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    5 Ways to Make the Perfect Cup of Coffee (More sustainably!)

    5 Ways to Make the Perfect Cup of Coffee (More sustainably!)

    Turkish? Pour-over? French press? Among coffee connoisseurs, the best method for making an exquisite cup of coffee is a matter of intense debate. But one thing is for sure: Coffee is better when it’s good—when beans are grown and harvested more sustainably, in ways that protect ecosystems and worker well-being.

    No matter what method you choose, knowing the coffee comes from a healthy ecosystem sets the stage for a perfect morning treat. 

    How to treat your responsibly grown coffee beans

    Store your beans in a glass or ceramic container with a rubber gasket. Contrary to popular belief, you should keep coffee beans at room temperature (not in the fridge). It should go without saying that you must grind your own beans each morning—experts say that you have about 5 minutes after grinding before the coffee starts getting stale.

    The pour-over

    It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Just pour some water over grounds in one of those beaker-like carafes? Not so fast. The expert technicians at the Oakland, California, based coffee roaster Blue Bottle recommend first wetting the paper filter completely with just-boiled water. Next, you place the grounds in the filter and use a light, consistent pour to moisten the grounds—then stop! Wait 30 seconds to allow the coffee to “bloom.” Pour the remaining hot water over the grounds slowly. Like, really slowly. You should be pouring so slowly that it takes a full four minutes for the water to drip down into the base of the flask.

    French press

    For the French press, Serious Eats recommends the coarsest grounds possible to reduce the muddy sediment at the bottom. Scoop them into the carafe and add just-boiled water, giving it a gentle but thorough stir. Wait 30-45 seconds—again, to allow the coffee to “bloom.” You’ll know it’s time to place the lid on when most of the coffee has sunk to the bottom. Wait 6-8 minutes, then plunge gently, pour, and drink up!

    Stovetop espresso maker, the moka pot

    Yes, even this traditional Mediterranean device has given rise to a set of specialized instructions. Stumptown, the famed Portland coffee purveyor, recommends that you first boil water in a kettle, as you don’t want the moka pot to get too hot and impart metallic flavors; you then pour the hot water into the bottom half of the espresso maker. Insert the basket and fill it with fine grounds, then screw the two parts together (you must somehow remember to use an oven mitt before having caffeinated yourself, to prevent burning yourself on the base that you've just filled with boiling water). Brew on moderate heat with the lid open. Once the stream of liquid bubbling forth is the color of yellow honey, remove from heat and close lid. Wrap the bottom in a chilled bar towel or run it under water to stop the extraction. Pour immediately.

    Cold-brewed coffee

    For many, iced coffee is a cherished summertime pick-me-up, but if you want to do it right, you’ll need 12-24 hours (and you thought the pour-over method was slow!). Stir coffee grounds and water in a pitcher, cover, and let steep a minimum of 12 hours; when the brew is ready, strain it, and store it in the refrigerator for another 2 hours.

    Turkish

    Like other methods, brewing Turkish coffee calls for its own set of tools, including a lovely little cup called a finca and a small brass pot known as a cezve. Boiling the grounds—which should be finer even than those for espresso—together with water makes this thick brew. Traditionally, a cup of water is served with Turkish coffee to clear the palate before partaking in the delicious dark concoction (hipster coffee snobs have nothing on the Ottomans). Be sure not to drink the grounds at the bottom of the cup—you’ll need them to tell your fortune (and if you don’t know the ancient art of reading coffee grounds, never fear—there’s an app for that!).

     

    Article Source:

    https://www.rainforest-alliance.org/articles/5-ways-to-make-the-perfect-cup-of-coffee 

    Cocagi Project Update

    Cocagi Project Update

    Some time has passed since our last update on our Cocagi project and during that time they have certainly faced some challenges during from serious rains and of course, COVID-19.

    With the purchase of the new land, Cocagi Femme have been busy working two different plots of land, one plot that looks after a variety of different plants (for diversification of income) which includes tomatoes, beans, maize and sunflowers, and the second plot of land they have been busy preparing the land for the coffee plantation. This includes weeding, turning over the soil to prepare it for planting.

    During this time, of the 4 hectares, only one hectare of land has been prepared with the coffee seedlings. This was due to the fact that there were not enough good seedlings available at the time. Since then, a nursery has been set up to nurture the remaining coffee plants so that in time, the entire crop can be planted.

    Another challenge that has faced coffee farmers, and indeed all farmers, is global warming and the unpredictability of the seasons. Cocagi has faced some serious rains that unfortunately, damaged the tree tomato crops. The weather now poses challenges in farming and protecting the crops and the group continue to meet and discuss ways, methods to manage the unpredictable weather to ensure they are able to protect their plantation.  On top of this, COVID-19 also has had an impact, causing a delay in the additional training in the management of the sunflower and tree tomato crops. But these training sessions will be rescheduled so that the program can continue for Cocagi Femme.

    This next quarter will see the final preparation of the land in readiness for the remainder of the coffee seedlings.

    Farming is always very challenging. Cocagi Femme have had to work through some big challenges from weather to COVID-19 which as we know, has had serious impact across the entire world. A reminder of just how much goes into each cup of coffee you enjoy.

    We look forward to sharing another update with you all soon! Thank you for supporting St Remio and allowing us to fund projects like this with the support of Rainforest Alliance.

    Update from the Cocagi Project

    Update from the Cocagi Project

    This year as you may remember, we have funded the purchase of 4 hectares of land and 12,000 coffee plants and other seedlings for the female cooperative of Cocagi. 

    Since we visited them and met the Cooperative in June this year, there are have been some updates that we wanted to share with you, after all, your purchase is making this wonderful opportunity possible for this community!

    They have since completed the transactions of the purchase of the land which is now all secured on behalf of Co-operative leader Anna-Marie. Now they have successful acquired the land, the team are busy preparing the ground so it is ready for planting in the wet season.

    The next project the group is focussed on is securing the 12,000 coffee seedlings so they will be ready to plant shortly alongside maintaining and managing the other fruit plantations currently established on the 4 hectares. This allows them to earn income while the coffee crop is being established.

    The Cocagi Femme lead farmers are also undergoing extensive training during this time learning how to better manage the crops to get a higher yield and high quality coffee cherry. They have held both formal classroom training alongside practical sessions to learn best practices across:

    • Pruning
    • Stumping
    • Mulching and how to reuse all clippings to add valued nutrients the ground

    In the next quarter, we will see the members of Cocagi Femme continue to prepare the land and plant the seedlings as well as ongoing maintenance of the existing fruits. They will also continue their training to enhance the output and establish stronger sustainable farming practices.

    We will continue to update you on this wonderful project and we are very excited to take you on this journey. Thank you again to the team at Rainforest Alliance for working with us and the Cooperative to keep us updated on their progress.

    One Bean. One Cup. One Community.

    6 facts you might not have known about UTZ & Rainforest Alliance

    6 facts you might not have known about UTZ & Rainforest Alliance
    We are very proud to now partner with UTZ, part of the Rainforest Alliance, shifting our range of products to becoming fully certified. You might have seen the UTZ label across a variety of products you already purchase, such as chocolate, and if you have ever wondered what the symbol means and what it stands for, look no further.

    Read more