Coffee News Roundup – November 28 to December 3
This week in coffee, an Australian columnist slammed American coffee culture in a BIG headline, the European Coffee Symposium handed out awards to such diverse recipients as McCafe (yes, that’s MickeyD’s coffee shops) and La Marzocco and Aida Batlle takes on a new role in the specialty coffee world.
North Americans are used to people talking trash about our coffee, but it doesn’t usually happen in the headlines of another country’s biggest newspaper. Last week, the Sidney Morning Herald (yes, they own the domain smh.com – smh!) published a travel column all about the horrible, terrible, no-good coffee to be found stateside. The first half of the column concentrates almost exclusively on Starbucks and only gets to the indie coffee shop scene in the last couple of paragraphs. And he does eventually get around to admitting that every country has bad coffee, and North America also has good coffee if you’re willing to look for it. On an amusing note, many of the comments on the column noted that the coffee at U.S. McDonalds is pretty reliably good, which might offer a bit of insight into the state of coffee in Australia.
What do McDonalds, Starbucks, La Marzocco and Tim Wendelboe have in common? They all received “best of” awards at last week’s European Coffee Symposium’s European Coffee Awards. Like the Oscars, the European Coffee Awards are industry accolades, voted on by senior executives in the coffee and food-to-go sectors in Europe. Wendelboe took top honors as Europe’s Best Coffee Roaster, while McCafe, Starbucks and Costa Coffee figured large in the top rankings for most country awards and Costa Coffee took the top award as Europe’s Best Coffee Chain. Three of our favorite Italian equipment manufacturers took top honors for the Best Equipment Supplier in Europe – La Marzocco, Nuova Simonelli and La Cimbali took first, second and third place. La Marzocco’s Piero Bambi was honored with a lifetime achievement award for his contributions to the coffee industry as a whole.
Aida Battle, whose El Salvadoran coffee farms are at the forefront of coffee-growing innovations, and Rachel Peterson of Panama’s Hacienda la Esmeralda, have been tapped to fill an open seat on the SCAA Board of Directors. Both women have already shown their strategic and leadership chops. It will be interesting to see the directions the SCAA takes with nudging from their new additions.
After 18 months of deliberation, the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative’s Coffee Working Group has published a new Green Coffee CFP-PCR (Carbon Footprint of Products – Product Category Rules) to standardize guidelines for measuring greenhouse gas emissions in green coffee production. With the new CFP-PCR, coffee farmers will be able to make informed growing and processing decisions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the field. It may also help power behavior changes in the supply change so that we can all enjoy your morning brew with less guilt.
The Turkish National Commission for UNESCO will consider adding Turkish coffee and coffee culture to the list of intangible cultural heritages around the world. It won’t be the first country to list coffee culture among its list of intangible heritage items. Vienna’s coffee houses are also on the list for Austria. The List of Intangible Cultural Heritage was established by UNESCO to protect and promote cultural diversity and creative expression throughout the world.
The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment in Berlin (BfR) released the concerning results of its investigation into espresso machines used in commercial coffee shops. The researchers found that two-thirds of the machines tested released high levels of lead into the water used to make customers’ drinks for several days after cleaning. Keep your eyes open for more information as research continues and recommendations are made to define and reduce the risk. In the meantime, why not enjoy a nice pourover coffee?
Photo Credit for Turkish coffee photo nickw
Photo Credit for brewing Turkish coffee and brazier: Özlem Ercan CC 2.0 Attribution
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