Coffee & Pie. Writing about the coffee bean history and where coffee comes from.
The “Bean History”
Coffee has a mysterious history, with several apocryphal stories as to how it was discovered. The word “coffee” itself originates from the Turkish language from a phrase meaning “the wine of the bean.”
It is believed that the discovery of the coffee bean itself happened first in Ethiopia with a goatherd who noticed the “dancing” of his goats when they ate some of the red coffee berries. He took some back to his village leaders and they, disapproving, threw the beans into the fire. As the berries burned in the fire the enticing aroma of roasting coffee beans came out and they scraped the beans out of the fire, ground them up and put them in water.
The Our Mission Coffee Crusade: Good Coffee Doing Good™
Although it is chocolate that has gotten the most publicity of late, chocolate isn’t the only American staple produced by slaves. Some coffee beans are also tainted by slavery. In addition to producing nearly half of the world’s cocoa, Ivory Coast is the world’s fourth-largest grower of coffee.
Often, coffee and cocoa are grown together on the same farm. The tall cacao trees shade the shorter coffee bushes. On some Ivory Coast farms, child slaves harvest coffee beans as well as the cacao pods that yield cocoa beans. More than 7,000 tons of Ivory Coast coffee arrives in the U.S. each year.
Some coffee industry executives acknowledge the use of slaves, but say the labor issue isn’t their concern. “This industry isn’t responsible for what happens in a foreign country,” said one representative of the National Coffee Association, which represents the companies that make Folgers, Maxwell House, Nescafe and other brands.
Neither Folgers nor Maxwell House responded to inquiries about the origins of their coffee. Past shipping records, though, showed that on a given day, 337 tons of Ivory Coast coffee beans were sent to Folgers through Houston, Texas.
The U.S. is the world’s largest consumer of both chocolate and coffee. In fact, coffee is the second largest legal U.S. import — after oil. Fortunately, there is considerable momentum developing in this country and elsewhere behind the emergence of Fair Trade coffee.
Watch the video on how Our Mission Coffee began.
Our Mission Coffee roasts the coffee beans in small-batches to insure the best taste, and ships direct to the consumer within 24 hours of roasting. When compared to the coffee at the local supermarket, that might have been sitting in a warehouse for a month before it even makes it to the shelves, well…there really is no comparison. Our Mission Coffee is simply the freshest coffee you can get, unless you happen to grow your own.
Small Batch Roasting
Coffee beans have little taste before they’re roasted. Unroasted beans (called green beans) have a slight grassy smell and are very hard. Roasting coffee is somewhat like cooking anything else: the cooking process brings out the real taste of the coffee.