How Coffee Is Processed

We’ve looked at different ways that coffee is grown (shade vs sun) but the processing of coffee beans is just as important, especially when you talk about organic coffee. Each plantation chooses its own way to process the fruit of coffee plants called cherries. Some even develop their own ground-breaking processes to reduce the impact on the environment, speed up the procedures or maintain the natural flavour notes in the beans.

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Single Origin: Ethiopia

Ah we love our Single Origin coffee and this S.O is something a little bit special. It is said that coffee was born in Ethiopia and ever since, beans that come from this part of the world have been exceptional.

Ethiopian Coffee History

Picture this… it’s around 850AD, you’re a goat herder in Ethiopia tending to your bleating flock when suddenly you get this rad idea – cappuccino! latte! flat white! piccolo latte! Ah maybe it didn’t really happen like that but in 850AD it is said that a lonely goat herder, Kald saw his goats chowing down on wild grown coffee cherries and decided to try a couple himself. He felt on top of the world – yep that caffeine hit really gave him an ancient buzz! So he took the berries to a bunch of monks who thought they were evil so they chucked them in a nearby fire. Suddenly the aroma of freshly brewed coffee hit their nostrils and they scooped out the crusty beans, soaked them in hot water and drank to their heart’s content – not realising the incredible beverage they had helped create.

Slowly but surely drinkable coffee made its way through Africa and up into the Middle East where the first coffee houses were established in Mecca. From there coffee travelled to Sri Lanka, eventually landing in the hands of some savvy Venetian traders who took it to Europe. And the rest is history.

Sacred Grounds Ethiopian Producers

Today, Ethiopia is one of the best places on earth to source quality coffee beans. But it’s not just the amazing coffee that we’re interested in but the people behind it. Meet the farmers of the Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union (OCFCU). Formed in 1999 this co op has been Fairtrade Certified since 2002 – so you know that the coffee you’re drinking is having a positive impact on farmers and the community around them. The OCFCU has 240 member co ops with 208,728 workers, counting the incredible number (22,302) of female farmers.

This co op is the largest of its kind in Ethiopia, producing 65% of the nation’s coffee beans in the Oromia State of southern and southwest Ethiopia. This region has beautiful rainforests and impressive mountains which makes it the ideal place to grow such incredible coffee.

Most of the coffee farmed by OCFCU members is grown under stunning canopies of native Acacia and Oak trees – a haven for birds. This environment creates natural fertilising from decaying leaves and plants which means there’s no need for chemicals. Other plants such as ginger, papaya, cardamom and sweet potatoes are grown alongside the coffee plants creating a harmonious, aromatic, perfect environment for growing coffee.

Ethiopian Single Origin Coffee

Which brings us to our own Ethiopian Single Origin coffee. We love this coffee so much we actually have two S.Os from this part of the world, our Ethiopia Limu and Ethiopia Yirgaheffe.

Ethiopia Limu – This medium roast bean is a beauty brimming with flavours of lime, stone fruit and just a hint of spice. Ideal for plunger coffee or your favourite version of espresso, this zesty coffee is sure to hit the spot. Order your Ethiopia Limu here…

Ethiopia Yirgaheffe – A beautifully light roast bean, this Single Origin exhibits a clean, floral, lemony flavour combination, perfect for cold brew coffee. It’s an ideal coffee to use with your Aeropress, Plunger, Chemex or V60. Order your Ethiopia Yirgaheffee here…

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5 Common Coffee Mistakes

Making coffee is a process and each step of that process has to be just right in order to create the perfect coffee. One slip up and you’ll be left with a so-so kinda coffee which is better than none, right? But if you feel like you’re ticking all the boxes and your final product is still not up to scratch you may be making one of the following simple mistakes – easily rectified.

5 Common Coffee Mistakes

1. Inferior Beans

This first point is a passion for us because we’re all about quality, Fairtrade, organic coffee beans. It’s not just that they’re chemical-free – which is great for the environment and your own health – but they have to retain all their natural flavours. Inferior beans mean that you’re starting with a shaky foundation. If your foundation is dodgy, the final product will not be great. If you’re new to the coffee world, we recommend trying a blend – they’re generally smoother in taste – a bit of a crowd pleaser.

Shop for Sacred Grounds Blends here… 

2. Unclean Machines

This one is a no-brainer really. If your home coffee machine is dirty, then the flavours of your beautiful coffee will be tainted. Coffee beans are full of essential oils that will leave a stale taste if left floating around your water container or sticking to your Portafilter or basket. A clean machine is not only important for health reasons but will maintain the integrity of the coffee and give you a clean, crisp taste to your coffee time after time. Now, how to clean your coffee machine? We’ve written a post about it… how handy – here it is … How to Clean Your Coffee Machine.

3. Measuring Mishaps

This can be a bit confusing but in order to create the perfect coffee, your measurements should be fairly precise. This requires a set of scales! Measure out 20g or if you live scales-free then 2 heaped tablespoons of coffee beans then grind away. Using the right amount of coffee means that the extraction will not be too fast or too slow giving you that beautiful ‘mouse tail’-like appearance as it trickles from the basket into your warmed coffee cup = bliss!

4. Milky Mayhem

You may be one fantastic coffee grinder conoissieur or espresso extractor but if you get your milk texturing wrong, then the whole coffee may end up down the sink. Nooooo! This step can be tricky but we have some handy tips to help you get the perfect texture each time you steam.

  1. Purge -release steam
  2. Milk Jug – select the right jug for the job
  3. Quantity – fill 1/3 full
  4. Stretch!! – Click here for directions…
  5. Heating – Warm until hot to the touch
  6. Clean – Wipe and purge your steam wand
5. Frosty Beans

There is a strange common-held belief that storing coffee beans in the fridge, or dare I say, freezer will keep them fresh as a daisy! The truth is that these frosty places produce too much moisture which is a coffee killer. Yep, the absolute, hand-to-heart truth of the matter is that storing your beautiful Fairtrade organic Sacred Grounds beans in the fridge/freezer will destroy their flavours, freshness and fabulousness so please refrain. Instead, store beans in an air-tight container or our resealable foil-lined coffee bags and pop them in a dark, cool pantry. Too easy!

So there you have it! Now your coffee making skills can go from good to barista in no time. Now if you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, why not check out our delish range of Single Origin coffee then put your taste buds to the test to see what flavours you can identify. Shop here for Sacred Grounds Single Origins.

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