PNG – Single Origin

We talk a lot about our Single Origins – their flavours, how to drink them and even the people behind the bean. It’s all important because we just love our coffee and we love how it impacts the world in a positive way. Most of our coffee comes from impoverished nations around the world and we know through our partnership with Fairtrade that this brings life and a future to these communities. So it is with our Single Origin from one of our nearest neighbours, Papua New Guinea.

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East Timor & Australia’s Coffee Bonds

One of our nearest coffee neighbours, East Timor has had a tumultuous history with war ravaging its land, its coffee crops and its people. While the people have experienced great trauma and upheaval it has never stopped them from their natural inclination for hospitality offering coffee to those in need. This has created a bond between the East Timorese people and the Australian Army going way back to World War II.

Sparrow Force

In 1941, British and Australian soldiers formed a guerilla army called Sparrow Force which were called on by the Dutch army in East Timor to fight the Japanese who were trying to invade the country. For more than two years, this group of soldiers resisted all attempts by the Japanese to take East Timor, ultimately ending in failure. During this time, the Sparrow Force were left to their own devices with very little food and drink. This is where the native East Timorese people stepped in to help with their supply of local food and, most importantly, coffee. Grown, picked and roasted by the East Timorese, the soldiers enjoyed freshly brewed coffee with wild grown honey. This display of hospitality and kindness surely gave the soldiers of Sparrow Force the drive, determination and energy to fight with all they had against a determined enemy.

Australia Remembers

Even today, the Australian Army holds a fondness for the East Timorese people who continue to provide freshly brewed locally grown coffee to battalions of visiting soldiers. Some Australian servicemen have even returned to East Timor, tracking down the friendly locals who helped them with something as simple and nourishing as a cup of coffee when they needed it most. These soldiers have helped the East Timorese people set up their own businesses, streamlining their coffee production providing them with a future and a steady income for their families and communities.

Sacred Grounds & East Timor

Like these Australian soldiers, we also want to give back to the East Timorese people. This country has experienced more upheaval than we can ever really comprehend and this is one of the reasons why we choose to source some of our coffee from this tiny nation. Not only has its past been troubled but the effects of it lingers today with high levels of poverty, 50% infant mortality rate and half of all East Timorese are illiterate. There are still so many problems but one of the solutions that has been a crucial part of the healing process has been coffee.

We work closely with our producers in East Timor, the Cooperativa Café Timor (CCT) who have been operating since 1994. Today CCT boasts 23,000 members across 16 cooperatives and 494 small farms. Fairtrade certified in 2001, this co op has made a massive impact on its surrounding communities with projects such as a business development program, a wholesale purchasing co op and 11 healthcare clinics and 28 mobile clinics to provide medical attention for those who can’t afford it.

Coffee crops are grown alongside rice, fruit, beans, spices and more providing a really unique environment for beans and the farmers themselves to thrive. And the taste? We use East Timorese coffee beans in our Neighbours Blend that has a beautiful combination of subtle berry with a nutty aftertaste.

Shop for Sacred Grounds Neighbours Blend here… 

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What Exactly IS a Single Origin?

For coffee purists, a really good Single Origin bean is bliss in a cup! However if you’re fairly new to the world of coffee, the idea of this kind of beverage may be a mystery to you. At Sacred Grounds we’re passionate about flavour notes, fresh organic Fairtrade beans and our incredible range of Single Origin coffees sourced from across the globe. So it’s our absolute pleasure to introduce you and to dig a bit deeper into what makes Single Origin coffee truly special.

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How to Make Great Coffee at Home

It’s kind of mesmerising watching a barista work their stuff, from the right coffee, grind, tamp to texturing the milk just so. They make it looks so easy and one of the reasons they can get it perfect time after time is their industrial style coffee machine. So does it mean that home coffee connoisseurs can’t make great coffee at home? Not at all. There are a few handy hints the pros use with their fancy machines that will help you get cracking coffees time after time on your own machine.  Read More

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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