The Best Coffee in the World!
Welcome to Brand of Brothers Coffee! We specialize in the growing and sourcing of the highest quality Premium Coffee in Colombia, South America. Many people underestimate how much work and time goes into the harvesting of high quality coffee "Beans", for the simple reason that most of the growing of coffee does not take place where most of the coffee consumption takes place. in today's blog, I would like to share with you some of the little known facts of the coffee trade.
Most have heard of the high quality coffee that comes from Colombia, but did you now that the Coffee Cherry trees originate from Africa? Ethiopia to be exact. According to the Specialty Coffee Association of America there are over 6,500 species of coffee around the world. Most of these varieties are growm in the wild while 2 of these varieties are farmed. You have probably heard of these two varieties if you have ever bought high quality coffee at a store or coffee shop. Arabica Coffee is super popular for its good taste, lower acidity and caffiene content, and for how easy it is to grow. Robusta variety is the other popular species, grown all over asia and sold to coffee shops to be used to make Espresso based drinks, this variety of coffee has alot more caffiene and a bitter flavor. Most do not prefer to drink a cup of Robusta coffee in the same manner that they enjoy Arabica Coffee.
At Finca Nelly, the home of La Primera Cosecha Premium Coffee, we cultivate a subspecies of the Arabica variety called Castillo. Castillo coffee trees provide large yields of big, sweet coffee cherries and is more heat resistant than other varieties of coffee. Being a heat resistant variety is important here in South America, as Finca Nelly is located a mere 6 degrees north of the equator. The climate change issue is severely affecting coffee crops around the world, and when its coupled with low prices paid to farmers for their crop of coffee, the entire industry is in trouble. Many experts agree that in 5-10 years time, the world will lose 50% of its coffee production to these two factors alone.
Coffee is a losers business. I'm sure famous brands like Folgers, Starbucks, and Maxwell House will paint a different picture for you, but the reality of the matter is that they all deal in low quality coffee that was grown and harvested with Slave Labour. In fact, anyone who pays a farmer the world renowned New York Stock Market price per pound of coffee is participating in slavery. The NYSE has no idea how much it costs to grow and harvest 1 pound of coffee, yet Co-Ops around the world use that pricing as their bible when it comes to paying farmers for their crop. Farmers who receive this ultra low pay do not have the economic means to export their coffee to market themselves and must accept this slave pricing in order to sell their crop. But the amount paid per pound does not cover the farmers expenses of growing the coffee, maintaining their coffee field to acceptable standards, nor does it allow them to purchase the required fertilizers that they need every year in order to produce a high quality crop. The farmers do not recieve enough money to pay their helpers a decent wage. When the money doesn't come from the sale of their coffee, the farmers must then seek outside work in order to make up the difference left by the NYSE price. The 52 week high price reache $1.54 per lb of green coffee, and the low was a mere .93 cents per pound. At Finca Nelly, it costs NO LESS than $1.60 to produce 1 pound of green coffee, meaning at no point this year could the farm owner make a profit from her crop
How long would you grow a crop, or invest into a business KNOWING that it will never pay enough to be sustainable? This is the question many Colombian, Brazilian, Panamanian, Vietnamese, Taiwanese, Indian, Ethiopian, and Kenyan coffee farmers ask themselves before deciding to stop their production of coffee and simply go find a job.
Coffee makes up 1/3 of ALL liquids consumed on the planet! Let's take a minute to reflect on that number. 33.333% of all liquids consumed daily is Coffee! The next question we should mull over is this, If coffee is such a popular drink, and so many people love to consume it, how and why are the coffee farmers we rely on exposed to such poverish levels of income? Why is it that Starbucks can create a multi million dollar empire off of these farmers, yet the farmers themselves are exposed to economic slavery practices? If it costs no less than $6 to produce, package and export 1 lb of coffee from Colombia to the US, HOW can Folgers sell a 3.5 pound tub of Colombian coffee at Walmart for $8 and NOT be involved in slavery?
These question were fixed firmly in my mind when Brand of Brothers Coffee was created. While its not all doom and gloom for the coffee industry, I believe its important to realize that there is alot of room for growing ethical businesses like Brand of Brothers Coffee in this industry that require people pay fair prices every step of the way. Lets carry on with some more fun facts about this wonderful drink and its industry
The origin of Coffee dates back to 800 A.D. According to legend, 9th century goat farmers noticed the effect of caffiene on their goats who appeared to dance after eating the cherries of the Coffea plant. A local monk then made a drink out of the locally produced fruit and noticed it kept him awake at night, thus, the first coffee drink was born.
You may hear the term coffee beans, but there are no beans involved in the process. What arrives roasted and packaged is the seed or pit of a cherry found on a flowering bush. They are called beans due to their visual resemblance to legumes. The cherry like fruit of the coffee tree has the same properties as found in the drink, and traditionally is used to make a tea beverage, cakes, wines, and hand and skin cremes. unlike the bitterness of the coffee drink, the fruit has a unique sweet flavor and none of the acidity of the coffee. Below is a photo from Finca Nelly, showing the "beans" alongside the coffee cherries, drying in our racks called Zarandas.
The largest coffee grower in the world is NOT Colombia, rather its close neighbor, Brazil. Brazil produces 2x the amount of coffee as the number 2 country of Vietnam. The United States has 2 coffee growing regions that cultivate Kona Coffee, those regions are Hawaii and California. You should note, that no Hawaiian nor Californian coffee farmer ever sells their crop at the NYSE price, and per lb prices are often in the $200-$400 per pound category regardless of SCA score obtained during lab testing procedures.
The world's most expensive coffee is over $600 per pound. A cat like creature called the Asian Civet eats the ripe cherries and the beans are fermented in the cats digestive tract, then shat out and collected, washed, and sold to the market. This coffee is named Kopi Luwak, but its production has raised alarms and criticisms from animal activists.
You can overdose on coffee, but dont worry, one would have to conusme over 30 cups of the brew in a short period of time for this phenomenon to occur.
Finland is home to the biggest coffee lovers in the world. The Finnish average close to 30 lbs of coffee consumed per person anually, compared to a measly 11 pounds for the average American.
The Boston Tea Party helped the popularity of coffee by providing it as another option, vs the heavily taxed tea. the revolutionary war helped popularize the drink as it was an excellent way to energize tired troops, exhausted by battle.
Used coffee grounds are good for the garden as fertilizer, can be turned into bio diesel, and are an excellent natural exfoliant for your skin! dont throw them in the trash, save some for your morning face scrub or toss them in the garden!
I hope you learned alot about coffee in todays short blog. If you would like to show your support for quality coffee farms, remember to always buy your coffee from ethical companies like Brand of Brothers Coffee.
I am proud to be able to offer the first profitable export for Finca Nelly, La Primera Cosecha Premium Coffee. Today, 5-21-2021, I am bringing the entire export to the Cargo terminal of the Bogota DC Airport so that it can fly to my distribution center in Wisconsin!