2014 was an exciting year for our beloved coffee, some good, some bad, some strange. As we approach the end of the year we’ve taken a look at some of the more notable stories of 2014.
December: A Time For Giving… But Probably Not Cocaine.
December, time for giving and the warm feeling when we see others open their presents. These acts of generosity were put to the test in Berlin when a local coffee roaster opened up their latest shipment of coffee from Brazil, to find it contained 33 kilos of cocaine! We’re unsure coffee beans whether they had a hearty Christmas smile on their face, but we’re presuming confusion and fear was a more likely response. They reported the “shipment” to the police and Santa.
November: Peak Coffee Prices
Coffee prices reached their peak in 2.5 years during November. The dry weather in Brazil that has affected much of their yearly crop played a significant role in the increase. Much of the speculation now is how this year’s drought will affect the crop in 2015. Although there have been rains over recent months, the question still remains as to how this will impact the flowering of new plants over 2015.
Many are predicting that if the weather returns to a semblance of normality, then the crop should be roughly the same as 2014. If weather continues to become more extreme then production would fall below the levels of 2014.
October: Cup North
A little closer to home we saw the inaugural “Cup North”, a coffee party for all coffee lovers in the north of England. Put together by the local coffee community it was a chance for the spotlight to shine on the culinary and coffee developments outside of London.
While the focus was on coffee, the 2-day event also promoted beer, chocolates and some of the exciting “foodie” developments in and around Manchester. Let’s hope it continues for 2015.
September: Coffee & Biofuels
There are many known alternative uses for leftover coffee ranging from an effective compost, to being used an odour remover for whiffy socks. One of the most exciting developments of 2014 was the new company Bio-Bean.
Set-up in January by Arthur Kay, the company takes the used coffee grounds from London coffee shops and turns the waste into an advanced bio-fuel. In September they received a €500,000 grant from the Dutch Lottery.
Although widely suspected as a bribe with which to increase their scores from the UK during EuroVision (OK I made that bit up), the money will help the environmentally green Bio-Bean expand their operations and build a plant large enough to handle the processing of the collected coffee grounds. One gold star for Bio-Bean. A great idea and good luck for 2015.