Last week the charity Macmillan launched this year’s instalment of The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning. The event has been held each year since 1990, and will this year be held on Friday 30th September. With it being its 100th birthday, Macmillan is hoping to beat last year’s record of £8m raised through the selling of 43,000 cups of coffee. We will also have a table at the event, so you will have to come along and see us – more details to follow.
It takes around 70 beans to produce the perfect cup of coffee, so that means that for last year’s event; over 3 million coffee beans were used… hopefully of the arabica variety.
As coffee connoisseurs, we’re sure you already know this, but there are two types of coffee bean: arabica and robusta. Arabica beans grow at high altitudes in tropical or sub-tropical climates and the plant can take up to seven years to mature. Arabica is generally considered to be vastly superior to robusta, which is grown at lower altitude, and although it contains almost double the amount of caffeine, tastes far more bitter and acidic.
Because robusta plants are more disease resistant and produce more cherries per tree (making it a cheap substitute for Arabica) some instant coffee brands use robusta as a ‘filler’ in their blends. It has been known to appear in the odd espresso blend now and then too, but here at Zabu we only deal with arabica. We guarantee that all our blends are 100% arabica.
Like a fine wine though, arabica coffees can differ in taste depending on where in the world they originate from. Middle Eastern and East African coffee is widely considered to be truly delightful, with wonderful hints of spices and fruits delicately infused into the blends. Latin American coffees are generally lighter, with a slight tang to them. Whilst the big names of Brazil, and Columbia dominate, the smaller nations of Panama, Guatemala and Papa New Guinea offer their own, unique offerings. For something slightly fuller bodied and stronger, the Asian blends offer just that, with Indonesian and Indian blends being particularly delightful.