Caffitaly range and soon the new illy capsules to name but a few.
World Coffee Pricing News 2011
Arabica Coffee Shortage is Driving Up Coffee Prices in 2011
UNITED STATES (Feb. 23, 2011) – Coffee Market Business Report. Coffee stockpiles in Brazil are now being held from sale in anticipation of higher prices for the green coffee beans (unroasted coffee beans), adding yet another concern to an Arabica coffee bean shortage that is helping to drive up coffee prices.
Since Brazil is the largest coffee grower in the world, their announcement of withholding coffee stockpiles from sale serves only to exacerbate the current problems in the coffee supply chain which have contributed to significantly higher coffee prices in the last six months as well as a spike in the price of coffee futures on world markets.
According to one of Brazil’s top coffee officials, Brazil is holding out for higher prices before releasing its coffee stocks. This provides fresh support for the current rally in coffee prices and coffee futures.
Coffee Stockpiles Reach Historic Lows Worldwide
Stockpiles of green coffee beans have become lower across the globe, last year decreasing to about 12 million bags in coffee producing countries which is a record low.
Stockpiles reached a 10-year low in New York with green Arabica coffee beans on the New York exchange decreasing from 3.1 million bags at the start of 2010 to 1.7 million bags at the finish of the year.
This overall reduction in green coffee stocks makes world coffee prices more sensitive to any new problems in the supply chain. An example of this was seen in October, 2010 when rains were late for the coffee plant flowering season in Brazil driving prices up about 30% in the next month (the rains eventually came).
Brazil Coffee Consumption Increasing at a Rapid Rate
The current announcement of Brazil to hold its coffee stocks comes at a time of rapidly rising coffee consumption in Brazil. The country’s per capita coffee consumption was 4.81 kilograms (e.g., 81 liters of brewed coffee) in 2010 which broke a record set in 1965.
Brazil is expected to exceed the overall coffee consumption of the United States in 2012 and the country is expected to keep half of all of its own coffee production by 2015 to meet internal demand.
Arabica Coffee Shortage Causing Coffee Price Increases, effecting costs for your coffee machine.
World Coffee Harvest in 2011 Facing Difficulties on Several Fronts
Due to a poor coffee harvest year in 2010 for numerous coffee growing countries and some continuing problems with production in 2011, there is little prospect of a rapid rise in coffee supplies anytime soon. Meanwhile worldwide demand is surging, particularly for the higher quality Arabica coffee beans for the specialty coffee market.
These are the Arabica coffee plant varietal coffee beans that are served at your local Starbucks, Peet’s, McDonald’s, Caribou Coffee and many fine coffee shops, and it is also the coffee being sought after by some rapidly growing markets including Brazil, India and China with emerging middle classes that want their fine coffee and are willing to compete for the best coffee beans by paying a higher price for their coffee.
A New Breed of Gourmet Coffee Lovers Affects World Coffee Markets
All over the world it seems there is a new breed of gourmet coffee lovers who have come to enjoy the top specialty coffees. Higher coffee prices in 2010 and into 2011 are also being fueled by the declining value of the U.S. dollar that results in overall higher commodity prices for Americans.
Another factor are the current low interest rates which are being maintained by the Federal Reserve. This is believed to cause investors to put their money in commodities which has the effect of contributing to rising commodity prices including copper, cotton, soybeans and corn.
Brazil’s domestic coffee consumption has been rising much faster than the worldwide level of two percent annually, and this is also the case in Asia including the economic powerhouse of China where many people have switched over from tea (some say to emulate Europeans and Americans) and are now developing a taste for gourmet coffee.
China’s coffee consumption has increased an estimated forty percent in just the last two years.
Worldwide Demand for Arabica Coffee Keeps Growing
Brazil’s coffee crop is about seventy-five percent Arabica coffee beans, the same type of coffee bean that the young professionals of the country want.
Brazilians have of late been developing an allegiance to fine whole bean coffee beverages including specialty coffee drinks. As the country grows wealthier demand for good coffee goes up. Coffee Machine output effected?
The current spike in coffee prices should make the country even wealthier, and thus this may continue to increase overall coffee demand in Brazil at an even faster rate.
While gourmet coffee lovers are increasing in numbers around the world, the United States and Europe are sustaining their consistently high demand for coffee even through the years of economic downturn. Any rebound in the world’s economies could further fuel demand for coffee.
Meanwhile other commodities have also seen rapid price increases that threaten to go even higher in the coming year. These commodities include copper (which recently attained a 40-year high), cotton, wheat, sugar, pork, beef and the iron ore used to produce steel.
Brazil Holds On To Its 1.2 Million Bags of Stored Coffee
In 2009 Brazil is now in possession of about 1.2 million bags of Arabica coffee in storage since 2009 and ready for export. This coffee was purchased from farmers in early 2010 for about $180/bag with the goal of propping up coffee prices.
At that time coffee futures were only about half today’s coffee futures price. At current prices the profits on this stored Brazilian coffee would be about US$240 million.
The coffee in storage in Brazil amounts to only about 3% of Brazil’s exports last year though if the supplies were released today it would have a loosening effect on the current tight coffee supply situation. Current estimates have the increasing demand for coffee outstripping supply by as much as 30 million bags in the next decade unless supplies increase.
Some analysts are predicting a coffee shortage in 2011 and 2012 and this could be made worse if there are any new disruptions in the supply chain (e.g., bad weather, coffee hoarding by coffee growing countries).
Meanwhile May Arabica coffee futures in New York continue to rise and are now at a nearly 14-year high.
Coffee Supply May Not Meet Demand Which May Cause More Coffee Price Increases
Worldwide coffee demand in 2011-2012 is expected to be about 135 million 60-kg bags while worldwide coffee supply is estimated to be about 131 million bags, according to estimates released by the coffee information company CoffeeNetwork last week. Other analysts have predicted that the supply and demand balance will be closer to even.
With coffee demand threatening to exceed the supply and the world’s coffee storehouses having been significantly depleted in 2010, coffee prices will likely continue to sustain their high levels at least throughout 2011 and possibly well into 2012.
Coffee Price Increases Won’t Cause Brazil To Incentivize Farmers
Brazil also announced that it would be not providing government incentives to coffee growers to increase their coffee production because it carries a risk of causing prices to collapse which would hurt the coffee farmers and lead to a reduction in supplies.
While this is an “off year” or “weak year” in Brazil’s alternating cycle of weak and strong years, it is also another disappointing coffee harvest year in Colombia which is the world’s second largest Arabica coffee grower.
Brazil Expecting Reduced Coffee Production in 2011
In January of 2010 the coffee harvest of Brazil for 2011 was estimated by the Brazil crop supply agency Conab to be in the range of 41.9 million to 44.7 bags (60-kilogram bags) which is a decrease from the 48.1 million bags of coffee produced by Brazil in 2010.
Coffee Price Increases In Recent Years Continue Unabated
Coffee prices have actually been climbing for years, having risen about thirty percent in the years from 2004 to 2007.
Coffee prices rose 40% from May through December, 2010 and the current supply of high quality Arabica coffee beans remains very tight as the countries around the world develop a taste for specialty coffee including espresso drinks such as cappuccinos and lattes made with espresso produced from specialty coffee beans.
Coffee Yield Reductions Already Factored Into Coffee Price Increases
While the predicted reduction in coffee yields has already been factored into to today’s coffee prices there may be new concerns about supply shortages that could continue to drive up coffee prices.
In Vietnam which primarily grows the lower grade Robusta coffee plant varietal (traded in London), the heavy rains of December of 2010 caused an influx of speculation coffee buying in New York.
Coffee Price Increases in 2011 Likely to Continue – Coffee Business Report
Coffee Futures Rise On Expectation of Future Coffee Price Increases
The price of coffee futures rose about 40% between fall and summer of 2010 and a predicted continuation of the shortage of coffee beans is rippling through the world coffee markets.
The massive speculation by traders betting on future coffee price increases brought a large amount of money onto the Intercontinental Exchange where the buying and selling of coffee futures occurs.
Coffee futures contracts are traded primarily on the Intercontinental Exchange with the the New York Coffee, Sugar, and Cocoa Exchange handling Arabica Futures and the London Futures Exchange handling Robusta Futures. Coffee futures rose 72% in 2010 ending at a 13-year high.
Fundamental Shift in Coffee Markets Causing Coffee Price Increases
While speculation drove up coffee prices at the end of 2010 there were also more fundamental reasons including the rising demand for coffee and questions about future supply disruptions due to bad weather in India, Brazil, and other countries.
Excessive rains have also caused a blight to the coffee crops and damaged infrastructure in Central America which is now in its third straight year of historic low coffee production.
Coffee farmers in Colombia have sustained extensive damage from the broca beetle as well as dreaded coffee leaf rust. Currently the estimate for a full return to normal coffee production in Colombia – which is around eleven million bags – is at least one year and up to two and one-half years.
In Tanzania a 9% decrease in coffee production caused the benchmark coffee price of that country’s coffee crop to rise five and one-half percent at a Jan. 20, 2011 auction. The top AA Arabica grade in Tanzania climbed to $248.02 from $261.72 for a fifty kilogram bag.
Tanzania hopes to increase its current 70,000 tons of yearly coffee production to about 100,000 pounds by 2015 due to massive plantings they have been engaged in. Tanzania is most respected in the coffee world for its delicious Tanzania Peaberry coffee.
Massive New Coffee Plantings Still Not Meeting Increase in Demand for Arabic Coffee Worldwide
Though some of the world’s top coffee growers – including Brazil and Vietnam – have planted massive new coffee acreage it has not yet served to stabilize coffee prices amidst rapidly rising worldwide demand for coffee. Most analysts are seeing a fundamental shift in the world’s coffee markets as demand has clearly caught up with and now likely exceeded supply.
Colombia’s coffee harvest could see further problems due to the persisting La Nina weather pattern. According to the Colombian National Federation of Coffee Growers there is a strong potential for a smaller harvest this year and thus there will be higher coffee prices for that country’s coffee. The International Coffee Association has also said that coffee prices will likely remain high at least through 2011.
Panama Coffee Production Drops Due To Inclement Weather
Another area that has seen some problems in regards to annual coffee production is Panama which received record rainfalls in 2010. This caused a reduction in coffee supplies which dropped from 186,000 quintals to 156,000 quintals.
A major reason for this coffee production reduction was damage to the country’s coffee plants due to mold which becomes more of a problem when the humidity rises for extended periods.
Panama’s coffee crop is expected to drop about 20%. The country has come into its own in recent years and turned coffee reviewers’ heads last year when the now famous Panama Geisha coffee set a world record by drawing an auction price of $170/pound. Panama produces about sixty different brands of coffee.
Coffee Supply Problems Will Likely Continue to Cause Coffee Price Increases
Other countries expecting lower coffee production in 2011 include Guatemala, and Costa Rica. The country of Indonesia saw an almost 12% drop in coffee exports.
In Kenya land pressures have led to coffee plants being uprooted to provide residential real estate, particularly in central and western Kenya. Prices went way up at the end of 2010 for Kenya AA Coffee on the Nairobi Coffee Exchange.
Coffee Prices Inelastic with Respect to Price Increases
The market has shown that consumers of gourmet coffee are willing to pay higher prices with little resistance. In other words, specialty coffee in particular is inelastic with respect to price increases – when the price goes up it doesn’t have a considerable affect on demand.
A rise in the cost does not deter consumers of gourmet coffee so the current supply shortage and price increases should not be expected to reduce overall demand.
The Arabica coffee plant varietal is one of the two main commercial varietals of coffee plants being grown along with the lower-priced Robusta coffee beans.
Robusta grows well at lower elevations and is more resistant to coffee plant diseases and pests, while the Arabica coffee plant varietal prefers higher elevations and is more susceptible to pests and diseases.
The specialty coffee market virtually all Arabica coffee though Robusta coffee beans are used in many espresso coffee blends to impart a certain desirable quality to the espresso brew as well as the espresso coffee drinks that are made with it.
A shortage of the higher quality Arabica coffee beans has caused some concern among the specialty coffee community that the overall quality of higher grades coffee will suffer and that blending of the lower priced Robusta coffee beans in with Arabica coffee may become more common.
Coffee roasters are quite aware of the “blending wall” which is the point beyond which the amount of Robusta beans in the coffee blend should not be increased without lower the quality of the brewed coffee.
Coffee Research Initiative Aims To Improve Coffee Quality
To meet growing concerns over production of high quality coffee an initiative was launched called the Global Coffee Quality Research Initiative (GCQRI). The purpose of GCQRI is to form a network of collaborating coffee companies which will direct and support coffee research and then provide the results for free to all who are interested.
The CCQRI initiative seeks to not only improve overall coffee quality but also bring benefits to coffee farmers. The hope is to bring about a rise in the supply of Arabica coffee as well as Robusta and bring farmers better profits. Another goal is to increase sales by coffee roasters as well as worldwide coffee consumption (e.g., by providing a better product).
The Global Coffee Quality Research Initiative is supported by the Specialty Coffee Association as well as the Borlaug Institute (an agricultural research institute at Texas A&M University). Research will focus on problems with growing specialty coffee, which is now estimated to comprise around 40% of the coffee market overall.
More Coffee Price Increases in 2010-2011
Yuban and Maxwell House coffees that are produced under the parent company Kraft Foods hiked prices 9% on ground coffee as well as instant coffee.
In September of 2010 it was Peet’s Coffee & Tea raised prices in September, 2010 due to a 35% increase in the price of green coffee beans since the start of the year.
Coffee Shortage Fueled By Worldwide Coffee Demand Outstripping Supply
In 2012 it is estimated the demand for coffee will be exceeded by the supply by an amount of about five million bags of coffee. If this holds true expect higher coffee prices.
Coffee machines and coffee maker manufacturing have seen modest increases.