Green coffee beans are usually shipped in 132lb bags, (60 Kilograms) and world-wide production statistics are compiled on the number of bags.
World production for 2012 includes 88,818 bags of Arabica and 62,440 of Robusta.
To give you perspective on worldwide coffee production and the rarity of some highly prized regional coffees like Hawaiian Kona and Jamaican Blue Mountain that make up a tiny fraction of all coffees, here are statistics for 2012 compiled by the US Department of Agriculture.
Brazil leads the world in total production again in 2012 with 40,200 bags of Arabica and 15,700 of Robusta for a total of 55,900 bags or 7,378,800 lb.
Vietnam is second for total production with 850 bags of Arabica and 24,150 of Robusta for a total of 25,000 bags or 3,300,000 lb.
The United States, mostly Hawaii, (100/0) and Mexico (4,500/200) make up North American production of 4,600 bags of Arabica and 200 bags of Robusta.
Central America produces 14,605 bags of Arabica and 10 bags of Robusta from: Costa Rica (1,600/0), El Salvador (1,475/0), Guatemala (3,840/10), Honduras (5,800/0), Nicaragua (1,800/0) and Panama (90/0).
South American countries including Bolivia (4/150), Brazil (40,200/15,700), Colombia (7,500/0), Ecuador (415/190), Paraguay (25/0), Peru (4,800/0) and Venezuela (880/0) combined to produce 53,970 bags of Arabica and 15,890 bags of Robusta.
Caribbean countries produce 920 bags of Arabica from: Cuba (125), Dominican Republic (475), Haiti (300) and Jamaica (20).
Middle East coffee comes from Yemen at 150 bags of Arabica.
Papua New Guinea, 1,100 bags of Arabica and 50 bags of Robusta, represents Oceania’s total production.
South Asia contributes 1,650 bags of Arabica and 3,685 bags of Robusta from: India (1,640/3,660) and Sri Lanka (10/25).
Sub-Saharan Africa contributes 9,243 bags of Arabica and 7,580 bags of Robusta from: Angola (0/30), Burundi (225/0), Cameroon (100/700), Central African Republic (0/15), Kinshasa (200/165), Cote d'Ivoire (0/1,800), Ethiopia (6,500/0), Ghana (0/90), Guinea (0/425), Kenya (850/0), Liberia (0/5), Madagascar (25/500), Malawi (25/0), Nigeria (0/30), Rwanda (250/0), Sierra Leone (0/70), Tanzania (500/300), Togo (0/650), Uganda (650/2,800), Zambia 10/0) and Zimbabwe (8/0).
While exploring our site, you may notice that we've broken our coffee selection down to two main categories: espresso and drip coffee. To an outsider, the difference between drip and espresso coffee is dubious, at best. Most people simply accept that grind fineness determines if a coffee is destined for the espresso machine or coffee maker. While the grind is a major contributing factor, it is not the only determining factor.
If you're talking about whole bean, any combination therein can be ground for drip coffee. However, not all coffees are suitable for espresso. Espresso usually requires a blend, consisting of three or more origins, since the hallmark of a good shot is rich crema—which can only be achieved under the right conditions. That's not to say drip coffee doesn't have its distinguishing traits.
Many roasters will designate certain coffees for drip, as opposed to espresso. Without the need to deliver crema, there's a little bit more leeway to play with when creating drip coffee. For instance, you may find a nice bouquet of flavors and aroma in drip coffee that's not otherwise available in espresso. Caffe D'arte Meaning of Life and Gourmet Drip Whole Bean (available in medium and dark roasts as well as decaf) are prime examples of exclusive drip coffee blends. The roaster has taken into account the slower brewing process and lower temperature used to create drip coffee and altered the composition of the blend to suit.
Drip coffee is also well suited to savoring the specific flavors and aroma of a single origin. A lot of single-origin coffees are meant for your drip coffee maker. In fact, some of our most prestigious single-origin offerings are classified as drip coffee including: Supreme Bean Organic Rainforest, J Martinez Jamaica Blue Mountain and Antica Tostura Triestina's 100% Arabica Ground.
If you're a flavored coffee fan, drip coffee is the only way to go. Thanks to the gentle brewing process used to create drip coffee, roasters are able to infuse a wide variety of flavors and aroma into the coffee and have them translate in the cup. When well-done, the result is a fine drip coffee with exotic notes. Try Aloha Island Chocolate, Hazelnut Paradise or Vanilla Dream (available in ground and whole bean), if you're tempted by flavored coffees.
Another hallmark of drip coffee is the caffeine content. Although a lot of people assume that espresso contains more caffeine than drip coffee, one of Whole Latte Love's own staff members, Mike, has effectively debunked this myth in his blog. The truth to the matter is, when compared by serving size, drip coffee actually contains more caffeine than espresso. It also has a lighter body, when compared to espresso, which tends to be more viscous by nature. If you're an espresso fan looking for lighter fare, consider taking the plunge with well-known roaster. Lavazza and Illy both offer drip coffee options. If you enjoy their respective espresso blends, give these roasters a shot when you want a cup of Joe.A well-brewed cup of Joe can be every bit as enticing as a shot of your favorite espresso. We're not talking about the slush served at the local diner or gas station, so put your mind at ease. One of the best ways to sample great drip coffee is through—surprise—a sampler. We currently have 14 packages available, with premium coffees from Whole Latte Love, Lavazza, J. Martinez, Aloha Island and more. The summer is almost upon us, don’t let it go by without an ice coffee in hand!
Most espresso lovers are open to experimenting with different blends, various grinds, tamp pressure and more in pursuit of the perfect beverage. But, few are actually brave enough to attempt roasting a custom coffee at home.
Unlike brewing, frothing, tamping and grinding techniques, much of the roasting process is shrouded in secrecy. As a chef may guard a prized recipe, many roasters consider their particular roasting method a trade secret. The knowledge used to transform a green bean into premium coffee is often guarded under lock and key. That's not to say you're doomed to be shut out of the roasting world. If you want to try your hand at creating a custom coffee, keep in mind that the roasting process is rooted in hard science. Understanding a few key concepts and exercising a little patience can get you well on your way to being a home roaster.
You'll need most of your five senses in order to create a successful batch of roasted coffee—hearing, sight and smell in particular. Before you begin, take a moment to make note of the color of your un-roasted beans.
It takes quite a bit of heat to transform the average green bean; we're talking 460°F -530°F. Heating virtually anything at these temperatures will generate a certain amount of smoke and odor, so it's best to roast by an open window or an otherwise well-ventilated area.
As they are introduced to heat, your beans will first turn yellow and then begin to brown. Listen carefully, a few minutes after your green beans being to roast, you'll hear a cracking sound. At this point, the natural sugars found in the beans are starting to caramelize and you have achieved a light roast. The steam being emitted will also begin take on a roasted coffee scent.
Keep roasting, if you want a medium or dark roast. If you leave the beans exposed to heat beyond a medium roast, you'll hear a second crack. At this point, you should have a very dark roast. Do not venture much beyond this point, your beans will begin to burn and the natural sugars will all be gone, leaving you with very bitter coffee.
After your beans are done roasting, they will need to be cooled before they can be stored. If you like the results, set aside some of the beans so that you will have a reference point for the next batch. Otherwise, keep experimenting!
I've heard of people roasting coffee in everything from a popcorn popper to a skillet and even a cookie tray in the oven. The popcorn popper seems to be the most popular improvised coffee roaster. However, it is important to keep in mind that using your popcorn popper to roast coffee will most likely void the warranty as it is certainly outside its intended use. At proper roasting temperatures, 460°F -530°F, you will be pushing the limits of the popper to the max. Don't be surprised if it burns out within a few short months.
My advice? Use the popcorn popper as it was intended; invest in a coffee roaster if you want to make coffee at home. Makeshift methods may not yield the proper results and could pose serious safety risks.
If the goal is to create a semi-professional roast, a coffee roaster is definitely the way to go. Not only are coffee roasters designed to deliver an even roast, they also offer greater heat control. The Nesco Professional Coffee Bean Roaster, available on our Website, goes above and beyond; it is the only home roaster with a catalytic converter to eliminate unpleasant smoke and odor generated by the roasting process. This model also has a dedicated roasting chamber and auger to mix your beans and ensure an even roast.
Roasting is very straightforward with this Nesco model. It has a 1/3-pound capacity, which should yield enough beans for approximately 36 cups of coffee. There's a powerful heating element and two-speed fan to direct heated or cooled air through your coffee as necessary. The Nesco Professional Roaster's most convenient feature is arguably the recall option, which will let you store and recall the roasting duration. This feature makes it easy to replicate previous results.
Priced under $250, the Nesco coffee roaster is an affordable way to create fresh, custom coffee. If you're a true espresso lover, roasting your own coffee at home is an experience worth exploring.
If you're tired of the same old drinks, break out of the rut with a creative latte. This month's recipe is perfect for the adventurous latte lovers out there.
In a tall 16oz glass, combine the espresso, syrup and milk. Stir the contents and add ice. Garnish with whipped cream, if desired, and enjoy!
With St. Patrick's Day right around the corner, may the luck...and drinks, of the Irish be with you. Given the upcoming festivities, now is as good a time as any to take a look at the history of one of the most (in)famous, drinks in the world—the Irish Coffee.
In true Celtic fashion, think Leprechauns and pots of gold, the origins of the Irish Coffee begins with a local folklore...Legend has it that the drink was invented in a cafe at the now-defunct Foynes Airport. In 1943, on a particularly nasty winter evening, a flight bound for Botwood, Newfoundland made the critical decision to return to Foynes after several hours in the air. Consider that 1943 was during WWII and commercial air travel was really in its infancy—think well-heeled men and women on a flying-boat voyage. The circumstances of the diverted flight were trying at best and left passengers a little bit more than peeved.
Upon making the decision to head back to Foynes, the captain reportedly sent a Morse-code message to the control tower, alerting ground operations personnel of the impending return. At the terminal, preparations were made to welcome back the crew and passengers. I know, you're skeptical already; but keep in mind, this was the 1940s...flying was a glitzy affair.
Back to the regularly scheduled story...Head chef Joe Sheridan of the airport restaurant was hastily asked to make something to warm the passengers and lift their spirits. He decided to...well...add a little spirit to their drinks. After all what could keep you warmer and happier than a hot coffee and some good old Irish whiskey? As the night progressed and everybody had been served, one of the passengers approached Sheridan to thank him for the hospitality. Making small talk, the passenger asked if Brazilian coffee had been used to prepare the drink...To which Sheridan responded "No, that was Irish Coffee." The rest is history.
From that night forward, Irish Coffee was served to all passengers going through Foynes Airport. The tradition continues to this day; dignitaries arriving at Shannon Airport are still welcomed with a warm cup of Irish Coffee. Want to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in style? Try this authentic Irish Coffee Recipe:
Joe Sheridan's Original Irish Coffee
Preheat an Irish Coffee Mug using hot water. Try our Stout, Classic or Pedestal version of the mug. Pour freshly brewed coffee into the mug; add sugar and whiskey. Top with cream.
They say, “Practice makes perfect.” It’s amazing how a century of practice pays off. For over 100 years, Café La Semeuse has been roasting specialty coffee with care, in small batches at 3,300 feet above sea level, along the picturesque Swiss mountains.
This high-altitude roasting technique has resulted in utterly unique coffees—flavorful and full bodied, yet never bitter. Since water boils at a lower temperature at high elevations, the beans can be exposed to heat longer during the roasting process without the risk of charring. The prolonged exposure to heat is Café La Semeuse’s secret to bringing forth the flavor and aroma of the beans so that even the subtlest notes play on the palate. All of Café La Semeuse offerings feature premium 100% Arabica coffees.
Classique is the most famous coffee from Café La Semeuse. This well-balanced coffee is served at respected establishments including NYC’s James Beard House and Lutèce, The Quilted Giraffe in Florida, among others. Classique has well-balanced and full-bodied taste characteristics that make it well-suited for a variety of beverages.
A bit darker than Classique, Café La Semeuse Espresso features carefully selected Central and South American Arabica coffees. This blend is a Fancy Food Show Award winner and can be finely ground for espresso; a coarser grind will deliver dark drip or filtered coffee, if you prefer.
Certified Organic and Fair Trade, Soleil Levant lets you enjoy your java with a clear conscience. Created using premium Guatemalan, Peruvian and Indonesian beans, Soleil Levant has been praised by the New York Times for its smooth aftertaste.
Care for a coffee without the caffeine? Café La Semeuse Decaf has been gently water processed to remove the caffeine content without striping the coffee of its taste, flavor and aroma. Enjoy this delicate blend of Central American and Caribbean beans any time you like—even before bed!
If you simply can’t choose a favorite, explore the entire Café La Semeuse collection with the Whole Bean Sampler. This pack includes one 8.8oz bag of each Café La Semeuse whole bean coffee. These “never bitter” beans will have you coming back for more!
I found a picture of the Crema Naturale espresso machine, created by Achille Gaggia in 1948. This antique unit operated using a spring piston and it was the first machine to ever produce espresso crema. Crema is the tiny bubbles that form when you’re extracting a shot using an espresso machine. When you see crema you know you are getting a great shot of espresso. Crema requires the right coffee, grind, temperature, and pressure, as well as a quality espresso machine.
The coffee you choose will make a big difference, when extracting espresso. Most espresso beans are blends of coffees from different origins (such as Central America, Indonesia, Africa, etc.). A lot of people get confused and think that espresso refers to a dark roast; this is simply not the case. The proper roast is only one part of good espresso; there are many things that have to be done correctly for you to get a good beverage. The different origins are important, to get the right combination of coffees, to create a great espresso. We sell many different blends of espresso at Whole Latte Love, and here are some that I highly recommend:
For an in-depth look at extraction techniques, give our article on The Golden Rule a read.
Another critical factor you should consider is the espresso machine used to extract your shots. You’ll want to pick a machine that can heat up to the right temperature and generate the correct pressure. The proper brewing temperature for extracting espresso is 198ªF to 202ªF and the proper pressure should measure 9 bars.
Here are some espresso machines that will produce some great crema.
Semi AutomaticsRancillo Silvia V3, Expobar Brewtus IV, Gaggia New Baby
Super AutomaticsGaggia Platinum Swing Up, Gaggia Titanium, Jura-Capresso Impressa Z6
Do you have a trick for extracting a good shot? Share it here.