The coffee supply chain
Have you ever thought about how much work there is behind a simple cup of coffee?
We are used to thinking that coffee is a common good, which belongs to us by right. We are convinced that it is a very simple drink, without any complications and we take it for granted.
All because we believe that coffee is a thing of little value; in the end it costs only one euro and it takes 30 seconds to drink it.
But is it really so? Are you really convinced that this way of seeing it is correct?
Not me! Years ago I was the first to take coffee for granted, I considered it a small bitter cup and nothing more.
But is not so! Thanks to my work I was able to discover and touch an incredibly large reality with my own hands, with numbers that I would never have even imagined.
The coffee supply chain is really long: it crosses continents, oceans, states and cultures that are completely different from each other.
In fact, if you think about it, it is not possible to grow coffee in Italy, and everything we consume comes from the countries of the Coffee Belt, that is, all the countries between the Tropic of Cancer and Capricorn.
Just to name a few, we at Caffè Ernani buy coffee from Brazil, Colombia, India, Tanzania, Costa Rica, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Nicaragua and Congo. VISIT THE ERNANI SHOP >>
Every now and then I happen to stop and look at my cup of espresso and I think “In here there are beans that come from 5 states and 3 different continents! This cup has been around the world! "
Furthermore, getting a good coffee is neither simple nor obvious and woe to those who think the opposite!
As already mentioned, the coffee supply chain is very long and every single piece must be completed in the best possible way.
You must know that coffee is born with a certain quality, given by the variety of the plant and the surrounding environment. All those who work with coffee from that moment on can only maintain that given quality constant.
At the first mistake it goes down one step and it is no longer possible to raise it later.
Having said that, think about how many hands touch your coffee before it reaches you: there is the farmer, the collector, the taster, the importer, the raw foodist, the roaster, the wholesaler, the barista, the retailer and then there you are too!
And these are just a few! Alongside there are many other figures such as the consultant, the trainer, the sommelier, the agronomist, and many others!
It is a whole work of coordination between people who have never even seen each other, to be able to offer you an almost perfect cup.
I'll give you some very simple examples:
- Think of the agronomist. He might have studied an impeccable way to cultivate his plants, but if whoever takes care of drying the coffee, before sending it, does not move it well, the beans at the bottom will go rotten, irrespective of their initial quality;
- Or while the coffee is in the sea being transported, it is crammed into containers that are not perfectly sealed and thus takes water and salt, ruining itself permanently;
- Or it comes to us roasters in excellent condition, but it takes 30 more seconds of cooking, or even just 2 ° C more and the coffee is not enhanced to the maximum;
- And finally think how terrible it is if all the steps have been performed flawlessly to get to the bartender, who has the task of extracting it, but grinds it wrong, making it either too bitter and burnt, or watery and flat.
If you are interested in this last topic, I recommend another article: HOW IMPORTANT IS THE GRINDING OF COFFEE BEANS? >>
In this way the work of months and months is ruined in just one second.
Finally, I also leave you a couple of data to make you understand even better the size of this sector:
- Coffee is the most processed raw material in the world after oil;
- And it is the most drunk drink in the world after water.
Here, I think that all this, all this huge world, is exhausted in the offer of a cup of coffee drunk on the fly for just one euro.
It is something that leaves you speechless!
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