Why the price of coffee is on the rise and what Vicafe is doing about it
by Simon Balissat
Coffee beans are available in ground form and as whole beans. The beans come from the coffee plant, which came to Europe from Ethiopia in the 17th century. Today, the plant is grown around the so-called coffee belt, which consists of countries near the equator. Two coffee bean varieties dominate the world market: Arabica and Robusta. They differ in terms of their cultivation, composition and also their flavors. Arabica is clearly the most widely grown coffee bean in the world. It accounts for about 60% of the world's coffee volume and comes mainly from South America. It is characterized by a lower caffeine content and is much softer and rounder in taste. Robusta, on the other hand, is mainly cultivated in Africa and Asia and accounts for about 40% of the world's coffee consumption. It has a higher caffeine content and has dark, earthy and bitter flavors. The grind of the coffee beans is crucial if you want to make a good coffee. The longer the water is in contact with the coffee powder, the coarser it should be. This is because the finer the powder, the more many bitter ingredients dissolve. For an aromatic espresso, the powder must be finely ground so that the water can be forced through it at high pressure. For filter coffee, a medium to coarse grind is suitable, as the water is in contact with the powder for longer. For automatic coffee machines, you need whole beans because the beans are ground in the machine and hot water is used to make the coffee at the touch of a button. Coffee beans are also the right choice for portafilter machines. Here you still need a coffee grinder if your machine does not have an integrated grinder. After the grinding process, you can prepare your espresso or lungo with the portafilter like a barista.