The Right & Wrong Way to Drink Java

By 
WebMD Feature

The Right Way & Wrong Way to Drink Coffee
Depending on how you use it, coffee can be a pick-me-up or a real downer. A cup of coffee with breakfast, another during the morning commute, a few lattes at the office, and an espresso after dinner — is this a healthy habit or an addiction?

The Good
Coffee’s caffeine jolt can temporarily boost alertness, perk up performance, and possibly even improve concentration.

But before you pour yourself another cup of joe, experts say it’s important to remember coffee’s main ingredient, caffeine, is a drug and not a nutrient required for good health like vitamins and minerals. And as with any drug, there are right ways and wrong ways to use it.

“The right way is to know how it affects your body and your reasoning,” says registered dietitian and epidemiologist Gail Frank. “The wrong way is to use it in an abusive way, and that means going without sleep and then drinking a lot of coffee to get the perk.”

The Bad
In fact, too much caffeine may also lead to health problems like high blood pressure, brittle bones, trouble sleeping, and just plain irritability.

“The other wrong way, as a parent, is to allow young children to use it and have it as crutch — not only for the perk but because it may also displace nutrient-rich beverages for kids,” says Frank, who is professor of nutrition at California State University at Long Beach.

Frank says the caffeine in coffee is especially dangerous for young children and teenagers with growing bones because caffeine leaches much-needed calcium from the bones and may retard growth or make the bones weaker.

Five milligrams of calcium is lost for every six ounces of coffee that is consumed, says Frank. But the good news is you can put back some of those lost nutrients by adding two tablespoons of milk to your coffee or making your espresso a latte.

The Good Coffee Habits

Here are some other tips to help you keep your coffee habit as healthy as possible:

Some people feel the buzz of caffeine more than others. Listen to your body and know when to say “when” to that extra cup of coffee, even if your friend says he can drink it ’til the cows come home and still get a good night’s sleep.

Most research suggests that drinking one to three cups of coffee a day (up to 300 milligrams of caffeine) does not seem to have any negative effects in most healthy people. However, pregnant women, children, people with heart disease or peptic ulcers, and the elderly may be more susceptible to the effects of caffeine and are advised to restrict caffeine.

Be aware that the caffeine content of coffee varies widely depending on roasting and brewing methods as well as the size of the cup you’re drinking. For example, a recent study showed that a 16-ounce cup of the house blend at Starbucks had an average of 259 milligrams of caffeine compared with only 143 milligrams in the same-sized cup of coffee at Dunkin Donuts.

Although coffee is the main source of caffeine for many people, other items, such as soft drinks, tea, chocolate, and cold and headache medicines also contain caffeine and can add substantially to your daily caffeine quota.

Regular coffee drinkers who skip their daily java fix may experience temporary “caffeine withdrawal” (usually in the form of a headache or drowsiness), but these symptoms will go away within 24-48 hours or after getting a new dose of caffeine.

Some medications may interact with caffeine. Consult with your health care provider or pharmacist about potential interactions with caffeine whenever you take medications.

SCAA’s 24th Annual Expo Perculates in Portland, Oregon this April 19-22, 2012

The Specialty Coffee Association of America’s (SCAA) 24th Annual Exposition & Symposium will be held SCAA's 24th Annual Expo Perculates in Portland, Oregon this April 19-22, 2012. At the annual Exposition thousands of coffee professionals from more than 40 countries will converge at the Oregon Convention Center to focus on specialty coffee, learn about the latest innovational trends and products in the coffee marketplace, and engage with fellow industry professionals for the ultimate purpose of delivering a better experience for coffee drinkers.

At the SCAA’s 24th annual Symposium, held immediately prior to the Exposition April 18-19, 2012, executives and coffee professionals from around the world will convene to discuss and collectively address major issues around quality and sustainability. For more information on The Event, visit www.scaaevent.org.

Last year’s Event welcomed more than 8,000 coffee professionals and a show floor featuring more than 700 Exhibitor booths representing all things specialty coffee and tea, including: green and roasted specialty coffee, espresso machines and grinders, roasting equipment, brewing machines, coffee drinks and mixes, flavorings and syrups, chocolate and cocoa products, baked goods, and much more. SCAA also proudly partners with Boyds Coffee, the Official Host Sponsor for the 2012 Event. Boyds has been headquartered in Portland for over 110 years, and is a founding member of the SCAA.

“We’re thrilled that the SCAA has chosen Portland as the host city and Boyds Coffee as the host sponsor,” said Katy Boyd Dutt, Director of Marketing. “Portland is well known as one of the best coffee cities – not just in America, but in the world. We’re looking forward to SCAA members getting to see what’s behind all the hype.”

Other activities at The Event include several annual competitions: the United States Barista Championship (USBC), US Brewers Cup, US Cup Tasters Championship, the Roasters Guild Coffees of the Year Competition (COTY) and Roasters Choice Competition. Top-tier baristas, roasters, coffee cuppers, and producers from around the world will compete for the coveted titles. Additional events include the Rainforest Alliance and International Women in Coffee breakfasts as well as award receptions recognizing industry excellence such as the Best New Product & Sustainability Awards, among others.

Say it’s so, Joe: The potential health benefits of Java

Coffee and Your Health

By 
SOURCE: WebMD Feature

Coffee is Good For You by Xpress Lid by SmartCup

Coffee may taste good and get you going in the morning, but what will it do for your health?

A growing body of research shows that coffee drinkers, compared to nondrinkers, are:

  • Less likely to have type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia
  • Have fewer cases of certain cancers, heart rhythm problems, and strokes

“There is certainly much more good news than bad news, in terms of coffee and health,” says Frank Hu, MD, MPH, PhD, nutrition and epidemiology professor at the Harvard School of Public Health.

But (you knew there would be a “but,” didn’t you?) coffee isn’t proven to prevent those conditions.

Researchers don’t ask people to drink or skip coffee for the sake of science. Instead, they ask them about their coffee habits. Those studies can’t show cause and effect. It’s possible that coffee drinkers have other advantages, such as better diets, more exercise, or protective genes.

So there isn’t solid proof. But there are signs of potential health perks — and a few cautions.

If you’re like the average American, who downed 416 8-ounce cups of coffee in 2009 (by the World Resources Institute’s estimates), you might want to know what all that java is doing for you, or to you.

Here is a condition-by-condition look at the research.

Type 2 Diabetes

Hu calls the data on coffee and type 2 diabetes “pretty solid,” based on more than 15 published studies.

“The vast majority of those studies have shown a benefit of coffee on the prevention of diabetes. And now there is also evidence that decaffeinated coffee may have the same benefit as regular coffee,” Hu tells WebMD.

In 2005, Hu’s team reviewed nine studies on coffee and type 2 diabetes. Of more than 193,000 people, those who said they drank more than six or seven cups daily were 35% less likely to have type 2 diabetes than people who drank fewer than two cups daily. There was a smaller perk — a 28% lower risk — for people who drank 4-6 cups a day. The findings held regardless of sex, weight, or geographic location (U.S. or Europe).

More recently, Australian researchers looked at 18 studies of nearly 458,000 people. They found a 7% drop in the odds of having type 2 diabetes for every additional cup of coffee drunk daily. There were similar risk reductions for decaf coffee drinkers and tea drinkers. But the researchers cautioned that data from some of the smaller studies they reviewed may be less reliable. So it’s possible that they overestimated the strength of the link between heavy coffee drinking and diabetes.

How might coffee keep diabetes at bay?

“It’s the whole package,” Hu says. He points to antioxidants — nutrients that help prevent tissue damage caused by molecules called oxygen-free radicals. “We know that coffee has a very strong antioxidant capacity,” Hu says.

Coffee also contains minerals such as magnesium and chromium, which help the body use the hormone insulin, which controls blood sugar (glucose). In type 2 diabetes, the body loses its ability to use insulin and regulate blood sugar effectively.

It’s probably not the caffeine, though. Based on studies of decaf coffee, “I think we can safely say that the benefits are not likely to be due to caffeine,” Hu says.

The fact that coffee contains good stuff does not necessarily mean that it’s good for us, says James D. Lane, PhD, professor of medical psychology and behavioral medicine at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C.

“It has not really been shown that coffee drinking leads to an increase in antioxidants in the body,” Lane tells WebMD. “We know that there are antioxidants in large quantities in coffee itself, especially when it’s freshly brewed, but we don’t know whether those antioxidants appear in the bloodstream and in the body when the person drinks it. Those studies have not been done.”

Regular coffee, of course, also contains caffeine. Caffeine can raise blood pressure, as well as blood levels of the fight-or-flight chemical epinephrine (also called adrenaline), Lane says.

Heart Disease and Stroke

Coffee may counter several risk factors for heart attack and stroke.

First, there’s the potential effect on type 2 diabetes risk. Type 2 diabetes makes heart disease and stroke more likely.

Besides that, coffee has been linked to lower risks for heart rhythm disturbances (another heart attack and stroke risk factor) in men and women, and lower risk for strokes in women.

In a study of about 130,000 Kaiser Permanente health plan members, people who reported drinking 1-3 cups of coffee per day were 20% less likely to be hospitalized for abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias) than nondrinkers, regardless of other risk factors.

And, for women, coffee may mean a lower risk of stroke.

In 2009, a study of 83,700 nurses enrolled in the long-term Nurses’ Health Study showed a 20% lower risk of stroke in those who reported drinking two or more cups of coffee daily compared to women who drank less coffee or none at all. That pattern held regardless of whether the women had high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and type 2 diabetes.

Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Diseases

“For Parkinson’s disease, the data have always been very consistent: higher consumption of coffee is associated with decreased risk of Parkinson’s,” Hu tells WebMD. That seems to be due to caffeine, though exactly how that works isn’t clear, Hu notes.

Coffee has also been linked to lower risk of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. A 2009 study from Finland and Sweden showed that, out of 1,400 people followed for about 20 years, those who reported drinking 3-5 cups of coffee daily were 65% less likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, compared with nondrinkers or occasional coffee drinkers.

The evidence of a cancer protection effect of coffee is weaker than that for type 2 diabetes. But “for liver cancer, I think that the data are very consistent,” Hu says.

“All of the studies have shown that high coffee consumption is associated with decreased risk of liver cirrhosis and liver cancer,” he says. That’s a “very interesting finding,” Hu says, but again, it’s not clear how it might work.

Again, this research shows a possible association, but like most studies on coffee and health, does not show cause and effect.

Pregnancy

In August 2010, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) stated that moderate caffeine drinking — less than 200 mg per day, or about the amount in 12 ounces of coffee — doesn’t appear to have any major effects on causing miscarriage, premature delivery, or fetal growth.

But the effects of larger caffeine doses are unknown, and other research shows that pregnant women who drink many cups of coffee daily may be at greater risk for miscarriage than non-drinkers or moderate drinkers. Again, it’s not clear whether the coffee was responsible for that.

Calories, Heartburn, and Urine

You won’t break your calorie budget on coffee — until you start adding the trimmings.

According to the web site myfoodapedia.gov — part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion — a 6-ounce cup of black coffee contains just 7 calories. Add some half & half and you’ll get 46 calories. If you favor a liquid nondairy creamer, that will set you back 48 calories. A teaspoon of sugar will add about 23 calories.

Drink a lot of coffee and you may head to the bathroom more often. Caffeine is a mild diuretic — that is, it makes you urinate more than you would without it. Decaffeinated coffee has about the same effect on urine production as water.

Both regular and decaffeinated coffee contain acids that can make heartburn worse.

Wine Spectator reports on changing tastes of America

American coffee preference may be changing

American coffee preference may be changing

SOURCE: Are Americans’ Tastes Changing? – Web Feature
Big coffee roasters and a small bunch of California winemakers think it is

Matt Kramer
Posted: February 21, 2012

Did you happen to notice the announcements a few weeks ago about how Starbucks and Peet’s are now offering lighter-roast coffees? This was no small thing, and I confess that it took me by surprise. Now, I do not consider myself any sort of coffee connoisseur. Oh sure, I buy whole beans and grind them before making a double espresso in the morning. But compared with the obsessive coffee geeks out there (and if you think wine geeks are nutty take a look at the blogs of the coffee crowd), I hardly count as anything other than an amateur.

Still, I was struck by the report from Starbucks, a company that hardly makes a move without intensive market research.

“It took eight months and more than 80 different recipe and roast iterations before we landed on the exact flavor profile our customers told us they were looking for,” said Brad Anderson, master roaster for Starbucks. “They told us they wanted a flavorful, lighter-bodied coffee that offers a milder taste and a gentle finish.”

For its part, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, a coffee roaster that started in the Bay Area, introduced lighter-roasted beans in 6,400 grocery stores this past summer and will soon serve a lighter-roast coffee in its 197 stores. That the likes of Peet’s, which acquired a near-cult following for its extremely dark–roasted beans, is now embracing a lighter roast is as astounding as hearing that North Korea will hold free elections.

Before you snobbishly say that these coffee marketers are merely pandering to middle-brow coffee tastes, consider that the Wall Street Journal noted in a report on this topic that “A raft of new high-end cafes and coffee roasters, including Intelligentsia Coffee in Chicago and Los Angeles, Blue Bottle Coffee Co. in New York and San Francisco, Four Barrel Coffee in San Francisco, and Handsome Coffee Roasters in Los Angeles, take the embrace of light roast even further: They only sell light-roasted coffee and say that dark roasting is tantamount to ruining good coffee.”

What has this to do with wine, you ask?

A whole helluva lot, is my answer. Once again, Americans’ tastes are changing. Not all of us, and hardly all at once. (With a population of 300 million people, that’s never going to happen.) But make no mistake: As has happened before, the American palate is evolving. Anyone with some age on his or her bones knows that the past few decades have seen stunning changes in American food choices, the great majority of them for the better and more sophisticated.

The same applies to wine. What the market-savvy likes of Starbucks have discovered presages what is, in fact, slowly occurring in American wine as well. It’s not a wholesale change. After all, both Starbucks and Peet’s are continuing to offer their trademark dark-roasted coffees alongside the new, lighter roasts. Rather, it’s a parallel universe sort of thing.

In California right now you can find—hell, you can easily drown in—a flood of, er, dark-roasted red wines made from overripe grapes that, as finished wines, clock in at 15 percent alcohol or higher.

Actually, these already-heady “15 percent alcohol” wines can be even more alcoholic than the stated figure on the label. Not only does the federal government allow a generous leeway of 1 percent from the precise measurement for wines with 14.1 percent alcohol or higher, but winemakers often “water back” the unfermented juice of their overripe grapes, effectively reducing the alcohol-by-volume measurement. But the label piously declares a lower alcohol level. Two deceits are accomplished in one stroke. One is a misrepresentation of the actual alcohol content. The other is a misleading impression of how ripe—or rather, overripe—the grapes really were at the moment of picking, at least if you’re naively assuming that the alcohol content actually reflects the ripeness of the grapes at harvest.

As the marketing mavens of Starbucks have discovered, the American palate is seeking an alternative to heavy flavors. Are we becoming—dare I say it?–more nuanced? By golly, I think we are.

Witness the recalibration among an increasing number of California winemakers as to what constitutes “ripeness” in a grape. In a reaction against the wine version of “dark-roasted grapes,” newer producers such as Rhys, Copain, Arnot-Roberts, Peay, Kutch and Parr, among others, have put their pocketbooks where there palates are by making wines (mostly Pinot Noir, as well as Syrah) with alcohol levels as low as 12 percent. Longtime producers such as Mayacamas, Au Bon Climat and Cathy Corison, among others, have quietly gone their own restrained way for decades.

Are these producers the mainstream? Hardly. But when Starbucks and even Peet’s have recognized that a good number of their customers want flavors that are less imposing than what originally made these businesses so successful, can fine wine be far behind?

Sure, there will always be a considerable demand for big wines with obvious, outsize flavors and plenty of oak. But the day of the “lighter roast” wine is arriving. It’s already here in small, prophetic quantities. The more wine lovers try such wines—especially, even essentially, paired with food—the more a taste for such wines will increase.

Remember, it’s already happening at a coffee shop near you. Can you doubt that fine wine is next?

Commodity historians find that coffee houses remain while smoking fades

The Daily Texan

Dr. Brian Cowan presented his paper

Dr. Brian Cowan presented his paper titled "Transnational and Comparative Hisotries of Coffee and Sociability" at a workshop Monday afternoon. Cowan is a professor of Early Modern British Hisotry at McGill University in Montreal.

Whether people sip coffee, chug energy drinks, or smoke cigarettes, caffeine and nicotine influence their states of mind and culture.

On Monday, scholars Brian Cowan, a faculty member of McGill University, and Mary Neuberger, director of the department of Slavic and Eurasian studies, gave a talk regarding the cultural importance of coffee houses.

Cowan presented his working paper titled “Transnational and Comparative Histories and Sociability.” Neuberger responded to the paper, drawing on her expertise in the culture of smoking in Eastern Europe.

Cowan and Neuberger referred to themselves as “commodity historians” who study society’s relation to consumer goods. The history of commodities is a booming area for research, Cowan said.

“Many historians are getting into it,” Cowan said. “It’s a flourishing field.”

Neuberger said commodities deserve more attention because they are a useful way to approach cultural history.

“Historians have looked at the past through wars and politics,” she said.

“But in a consumer society like ours, the production and consumption of commodities can totally transform a region.”

Change also occurs in the opposite direction, Cowan said. The way coffee is consumed is affected by the larger culture, he said. For instance, Austin’s coffee houses reflect the city’s laid-back culture, he said.

“I’ve only been in Austin for a few weeks and my experience is limited to Quacks and Caffe Medici,” Cowan said. “But I’ve noticed that people hang out in coffee houses here all the time. A lot of people are doing work ­— studying, writing a novel or coding software — but there’s definitely a slacker culture.”

Coffee houses in Austin cater to the same needs that coffee houses historically served, Cowan said.

“For a lot of students and entrepreneurs, the coffee house is their office, and that’s exactly what was going on in the 17th and 18th centuries” he said. “That’s an aspect of coffee house culture that still exists. People still need a place to go outside of the house, to be in public but also get their business done. Coffee houses are what’s called a third space — somewhere between the workplace and home.”

Cowan likened Austin’s coffee house culture to what he observed in Portland.

“I lived in Portland during the 90’s, when I was earning my B.A., and I saw all this stuff,” he said. “Austin is just like a spicy Portland.”

Coffee is here to stay, but the culture of smoking is now under siege, although tobacco use was not always demonized, Neuberger said.

“The proposed UT smoking ban does not make a huge difference because tobacco has already been so thoroughly demonized,” she said.

“However, it was only a few decades ago when professors smoked in class.”

Cigarettes and the world wars changed the way tobacco was used and perceived, Neuberger said.

“Tobacco was not demonized until the introduction cigarettes because there was no widespread cancer before cigarettes,” she said. “Cigarrette consumption spiked after the world wars because soldiers were issued cigarettes, and cigarettes became associated with feminine liberation for women at home. Cigarettes sped up consumption because tobacco could be smoked faster and in more places.”

Despite its demonization, smoking tobacco might never go away, said Neuberger.

“Though it’s been culturally pushed out in the United States and in the European Union, it persists and has become associated with an edgy counterculture,” she said.

Drink coffee to cut diabetes risk

The Hindu

Moderate consumption of coffee everyday may lower a person’s chances of developing type 2 diabetes, a new study has found. Photo: Special Arrangement

Want to stave off diabetes? Drink four cups of coffee a day, recommends a new study.

Previous researches suggested that drinking coffee cuts diabetes risk but there were conflicting results on whether it protects or promotes chronic diseases such as cancer.

Now, a team in Europe claims to have found that moderate consumption of coffee everyday may lower a person’s chances of developing type 2 diabetes compared with those drinking it occasionally or not at all.

In fact, drinking coffee can cut the risk of developing diabetes by nearly 30 per cent, says the study which has also revealed that the drink does not increase the risk of heart disease or cancer, the Daily Mail reported.

For their study, the researchers recruited 42,659 people. The volunteers, who took part in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) Germany, were followed up for almost nine years on average. During that time, there were 1,432 cases of type 2 diabetes diagnosed, 394 heart attacks, 310 strokes cases and 1,801 cancer cases.

Drinking more than four cups of coffee a day — caffeinated and decaffeinated — compared with less than one cup was not linked to a higher risk of developing a chronic disease, the findings revealed.

A lower risk of 20-30 per cent of developing type 2 diabetes was linked to moderate consumption of both kinds of coffee, according to the findings published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Ten countries contribute to the EPIC study, including two centres in Germany which carried out the latest analysis.

Euan Paul of British Coffee Association said: “This study adds to the growing scientific data that suggests moderate coffee consumption, four to five cups of coffee per day, is safe and does not increase risk of chronic diseases.”

Adding Up Those Coffees at Work – $1,000 a Year

By MOTOKO RICH

While a weak economy may have driven consumers to cut back, we know that they are still indulging on the little things.

As we’ve been told over and over, those indulgences add up. According to a new survey, half of all American workers buy coffee regularly during work hours, spending more than $20 a week on java, or about $1,000 a year. (Workers 18 to 34 years old spend about twice as much, on average, as workers over 45.) Two-thirds of workers buy lunch instead of bringing something from home, and spend an average of $37 a week. That translates into nearly $2,000 a year — the price of a new piece of furniture or a vacation.

The survey, which Braun Research conducted for Accounting Principals, a staffing firm that is a unit of the Adecco Group, has a margin of sampling error of 3.1 percent.

Many workers simply do not budget for lunch or coffee, said Jodi Chavez, a senior vice president of Accounting Principals.

“They budget in new furniture or their commute, but not a coffee here or there,” Ms. Chavez said. “So over the course of a week or month people don’t realize what this expense is.”

Ms. Chavez said that:

” A $3 cup of coffee is a little way to reward yourself and it’s a nice little pick-me-up and a guilty pleasure,” and added: “People tend to have an easier time dismissing those small expenses as a means to reward themselves. It’s a little easier to hide the evidence of a cup of coffee than a big shoebox in the closet.”

Then again, it’s not so easy to hide the credit card balance. When those polled were asked what kinds of financial changes they planned this year, 43 percent responded that they would “pay down my credit card debt or other outstanding bills.” Just over a third said they would bring lunch instead of buying it. They were not asked about coffee.

Global Coffee Consumption Continues to Swell

Source:PR WEB

GIA announces the release of a comprehensive global outlook on the Coffee (Roasted & Specialty) Industry. Modern times have witnessed the evolution of coffee from an everyday habit to a healthy lifestyle choice. Coffee gains the status of being the most preferred beverage worldwide, with more than 400 billion cups of annual consumption. The hot beverage is all set to witness robust growth in terms of both consumption and trade amid recovering economies, rising preference levels, increase in production acreage, penetration in developing markets as well as volatility on the pricing front.

San Jose, California (PRWEB) February 10, 2012

Follow us on LinkedIn – Coffee is regarded as the highest consumed beverage in developed countries such as, the US and major European countries. The beverage is the second most traded commodity in the world, next only to oil. The global coffee market is characterized by high amount of speculation and volatility, and is highly driven by the production trends that prevail in the major coffee producing nations. Consumption of coffee in the global market increased in 2010, with the ready-to-drink (RTD) segment topping the list with notable increases in almost all popular brands.

Despite the financial crisis being at its peak during the last quarter of 2008 and all through 2009, coffee performed well in terms of overall consumption, indicating that people continue to indulge in this little luxury come what may. Consumption figures have nearly always exceeded production over the last several years. The recent recession saw a large number of takers for premium instant coffee despite the relative high pricing, indicating a shift away from fresh coffee. The demand of the premium Arabica coffee variety is expected to grow at a higher rate as compared to its low-end cousin, the Robusta variety. The major growth driver is the increasing preference by the consumers in the west, towards the premium variety Arabica coffee beans. With increasing sophistication in coffee drinking habits, the present day consumers are more curious about the origin and quality of coffee consumed.

Blended coffee has dominated the global roasted coffee market since long time. Different coffee (roasted and specialty) types are marked by their own distinct taste, body and aroma. Coffee is produced almost exclusively in the developing world that includes 17 least developed countries. Coffee producing nations are continuously increasing domestic consumption. Coffee consumption in Brazil, the largest coffee producer globally, grew by 5% in 2010 as against the global average of 2%. China and India, with their large middle class consumer bases and growing number of young professionals are witnessing increased consumption of coffee. On the other hand, while these emerging markets are increasing consumption on the strength of their rising disposable incomes, there are few other importing countries that are offering potential for expansion because of low per capita consumptions. New markets such as Ukraine and Russia are witnessing a sharp rebound in consumption levels. Several Middle Eastern countries with higher disposable incomes are also forecast to offer good prospects for growth in the short-to-medium term period.

The research report titled “Coffee (Roasted and Specialty): A Global Outlook” announced by Global Industry Analysts, Inc., provides a collection of statistical anecdotes, market briefs, and concise summaries of research findings. The report offers an aerial view of the global coffee industry and identifies production and consumption patterns, major short to medium term market challenges, and growth drivers. Amply illustrated with fact-rich market data tables, charts, and graphs, the report provides a comprehensive overview of major coffee producing nations, and coffee importing countries Regional markets elaborated upon include United States, Canada, Japan, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Norway, UK, Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Tanzania among several others. The reader stands to gain macro-level insights into recent noteworthy corporate developments such as mergers, acquisitions, product launches, and other industry activities. Also included is an indexed, easy-to-refer, fact-finder directory listing the addresses, and contact details of companies worldwide.

For more details click here.

About Global Industry Analysts, Inc.
Global Industry Analysts, Inc., (GIA) is a leading publisher of off-the-shelf market research. Founded in 1987, the company currently employs over 800 people worldwide. Annually, GIA publishes more than 1300 full-scale research reports and analyzes 40,000+ market and technology trends while monitoring more than 126,000 Companies worldwide. Serving over 9500 clients in 27 countries, GIA is recognized today, as one of the world’s largest and reputed market research firms.

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Global Industry Analysts, Inc.
Telephone: 408-528-9966
Fax: 408-528-9977
Email: press(at)StrategyR(dot)com
Web Site: www.StrategyR.com/

How the Bean Impacted the USA

Brian Clark Howard – Coffee Infographic

Many of us adore the taste and other sensations of a hot cup of joe, not to mention the comfort and ritual of it, but how much do we want to look behind the bean? For all the talk of caffeine, science actually doesn’t know a lot about its effects on the human body, much less the hundreds of other biologically active ingredients (and their interactions) present in your latte. There’s a lot of debate on how healthful coffee is, and studies often seem to contradict each other.

Coffee also has a complex relationship with culture and the environment. Done “right,” in traditional shade-grown operations, coffee can help preserve valuable semi-forest and forest habitat. It can provide work for rural people and is a primary export of many developing countries.

Done “wrong,” coffee cultivation can result in cleared rainforests, large inputs of pesticides, poisoning of workers, brutally low wages, and degradation of habitats. Many certification schemes have cropped up around the world to give market signals to better producers. I have written extensively about Fair Trade, bird-friendly, organic, Rainforest Alliance-certified, and other programs.

Coffee people are often as passionate about their preferred eco-label as they are about their single-country-of-origin bean or favorite blend, and there are pluses and minuses to every certification. The old adage that coffee “should be triple certified” (planet, people, no pesticides) has largely fallen out of favor, due to the high costs to growers for enrollment in each program and the large areas of overlap among organic, Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, and other standards.

Coffee also has a rich cultural history, both in areas where it is grown and in the wider world. Prized seeds were smuggled into remote jungles to jumpstart illicit plantations, and coffeehouses evolved as centers for alternative gatherings. The coffeehouse has often become a lightning rod for debate about globalization, corporate responsibility, and local ownership. (Activists picketing the first Starbucks in my college town once screamed, “Is your coffee worth it?” at me, although they looked bewildered when I told them I had ordered hot chocolate. A week later the large glass windows of the storefront were smashed.)

(Related: “Crafty Ways to Reuse Coffee Bags“)

So although I am now caffeine sensitive myself, and can only enjoy the occasional cup of decaf (I know, sacrilege), I reviewed this new infographic with interest. An acquaintance of mine, Drew Hendricks, does some social media guru work for the company that produced this infographic, and asked if I wanted to run it. He describes the graphic below:

Although native to Northern Africa, coffee has played a major role in America.

First brought here by the British, coffee was once thought of as a mediocre beverage, especially when compared to tea; however, coffee’s popularity in Colonial America skyrocketed after the Boston Tea Party. After this protest on the British tea tax, the drinking of tea was often considered unpatriotic, while the act of drinking coffee became a sign of independence.

Coffee continued to play a role in American culture and society with the creation of the “Coffee Break” during WWII. Having seen the effect of caffeine on the workforce, factory owners began offering workers longer breaks and even supplying coffee.

As represented in this infographic design by Lumin Interactive and Condor Consulting, coffee remains one of the most popular beverages in America, with nearly 80% of the population deemed to be coffee drinkers. Coffee’s popularity continues to increase as coffee houses expand throughout the country.

Brian Clark Howard is a writer and editor with NationalGeographic.com. He was formerly an editor at The Daily Green and E/The Environmental Magazine and has contributed to many publications, including TheAtlantic.com, FastCompany.com, MailOnline.com, PopularMechanics.com, Yahoo!, MSN and elsewhere. His latest book, with Kevin Shea, is Build Your Own Small Wind Power System.

Redefining fair trade coffee

Redefining fair trade coffee
by Victoria Bouloubasis @thisfeedsme

Counter Culture pays a fixed minimum price of $3.60 per pound for green coffee

When you buy a pound or a mug of fair trade coffee—signified by its logo depicting yin and yang—you expect that somewhere in Africa, Central America or Indonesia, a small farmer is benefiting from your choice. But can you be sure?

A division over the definition of fair trade has sparked an international disagreement over the requirements of fair trade coffee. Supporters of the change, including two local North Carolina coffee roasters, Counter Culture Coffee and Carrboro Coffee Company, say the overly rigid standards penalize larger farms—larger meaning 50 or 100 acres, not the 10,000-acre tracts associated with American agribusiness—that are as environmentally and economically sustainable as their smaller counterparts. Opponents say the change dilutes the meaning of “fair trade.”

Fair trade coffee certification offically began in 1988. In general, the original standards were meant to foster a thriving livelihood for small-scale farmers in developing countries. In theory, fair trade cuts out a middle man and provides a floor price of $1.26 per pound, with a 5-cent premium above market prices. Fairtrade International then funnels part of this money into economic development programs for the coffee communities with which it does business.

The standards require that all fair-trade certified small-scale farmers belong to a cooperative. Ideally, fair trade with co-ops ensures small farmers reap larger profits for smaller amounts of beans—too small for a full business order. (These co-ops typically mix beans from various farms into one cargo container.) Another requirement is that farms rely solely on farm-owner labor and their families, not outside employees.

But in September, Fair Trade USA (FTUSA) split from Fairtrade International and proposed new standards that expand fair trade to include some larger farms and estate plantations. The move has been scrutinized by the Institute of Agriculture and Trade Policy, which founded FTUSA. In an official statement released Dec. 1, IATP wrote: “We are deeply concerned that Fair Trade USA’s unilateral approach will fracture the fair trade movement, and reduce the overall credibility and value of the fair trade ‘brand’ for farmers and consumers.”

However, that may not be the case. Carrboro Coffee and Counter Culture still buy from Fair Trade Certified co-ops. They prefer to work directly with farms, regardless of their co-op membership.

Kim Ionescu, Counter Culture’s coffee buyer and sustainability manager, recognizes the economic and social distinction between co-ops and independent farms. But she says the latter, as described as “large” or “estate” by FTUSA’s new program, are not corporate farms that the classification may suggest.

Ionescu cites Counter Culture’s most consistent client, Finca Mauritania in El Salvador, which is a family-operated, fifth-generation farm.

“They’re too large to qualify to participate in a fair trade cooperative because they produced enough coffee to market it to buyers,” she says. “We struggled in how to approach everyone in the same way. It always came up in a consumer’s mind, ‘Does this mean that these coffees aren’t fair?’ No. We have to figure out a way to put these farms and coffees on a level playing field. In the scale of American agriculture, those are not gigantic farms. But they produce enough coffee on a 50-acre farm to produce a container, 275 bags, without combining it with anyone else’s coffee.”

Aida Batlle owns Finca Mauritania, which has been in her family since 1969. For each harvest Batlle hires the same farmers to thoroughly pick the ripest coffee cherries on the 38-acre farm; by using these non-family employees, Finca Mauritania doesn’t meet Fairtrade International’s requirements. But Batlle says she can pay her workers “three times what everybody else is paying, which includes transportation and food. A lot of farms will provide transportation or food, but they’ll deduct it from their wages.” She also says she reinvests in the community, including supporting schools and health clinics.

“Our biggest complaint with fair trade certification when we created direct trade certification was that we couldn’t apply it to Aida’s farm; that there was no way that we could say this is fair too, but just different,” says Ionescu, Batlle’s biggest customer.

Counter Culture pays at least $3.60 per pound for coffee from Finca Mauritania because the workers are treated well and the quality of the coffee is high.

“We always felt like the message of fair trade being about co-ops wasn’t something the consumer connected to. Consumers think that fair trade was about minimum wage. That wasn’t really what it represented. It’s also the workers’ ability to organize, working conditions. I think there are some positive things about it. Some disadvantages are the critical reviews of fair trade. It seems like it’s been portrayed as a decision by Fair Trade USA to weaken the standard to cater to larger buyers.”

Miguel Zamora, FTUSA’s director of coffee innovation and producer relations, told the Indy that the organization’s new approach doesn’t change the essentials of fair trade. This new model is already used with other fair-trade agricultural products, such as bananas and tea.

“Right now, many roasters buy from larger farms because of the specific quality characteristic, relationships for their products and can’t have all their supply chain Fair Trade Certified (independently of how sustainable the practices of those farms are),” Zamora says. “With the certification opening to more farmers willing to meet the environmental, social, economic and labor standards of Fair Trade, roasters will have more Fair Trade options for their products.”

Zamora meets with farmworkers, he says, “one on one, directly with farmworkers and without the presence of management,” he says. “For the next visit, the conversations actually happen outside the farm, in the workers’ communities.”

Carrboro Coffee and Counter Culture agree that FTUSA has helped consumers distinguish between what is and isn’t ethically traded. However, they say the terms are broad, which prompted them to develop their own standards. Scott Conary, co-founder of Carrboro Coffee, defines his methods as a direct relationship, with a focus on family farms and personal relationships with the farmers. Counter Culture has created its own model and logo, using the term “direct trade” to signify fair price, quality and transparency.

The labels that Counter Culture and Carrboro Coffee use are substantiated by their own research and methodology. For 17 years Conary has worked with small farms in Central America to import high quality coffee while paying the farmers a price that exceeds a living wage. Fairtrade International’s certification system doesn’t specifically define a minimum, fair or living wage, but bases figures on each country’s average.

“I’m not bashing Fair Trade [certification],” Conary says. “It’s done a lot for awareness. I just get worried that people think because the certification exists, that the problems aren’t still there. We go to great risks to do this. It’s about making sure that there’s equity in the economic structure and that people aren’t only getting paid what they deserve, but that it’s disseminated appropriately [within the community].”