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COFFEE

Coffee is more than just a drink: It’s a culture, an economy, an art, a science and a passion. Whether you're new to the brew or an espresso expert, there's always more to learn about this beloved beverage. Coffee, beverage brewed from the roasted and ground seeds of the tropical evergreen coffee plant of African origin. Coffee is one of the three most-popular beverages in the world (alongside water and tea) and one of the most-profitable international commodities. Though coffee is the basis for an endless array of beverages, its popularity is mainly attributed to its invigorating effect, which is produced by caffeine, an alkaloid present in coffee. Coffee is used as a refreshment drink which is rich in Vitamin B2, there are two types coffee- Arabica and Robusta. It belongs to Rubiaceae family which was based in Ethiopia of East Africa.

SPECIES

Two species of the coffee plant, Coffeea Arabica and C. canephora, supply almost all of the world’s consumption. Arabica is considered a milder, more-flavorful and aromatic brew than Robusta, the main variety of C. canephora. The flatter and more-elongated Arabica bean is more widespread than Robusta but more delicate and vulnerable to pests, requiring a cool subtropical climate; it must grow at higher elevations (2,000–6,500 feet [600–2,000 meters]) and requires a lot of moisture, sun, and shade. Latin America, eastern Africa, Asia, and Arabia are leading producers of Arabica coffee. The rounder, more-convex Robusta bean, as its name suggests, is heartier and can grow at lower altitudes (from sea level to 2,000 feet). Robusta coffee is cheaper to produce, has twice the caffeine content of Arabica, and is typically the bean of choice for inexpensive commercial coffee brands. Western and central Africa, Southeast Asia, and Brazil are major producers of Robusta coffee.

HISTORY

No one knows exactly how or when coffee was discovered, though there are many legends about its origin. But it is speculated that Wild coffee plants, probably from Kefa (Kaffa), Ethiopia, were taken to southern Arabia and placed under cultivation in the 15th century. One of many legends about the discovery of coffee is that of Kaldi, an Arab goatherd who was puzzled by the strange antics of his flock. About 850 CE Kaldi supposedly sampled the berries of the evergreen bush on which the goats were feeding and, on experiencing a sense of exhilaration, proclaimed his discovery to the world.

BREWING COFFEE

Water is not the only vehicle for conveying coffee’s character once it has left the bean. Coffee can also be made in alcohol or oil. Although coffee made that way is not good for drinking, it has interesting culinary applications. Coffee extracted into alcohol, for example, makes a useful ingredient for crafting cocktails. It can also be a good way to add a small amount of coffee aroma to a sauce without adding bitterness. Most of the bitter compounds are not extracted if pure ethanol (such as Everclear) is used. The resulting concentrate is analogous to vanilla extract. Coffee made with a mixture of water and alcohol can produce a bit (if not the best) of both worlds: the pure, smooth character that alcohol attracts plus the extra taste compounds that water draws from the coffee. Vodka, a pure neutral spirit diluted with water, is a great candidate for that approach.

HOW TO STORE COFFEE

Your beans’ greatest enemies are air, moisture, heat, and light. To preserve your beans’ fresh roasted flavor as long as possible, store them in an opaque, air-tight container at room temperature. Coffee beans can be beautiful, but avoid clear canisters which will allow light to compromise the taste of your coffee. Keep your beans in a dark and cool location. A cabinet near the oven is often too warm, and so is a spot on the kitchen counter that gets strong afternoon sun. Coffee's retail packaging is generally not ideal for long-term storage. If possible, invest in storage canisters with an airtight seal.


GRADE OF COFFEE

Grade 1

Specialty Grade Coffee Beans

This is the highest grade of beans, and to be classified as Grade 1 Coffee, the beans need to have no primary defects and 0-3 full defects, with a maximum of 5% above and below the specified screen size. When cupping, these beans need to have a distinct attribute in one of the area of taste, acidity, body or aroma, and be free of cup faults and taints. These beans also need to have zero of what is referred to as “Quakers” which are unripe or poorly roasted beans. Moisture content is between 9-13%.

Grade 2

Premium Grade Coffee Beans

The second highest grade, and the one you most often would be drinking, these beans are the same as Grade 1 coffee beans, but are allowed a maximum of 3 Quakers and 0-8 defects.

Grade 3

Exchange Grade Coffee Beans

These beans will have 50% above screen 15 and 5% below it, with a maximum of 5 Quakers, free from faults, but between 9-23 full defects are permissible. Supermarket brands are using these beans.

Grade 4

Standard Grade Coffee Beans

These standard grade coffee and will have 24 to 86 full defects per 300g.

Grade 5

Off Grade Coffee Beans

Grade 5 is assigned to any off grade coffee beans that have more than 86 full defects per batch.

HEALTH EFFECTS

Coffee consumption has been associated with various health benefits and health risks. In general, moderate consumption, amounting to three or four cups daily, is linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes mellitus, liver cancer, and Parkinson disease. Research has also linked moderate coffee consumption to a longer life span.

COFFEE QUAKER

Unripen coffee beans, often with a wrinkled surface. Quakers do not darken well when roasted. They are very light colored beans which can be spotted easily in a batch of roasted coffee.

COFFEE ROAST GUIDE

Roasting is a heat process that turns coffee into the fragrant, dark brown beans we know and love. Why roast? Roasting brings out the aroma and flavor that is locked inside the green coffee beans. Beans are stored green, a state in which they can be kept without loss of quality or taste. A green bean has none of the characteristics of a roasted bean -- it’s soft and spongy to the bite and smells grad easily in a batch of roasted coffee.

ESPRESSO

A strong brew of coffee produced by forcing boiled water under pressure through finely ground coffee. The finely ground coffee beans means an increased amount of surface contact with the water, resulting in a highly flavored and aromatic brew. The nuances of brewing and enjoying the drink have spurred international barista championships and detailed discussions of the drink by aficionados worldwide. Espresso is especially associated with Italy, where it is woven into the fabric of daily life.


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