Did Italy Qualify For The 2018 World Cup The Amazing And Often Strange Coffee News Highlights Of 2014

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The Amazing And Often Strange Coffee News Highlights Of 2014

2014 was an exciting year for our beloved coffee, some good, some bad, some weird. As we approach the end of the year, we’ve taken a look at some of the most notable stories of 2014.

December: A time to give… But maybe not cocaine.

December, the time for giving and the warm feeling when we see others opening their presents. These acts of generosity were put to the test in Berlin when a local coffee roaster opened their latest shipment of coffee from Brazil to find it contained 33 kilograms of cocaine! We’re not sure if they had a hearty Christmas smile on their face, but we’re guessing confusion and fear were a more likely response. They reported the “delivery” to the police and Santa Claus.

November: Higher coffee prices

Coffee prices hit a 2.5-year high in November. Dry weather in Brazil that has affected most of their annual crops played an important role in the increase. Much of the speculation now is how this year’s drought will affect the crop in 2015. Although there has been rain over the past few months, the question remains as to how this will affect the flowering of new plants in 2015. – is.

Many are predicting that if the weather returns to a normal picture, then production should be about the same as 2014. If the weather continues to become more extreme, then production will fall below 2014 levels.

October: Northern Cup

A little closer to home we saw the inaugural Cup North, a coffee celebration for all coffee lovers in the North of England. Brought together by the local coffee community, it was a chance to shine a spotlight on culinary and coffee developments outside of London.

While the focus was on coffee, the 2-day event also promoted beer, chocolates and some of the exciting “food” developments in and around Manchester. Let’s hope it continues for 2015.

September: Coffee & Biofuels

There are many popular alternative uses for coffee grounds, ranging from an effective compost to being used as a deodorizer for puffy socks. One of the most exciting developments of 2014 was the new company Bio-Bean.

Founded in January by Arthur Kay, the company takes used coffee grounds from London cafes and turns the waste into an advanced biofuel. In September they received a €500,000 grant from the Dutch Lottery.

Although widely suspected as a bribe to boost their results from the UK during EuroVision (OK I made that up a bit), the money will help eco-friendly Bio-Bean expand their operations and build a fairly large to handle the processing of collected coffee grounds. A gold star for Bio-Bean. Good idea and good luck for 2015.

August: Coffee theme park given the green light

If you’ve ever dreamed of visiting a theme park with a giant caffeinated mouse, then August may have been the month for you. Funding was provided to develop a 64-hectare coffee theme park in Gangwon Province in South Korea.

The area has seen a lot of development since the announcement that the 2018 Winter Olympics would be held in the area. Designed as an eco-friendly family theme park, the location will also house a production, roasting and distribution facility. Apparently, the latter will not be of interest to children. A roller coaster with paint emblazoned on the side doesn’t really appeal to kids.

However, the project will create over a thousand jobs for the local community and feature a coffee resort and museum.

July: Fresh vs. Instant

In July, Euromonitor International Study released their latest study highlighting the continued growth of instant coffee in countries historically associated with tea drinkers, namely China, Turkey and India. Almost half of the world prefers instant coffee to freshly ground coffee.

In the UK, although the coffee market is maturing and we are seeing a greater understanding of fresh and gourmet coffee products, the instant coffee market continued to gain strength especially when consumed at home. Surprisingly, in the UK, Brits are responsible for more than a third of all instant coffee sold in Western Europe.

While it is often seen as unacceptable to offer instant coffee in many social or business situations, at home these malleable rules seem to go out the window. Convenience wins over quality in many situations.

Part of the growth was attributed to the marketing of instant coffee, with many of the words traditionally reserved for fresh coffee finding their way onto packets, jars and bags in the supermarket. One product describes itself as the world’s first “with whole beans”… we still have no idea what that means!

June: World Championship

June saw the winner of the World Barista Championship 2014. The title eventually went to Hidenori Izaki of Maruyama Coffee Company, Japan. The judges awarded him the prize after assessing all the contestants on a selection of criteria including their cleanliness, creativity, technical skills and presentation.

Hidenori was the 15th winner of the competition, produced and held by the World Coffee Event (WCE). The annual championship was held in Rimini, Italy and was the culmination of many local and regional finals around the world.

Congratulations to all participants especially Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood from the UK who eventually came 5th, yes we are showing geographic bias.

Final ranking

Champion: Hidenori Izaki, Japan

2: Kapo Chiu, Hong Kong

3: Christos Loukakis, Greece

4: Craig Simon, Australia

5: Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood, United Kingdom

6: William Hernandez, El Salvador

May: Coffee & Cow

It seems that used coffee grounds can be used for almost anything! Starbucks partnered with a Japanese contact lens manufacturer in hopes of turning leftover coffee grounds into sustainable and environmentally friendly cattle feed for the Tokyo dairy market.

Fermented soils were removed from Starbucks stores and incorporated into livestock feed. The process has been tried before, but the results showed that the coffee acted as a diuretic in cattle and the high salt content was a concern. Apparently, the new process involves lactic acid fermentation which ensures that manufactured food becomes a viable option. Again, we have no idea how this works, but it sounds pretty impressive.

April: UK Barista Championship

If you were to mention the World Championships during April, most people (probably tea drinkers) would immediately think of the F1 Grand Prix in China, or the start of the World Snooker Championship with its whispering, faded vests. For creative coffee people in the UK, April can only mean one thing; the preparation for the World Barista Championship had begun.

Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood, who claimed his second title, eventually won the UK Regional Barista Championship, held during the London Coffee Festival. Congratulations Maxwell. With the award firmly under his arm, he would travel to Italy to compete in the World Championships in June. Flying the flag for the UK… probably without a vest.

February/March: Soccer World Cup

Much of the speculation during February and March was about the soccer World Cup and how Brazilian passion for their national sport would affect the coffee industry.

With about a third of all coffee coming from Brazil, concerns were that the games held in Rio De Janeiro would disrupt production, distribution and the overall infrastructure of the coffee industry. At the risk of sounding anticlimactic, it all worked out, even if it didn’t for the Brazilian soccer team.

January: Myth busted

We’ve probably all heard the old wives’ tale that coffee causes dehydration. We are told to drink a glass of water for every cup of coffee we consume. Where this theory comes from we have no idea, but research released in January by the University of Bath concluded that this was actually a myth.

Rather than causing dehydration, moderate coffee consumption actually hydrates us in a similar way to water. Personally, if I were stuck in the Sahara with the choice of a cup of coffee or nothing, I’d certainly choose the former… but only if there was cream… and sprinkles.

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