Where does our coffee come from?
Did you know that coffee is a fruit and did you know that it’s also a seasonal crop? We caught up with our friends from Origin Coffee to understand more about this fascinating little bean and why we have made the right choice to serve Origin in The Beach Hut and the hotel.
To many it may come as a surprise that coffee is a seasonal crop, but depending on which country it is grown in cropping, harvesting and shipping seasons change dramatically over the year – and sometimes even vary from one year to the next.
Origin pride themselves on keeping their coffee as seasonally relevant and fresh as possible, so they ship coffee from all around the globe at different times of the year and change our coffee offering regularly.
Over a twelve month period, you’ll see The Beach Hut’s and the hotel’s espresso blends change twice and our filter offering even more so. Some of the filter coffee can be available for as little as four weeks before it is replaced with something new – often because Origin buy small amounts of beans, sometimes from extremely small farms found on their travels across the world, on a regular basis. This makes sure that Origin are not only offering a wide range of coffees from different origins and taking up a journey through a range of different tastes and processes, but it also ensures the coffee is fresh.
Summer blends are made up from coffee sent to Origin in April and come from countries like, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Ethiopia.
Winter blends of coffee are likely to be sourced from Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Rwanda, Colombia, Burundi.
F30 Espresso is the coffee used our espresso machines. It’s a seasonally changing coffee which currently consists of 50% Santa Elena, El Salvador; 20% Los Nogales, El Salvador and 30% Los Altos, Nicaragua. Los Altos, Nicaragua, is the Origin filter coffee used in our cafetieres.
We also serve Origin espresso martini’s in the Living Space.
The coffee bean
Coffee is a volatile crop. Unlike many fruits of the earth, coffee needs a lot of interference before it becomes capable of becoming the sole ingredient of a beautiful espresso and so many things can go wrong along the way. If there has ever been a crop that requires careful timing, planning, picking and processing it is coffee. Unlike most other fruits of the earth, coffee is perhaps more complex to understand because doesn’t begin to deteriorate as soon as it leaves its plant. That’s in fact arguably where its life begins. Much like a wine or cheese, coffee gets better with time – but leave it for too long and it runs the risk of becoming stale and picking up flavours from the environment it’s being stored in.
It needs to be picked at the optimum time which is often in the middle of the county’s cropping season for specialty lots, as this will mean the cherries have ripened evenly and are mature. It is then dried and rested in its outer parchment for around 30 to 60 days as a minimum.
Because Origin buy small amounts of coffee from farms, their beans are shipped in hessian sacks, which can leave the precious cargo open to tainting. If left for too long, sitting in a warehouse for months or even years before being roasted, it risks the chance of picking up grassy undertones from the once convenient hessian it’s stored in so ours is used quickly and rotated before that happens.
As part of Origin’s promise of freshness, they watch the changing, and sometimes unpredictable coffee seasons very closely, get samples, taste and choose small lots of specialty coffee regularly to ensure that the beans – blends and single estates – are always fresh. They then wait before roasting them to ensure they are perfectly fresh when they arrive at the hotel. For espresso this will be a little longer after roast date than a filter coffee so it has time to de-gas – yes, brewing espresso coffee when it is too fresh can be an unpleasant experience too!
If you would like to taste our F30 Espresso blend featuring the Santa Elena bean from El Salvador, pop into The Beach Hut or Living Space for a cup or why not come along to our Beach Hut brunch with coffee tasting demo from Origin Coffee on Saturday 12 October? Book your place today.
To find out more about Origin Coffee have a read through our other coffee blogs, and why not have a go at making our Living Space espresso martini cocktail with this easy to follow recipe.
Follow the story of an award winning coffee bean.
Check out our coffee glossary to find your way around cappuccino’s latte’s, piccalo’s and ristretto’s.