Glenn Harpur is a coffee aficionado and resides in the vibrant town of Durban, South Africa. Glenn and I grew up together and share many passions such as coffee, surfing, South African slang, debating SA politics, and overemphasizing words (yoooh). Okay so here is the beginning of a series of posts by Glenn Harpur – the legendary Durbanite who comes from the ultimate Durban family:
Glenn at Westbrook after a good breakfast
“Good morning and welcome to a new space on the Woodsmoke website. This blog will focus on coffee in all its splendour (or “splendor”, as those Stateside would say).
Why is it important to drink good coffee and to roast, grind and prepare it in the right way (and yes, there is a “right” way)? Well, think of it this way: a typical Arabica coffee tree takes three to five years to bare fruit. Once this period has passed, only the best berries from each tree are picked. The beans from inside each of these berries are then sold off in groups or “lots” and shipped from their place of origin (perhaps Guatemala, Brazil, Kenya or Ethiopia) to the countries in which they will be roasted. Now, already we have a journey that has involved a number of years, hundreds of people and thousands of miles. It is at this point that many a decent coffee bean is nuked, having the life blitzed out of it by an over-zealous roaster who seeks simply to attain a dark roast without due regard to the complex natural flavours (anything from the delightfully citrussy zing of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe to the sweet floral notes of Kenya AA or the deep chocolatey comfort favoured by many espresso drinkers) latent in the raw, or “green”, beans! Should the little guys survive this step, they are packed and then, hopefully, sold within a few days. They then take up residency in your kitchen, hoping to be ground correctly (once again, within a few days of having been roasted) for the type of caffeinated drink you’re making.
Now, knowing all this, do you really want to be the weak link in the chain?
There are myriad ways to enjoy the blessed bean, and the next post will deal with the basics of a few of these.
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