Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Some good news for the millions of fans of Colombian Coffee.Farmers who fled war in the Colombian Andes are returning to revive their abandoned land, cultivating coffee trees that are boosting global supplies of the highest-quality Arabica beans.
Colombia's five-decade civil war, the longest in the Americas, displaced millions and disrupted farming for decades in areas that produce coffee for the most exacting consumer. A peace deal between the government and the rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in late 2016 paved the way for many to return to their homes and farms, including thousands of coffee growers
The revival of coffee farming in the former conflict zones could help boost Colombia's coffee output by 40 percent. That would raise global supplies of mild Arabica beans by about 13 percent. The additional supply could reduce the cost of the raw material for the world's top roasters, many of whom are seeking to secure increased supply from Colombia.
About 950 coffee-growing families of the 1,600 families, who left during the war, have returned to the San Carlos area, according to data from the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC). The supply from this region, 205 miles North West of Bogota, could expand further as farmers plant more of their land and more people return to the region to provide the needed labour.
The area now has about 800 hectares of coffee farms, double the low of 400 hectares during the war.
Among those who returned was Libardo Garcia, who moved back to his 12-hectare (30 acres) farm in 2015 after fleeing in 2001."All the coffee trees were dead when we came back," said Garcia, who has since planted 8,000 trees on two hectares of steeply sloped land.

Arabica is the highest quality coffee bean, and Colombia is the world's top producer of mild Arabica. To make that variety, beans are separated from the cherry then dried to increase quality. Arabica makes up about 60 percent of global coffee supplies, with lower-quality Robusta beans accounting for the rest.

Monday, 23 October 2017

El Salvador Finca Suiza - Reduced from £5.95 to £4.75 while stocks last.
Description: For over 50 years the Menendez families of the Santa Ana region of El Salvador have been growing great coffee on their farm, Finca Suiza, in the Northwest region of the country. Abundant rainfall, high elevation, volcanic soil and careful attention to detail secured Suiza coffee a 2nd place finish in last years Cup of Excellence competition and the prestigious Presidential award.
Reduced from £5.95 to £4.75 while stocks last.
Flavor profile: A rich sweet and bright clean finish with a creamy, vanilla body contributes to the smooth cup and the long lingering finish.
Roast profile: Medium
Processing system: Washed & Sun-dried
Variety: Bourbón
Altitude: 1620 masl

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Last week, before they ceased to be legal tender, I found four old pound coins in the change drawer of the car. Knowing time was short I tried to use them in the local supermarket only to have them refused so I ended up having to change them at the bank. However the following idea is a brilliant one and had I known I would have kept them. Poppy Sellers will accept them. So with £450M still in circulation imagine what that would do for our veterans?

Saturday, 21 October 2017


Coffee quote - Life is too short for bad coffee.

To avoid bad coffee why not try Caer Urfa Coffee - take a look at our web site for an array of coffees from around the world. Good quality freshly roasted coffee at a good price.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Tuesday, 17 October 2017



WELL DONE Mr. Downes - a 250g packet of our delicious Arabica Special Blend is on its way to you now.
Thank You and to all those that took part - watch out for the next competition coming soon.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Caer Urfa Coffee Competition - Answers - the winner to be announced later today 

Question 1
What language did the word 'coffee' evolve from?
The answer is: Arabic

Interesting Information:
·         'Qahhwa' was the name the Arabs chose for this splendid drink meaning 'wine of the bean'. What could be more appropriate?

Question 2
Who was the inventor of instant coffee in 1901?
The answer is: either David Strang / Satori Kato both will be accepted

Interesting Information:
·         In 1890, Mr. David Strang from Invercargill, New Zealand invented instant coffee through a method he called "dry hot-air processing". His coffee was sold with the brand name of Strang's Coffee. 1901 Satori Kato created his version of instant coffee. He was a Japanese American chemist from Chicago. Melitta Bentz, from Dresden, Germany, invented the first coffee filter, which was patented on June 20, 1908. Dr. Ernest Illy is credited with creating the first automatic espresso machine back in 1933. Achilles Gaggia, from Italy, invented a high pressure espresso machine in 1946.

Question 3
In the 17th century, France met and was charmed by coffee. Who was responsible for the introduction of the beverage in France?
The answer is: Jean de Thevenot

Interesting Information:
·         Jean de Thevenot was born in 1633. Apart from being a frequent traveler to areas of today's Eastern Europe and Near East, he was a linguist and a botanist. He had friends in high places, such as monsieur De La Croix, King Louis' interpreter, with whom he shared his "discovery" of coffee.

Question 4
Grown primarily in a two-mile strip of land on an island, this uncommon ground is commonly worshipped as "kona." From which "big island" does this coffee waft?
The answer is: Hawaii

Interesting Information:
·         Despite Hawaii's ability to produce coffee year around, there is a limited acreage and a smaller harvest. Kona coffee has the highest amount of caffeine of any bean and is often mixed with other beans due to the limited quantity produced.

Question 5
The international growth of coffee consumption is usually attributed to Arab influence spreading it throughout the Ottoman Empire to Europe, thence to Indonesia and the Americas during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. In what country are coffee plants thought to have originated?
The answer is: Ethiopia

Interesting Information:
·         The first clear record of coffee drinking comes from the Sufi monasteries of Yemen in the middle of the 15th century, but the original plants were in the highlands of Ethiopia. Because coffee drinking formed an important part of religious rituals in the region, its use as a secular drink was banned in Ethiopia until early in the 20th century. In the 17th century, Sultan Murad IV banned coffee and coffeehouses in the Ottoman Empire (using the Islamic ban on intoxicating drinks as a pretext) because coffeehouses were a site of political discussion, much of it critical of the current government. One result of this ban was the emigration of coffee makers to other parts of Europe, where they found a welcoming market for the new product.

Question 6
What European people were responsible for introducing coffee to the European market?
The answer is: Dutch

Interesting Information:
·         The Dutch did more than just that they smuggled seeds out and had them planted on the island of Java. That enterprise went so well for the Dutch that till this day coffee is often referred to as Java or "having a hot cup of Java".

Question 7
What color is a ripe coffee bean?
The answer is: red

Interesting Information:
·         The coffee bean is actually a portion of a larger whole known as a cherry when it still is attached onto the tree. The berry starts out a rich green color and as it ripens it turns a brilliant red hence the name cherry being given to its description.

Question 8
In 1907, one country was recorded as producing 97% of the total world production of coffee. Which country was it?
The answer is: Brazil

Interesting Information:
·         Brazil is still one of the largest producers of coffee beans. As of early 2008, Brazil still grows 25% of the world's production. The majority of Brazilian coffee beans are of the Arabica variety, rather than the Robusta. Robusta beans are grown at a lower altitude and have a higher caffeine content. Arabica beans, which are considered to be superior, have a lower caffeine content, but tend to be more acidic.

Question 9
Coffee is greatly affected by the area in which it is grown and some varieties are more exceptional than others. With that in mind where would the blend called 'Blue Mountain' hail from?
The answer is: Jamaica

Interesting Information:
·         You come to appreciate just what goes into a name when you come upon the fact that Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is an internationally protected label. Even on Jamaica there are requirements and the altitude of the trees must be grown between elevations of 3,000 and 5,500 feet. That's the kind of a regulation you want when you're paying thirty US dollars a pound!

Question 10
We all know that coffee is made from coffee beans. What kind of plant produces coffee beans?
The answer is: Evergreen shrubs

·         Interesting Information:All coffee plants are shrubs which may grow to 5 m (15 ft) if unpruned, but are generally smaller. They have glossy dark green leaves, and clusters of white flowers. They produce berries about 1.5 cm (0.6 in) in diameter. Unripe berries are green, changing to yellow then red, and blacken when dried. Each berry usually contains two seeds.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Remember our great offer 1kg of our Arabica Special Blend for £15, available for individuals, restaurants, bars, hotels, coffee mornings etc.

A mixture of 100% Arabica beans harvested from Central and Southern American as well as Africa. The Southern American beans gives this blend an ideal base from which to make an excellent cup ideal for espresso added to which is the sweet and lingering taste of our Central American beans and finally a small percentage of African put in to give this coffee that extra earthy edge.
Why not check out our other great coffees we have to offer - just go to our web site at www.caerurfacoffee.co.uk

Wednesday, 11 October 2017


Coffee keeps me going until it’s time for wine.

Especially on Fridays, oh and on Saturdays mm Sundays as well then maybe Wednesdays or/and a Monday ok Thursday - hic

Part 3
The altitude that the bushes/shrubs are grown at makes a difference to the resulting coffee. Arabica is usually grown at over 1000 metres above sea level where as Robusta is usually grown at much lower altitudes. It’s said grown at higher altitudes tends to develop a better characteristic tasting coffee. Other important considerations are soil and shade which also has an effect on the coffee.
Processing Methods
Once the cherries are picked, they need processing in order to separate the coffee beans from the outer skin, mucilage, silver skin and parchment.
There are three main processes for doing this, wet or washed process, semi dry (pulp natural or honey process) or natural / dry process. The way the coffee is processed makes a difference to the resulting cup of coffee.
Processing continued
It’s not finished yet – The final steps in coffee processing involve removing the last layers of dry skin and remaining fruit residue from the now-dry coffee. These steps come under the dry milling process and include hulling, polishing (optional), cleaning and sorting then finally grading.
Coffee beans are imported in their green state, then in the case of caer urfa coffee we buy from a very reputable merchant where we would roast in small batches and to order. We are known as small batch roasters, micro roasters or artisan coffee roasters.
The difference between a specialist micro roaster and the bulk roaster – the bulk or industrial roaster puts more emphasis on price than quality. The micro coffee roaster is about getting the very best that coffee has to offer, and having huge roasters and roasting beans in large volumes isn’t conducive to getting the very best from the coffee beans.
Therefore the very best way to buy coffee beans in our opinion is directly from the roaster.
The pulped natural process involves removing the skin. Credit: CeCafe

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Part 2
When it comes to Arabica, there are lots of different plants that are known in the industry as varietals. These are different breeds of Arabica, just as there are different breeds of dogs and cats, some of which are natural, and some of which have been cultivated.
Some of the varietals include: Bourbon, Typica, Catimor, Beisha, Catuai and many more, all with different characteristics.
The origin is where the coffee beans have come from, and they come from dozens of countries which fall within what is regarded as the “coffee belt”, between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. Coffee origins include Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Columbia, Vietnam, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Zambia, Indonesia and lots more.
Single Origin

 When you see the word ‘single origin’ its coffee grown within a single known geographic origin, sometimes, this is a single farm, or a specific collection of beans from a coffee growing region or single country.  The name of the coffee is then usually the place it was grown to whatever degree available. Single-origins are viewed by some as a way to get a specific taste, and some independent coffee shops have found that this gives them a way to add value over large chains.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Part 1
Coffee Beans or Seeds.
We call them Coffee beans but actually they are seeds. They’re seeds, from the fruit of coffee plants, and while all beans are seeds, only seeds which are a member of a particular family (Fabaceae, Leguminosae) are actually beans.
Coffee Trees / Plants
Coffee cherries grow on small trees and shrubs of the Coffea Genus. You may be interested to know that there are 124 species of the “Coffea” genus, which is a member of the Rubiacea family. Other plants in the Rubiacea family include shrubs, trees and herbs, and there are lots of them!
There is also species called Liberica which can grow to 20 metres tall but most of the coffee beans that we buy will be Arabica or Robusta or a blend of the two.
Arabica & Robusta
The majority of coffee beans used for speciality single origin coffees are Arabica while Robusta is often mixed with Arabica beans to produce an espresso blend.
Instant coffee is more often than not a blend of Arabica and Robusta. There are some brands of instant which are 100% Arabica, but unless you’re buying a coffee which is specifically advertised as so, it’s likely to be a blend.
Arabica grows at much higher elevations, especially the trees which grow the better quality beans.  It’s a far more varied coffee taste profile thanks to the many different tree varieties, where it’s grown, the soil and how it’s processed.

Robusta is hardier, less susceptible to disease such as leaf rust, can be grown at much lower elevations and it is generally cheaper to produce. In terms of taste, Robusta is generally acknowledged as having a very strong taste that is too much on its own for most palates. However when blended with Arabica it can give a nice kick and helps to produce a good espresso crema. It can contain up to double the level of caffeine than Arabica.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Starbucks plans for the Cold Coffee Market

Have you heard of such a thing – next there will be a space station in the galaxy – Starbucks have released cold coffee on tap.

Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz recognized the rapid and ongoing escalation of the multimillion dollar cold coffee market. Unveiled last year Starbucks have revitalised the hot coffee beverage with their ‘cold bar’ concept. They have already in 2015 tapped into the cold coffee market by brewing coffee over ice, this next project unveiled in select Starbucks stores throughout the United States, takes it onto another level with the ‘nitro cold brew’.

The drink — in which coffee is kegged, kept cold and infused with nitrogen as it is tapped to create a Guinness-like texture.

It’s apparently not new Stumptown coffee roasters from Seattle took the lead in introducing a canned version of the beverage, a step that took Guinness decades to initiate.

 “For over 40 years we have perfected the craft of roasting and brewing the finest hot coffee, and while we have always offered our customers new options in cold coffee, nothing will compare to the pace of flavour, craft and brewing innovation we will see in the next few years,” Schultz said. “The opportunity to create an entirely new cold coffee experience is limitless and our customers are already telling us that they want to meet us on this journey as cold coffee is now becoming a go-to drink.”

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

The Oomph Coffee Maker Review
As seen on Dragons Den this week Matthew Deasy went head to head with the Dragons - his product ‘The Oomph’.

Matthew has a background in coffee products and was looking for £40k for a 5% stake in the business. 

The Oomph it’s different, it’s a coffee maker and travel mug in one. It is a unique coffee gadget that can brew three times faster than standard coffee machines. 

So why are people going crazy for the Oomph here are some pointers:
1: Taste. 
We as roasters agree how you make a coffee is important but also important is the coffee you put into the machine, a good quality product freshly roasted is best but that said this is what one reviewer made of it:
The first time I tasted coffee from the Oomph, I was hugely impressed with the taste and the mouth feel. It just seemed to have a more rounded taste and also a bigger mouth feel to what I’m used to tasting.
2: Convenience.
Making coffee with the Oomph is very convenient you plunge it, and then go – as The Oomph doubles as a travel mug. You can just open the lid and drink directly from the coffee maker, or decant it into a cup, delivering a hot brew of coffee for up to three quarters of an hour.
3: The grind.
The Oomph is able to handle a wide range of grind sizes. Idea for those out there who haven’t got a grinder easily at hand and buy pre ground coffee in a variety grinds.
4: Substantial. 
This is a rugged, chunky, substantial coffee maker. It’s clear that it is made to perform and to last. Although I’m sure it could be made lighter, and cheaper, this would result in a flimsy and less substantial product. The majority of the material used is something called Tritan, a food grade BPA free heavy grade plastic that I’m sure doesn’t come cheap!
5: Volume. 
It can hold 13 fluid ounces of brewed coffee, enough to make a couple of cups of very enjoyable coffee without having to make a second brew.
6: Re-brew.
It’s also said the Oomph is the first brewer which enables re-brewing. If you taste the coffee and you’re not happy with the extraction, you can twist to open the catch, and pull up the plunger and give it another plunge, to extract more. 

Buy from Amazon from £36.90

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

"I never laugh until I've had my coffee." - Clark Gable

Monday, 2 October 2017

Riggers restaurant - RNLI Poole

We have just had a great lunch at the Riggers restaurant at the RNLI training college in Poole, Dorset. While we were there we looked at the displays about the foundation of the RNLI and particularly at the story of Grace Darling. She has a special significance for us as there is a memorial to her in our home town of South Shields as her heroic rescue occurred just up the coast of Northumberland. For those not familiar with her story and how it led to the foundation of the RNLI here is a shortened version.

Grace Horsley Darling was born on 24th November 1815. Her father was a lighthouse keeper employed by Trinity House and when she was a small child Grace was taken to live in a cottage beside the lighthouse on Longstone Island one of the Farne Islands off the Northumberland coast.
 In the early hours of 7 September 1838, Darling, looking from an upstairs window, spotted the wreck and survivors of the Forfarshire on Big Harcar, a nearby low rocky island. The Forfarshire had foundered on the rocks and broken in half: one of the halves had sunk during the night the survivors were clinging to the bow section which was stuck on the rocks. The stormy weather meant that the lifeboat at Seahouses, further down the coast at Sunderland, could not assist so Grace and her father rowed a mile in the rough seas to the survivors using the shelter of the islands. Darling kept the small boat steady in the water while her father helped four men and the lone surviving woman, Mrs. Dawson, onboard. Of the 62 persons on board only 14 survived. When the lifeboat eventually managed to sail from Seahouses they found only the bodies of Mrs Dawson’s two children and a vicar on the rocks.
As news of her role in the rescue reached the public, her combination of bravery and simple virtue set her out as exemplary, and led to an uneasy role as the nation's heroine. Grace and her father were awarded the Silver Medal for bravery by the Royal National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck, later named the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

In 1842, Grace fell ill while visiting the mainland and was in convalescence with her cousins. Grace's condition declined, however, and in the final stages of her illness she returned to Bamburgh where she died of tuberculosis in October 1842, aged 26.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Bees and Caffeine
Doing a little holiday research I came across this article in the magazine Discover and thought it was interesting.
A recent study which gave bee’s caffeinated sucrose solution has found that caffeine helps you get the job done.
Honeybees fed on this solution were significantly better at remembering floral scents than bees that received a sucrose-only solution, according to research published in Science. The findings indicate that caffeine helps bees pollinate more efficiently, and gives naturally caffeinated plants an advantage: Bees remember these plants and return to them more regularly, ensuring continued pollination.
Caffeine naturally occurs in a number of plants, including—no surprise—Coffee species such as Arabica and Robusta, which are used to produce commercial coffee. But the stimulating substance also turns up in Citrus species such as grapefruit, lemon and orange plants, where its levels are high enough to taste unpleasantly bitter and deter would-be nibblers.
In the nectar, however, the caffeine levels are lower than in the plant itself, enough to affect bees’ behaviour but not enough to impart a bitter taste.
In the study, bees fed a caffeinated solution were three times more likely to remember a flower’s scent 24 hours after exposure than bees that received a caffeine-free solution. In the wild, scientists theorized, this would lead to pollination patterns that were more efficient for both bee and plant.
“Remembering floral traits is difficult for bees to perform at a fast pace as they fly from flower to flower,” said study leader Dr. Geraldine Wright of Newcastle University, UK.
Even though human and honeybee brains are very different, Wright suggested that a similar process may be behind both species’ attraction to caffeine.
“This work helps us understand the basic mechanisms of how caffeine affects our brains,” Wright said. “What we see in bees could explain why people prefer to drink coffee when studying.”
The study could also shed light on ways to protect and improve the natural habitats of honeybees, which are in significant decline in many parts of the world, particularly Europe and the U.S.