Cascara: The Tea of the Coffee World

Cascara: The Tea of the Coffee World

While the histories of coffee and tea began in different parts of the world and at different times, the correlation between the two is one of ancient trading and more than a little bit of folklore. We hear tales of the accidental discoveries of these two commodities, and these legends are now steeped in the histories of China, where tea was discovered, and Ethiopia, whose farmers and herders happened upon the first coffee trees. Much has changed in the thousands of years since humans accidentally began experimenting with what would become two of the most sought-after commodities on the planet. Today, coffee and tea maintain their roots in different cultures, but the appeal of both drinks extends across the globe, despite the fact that many still associate tea with Eastern cultures and coffee with those cultures in the west. The trees that produce these two products are very different, as are the methods used in harvesting. Tea leaves are plucked from the branches, dried, and packaged. Coffee cherries are picked and either washed or, as is the case at Finca Deborah, carefully dried using a natural and more eco-friendly process that requires little or no water. Both methods, however, produce the same end result, which is the green coffee bean. But what happens to the fruit that surrounded the seed? Traditionally, the pulp was discarded during the hulling process, or it was repurposed as fertilizer for the young trees on the estate. However, many coffee historians believe that the fruit of the coffee cherry was likely consumed by humans long before crafting a brew from the seeds was even...
Planting Baby Geishas at Finca Deborah

Planting Baby Geishas at Finca Deborah

It’s that time of year again! The staff at Finca Deborah is busy caring for the multitude of Geisha coffee seedlings that will be added to the existing stock of trees and, as one might expect, it is one of the most important agricultural events that takes place on the farm. The process is delicate and labor intensive, but it is certainly worth every ounce of the effort and care that is put into practice this time of year. These seedlings represent the future of Finca Deborah’s Panama Geisha, and the young stock is meticulously cared for every step of the way. While many people may be familiar with some of the methods used to grow and produce exceptional coffee, we at Finca Deborah take great pride in the entire process and would like to give more roasters and boutique coffee aficionados a glimpse into some of the steps taken to ensure that the end result is the finest Geisha coffee the world has to offer. It Starts with the Seeds As with any agricultural operation, it’s important to select seeds from the most genetically gifted plants or trees on the farm. The process is no different here at Finca Deborah. We carefully pick fully ripe cherries, we then sort and save the seeds from the trees showing the best genetic traits of the Geisha Variety . A typical seedling crop at Finca Deborah consists of several thousand young trees which are used to not only increase the total stock of trees on the farm, but also to replace trees which have either perished or are showing signs of...
Why Cold Brew is Heating Up the Coffee World

Why Cold Brew is Heating Up the Coffee World

The preparation of coffee, the world’s most consumed beverage, has always been done in largely the same way around the globe. The beans are crushed or ground and steeped in hot water to achieve the desired strength and consistency. However, in some parts of the world they’ve done things a bit differently. Also known as Kyoto coffee, the cold brewing method has been used in Japan since the 1600’s, and this method of preparation has been gaining popularity around the globe over the last few years. What is Cold Brewed Coffee? Not to be confused with iced coffee, cold brew is a long and gentle process by which the coarsely ground beans are steeped in cold water, usually overnight or for 24 hours. The mixture is then strained and the result is a highly concentrated, deeply flavorful coffee concentrate that is then diluted and served cold or at room temperature. Why Choose Cold Brew? Experts say that with the absence of heat the natural flavors of the bean are able to develop more slowly and to their fullest potential, which results in a more authentic taste compared with other brewing methods which rely on heat to extract the flavor, often resulting in a more muted taste. This gentler method also results in less acidity in the finished product, which is great news for coffee lovers who have had to eliminate acidic foods and drinks from their diet. Health reasons aside, the reduction in the acid level of cold brew also serves to allow the fruit and floral notes that are naturally present in the coffee to shine through. Specialty...
Coffee With Seoul: How South Korea is Changing the World Coffee Market

Coffee With Seoul: How South Korea is Changing the World Coffee Market

When visitors from Western countries explore Asia they often expect that they’ll find nothing more than tea to drink. The consumption of tea is synonymous with Asian culture, and many people are surprised to find that South Korea’s beverage choices range far beyond the tea that their parents and grandparents embraced in days gone by. South Korea has emerged as one of the largest consumers of coffee in the world, and this is evident everywhere you look. Coffee shops line the streets and much of Korea’s youth has given up on the leaf and turned to the bean. But how did this happen? The story is one of both traditional Korean customs and Western influence, with a healthy dose of java thrown in, as well. Bridging Two Cultures Coffee is in no way new to Korea. The beans were first introduced to the area in the late 1800’s, but it’s only been within the last fifteen years that coffee culture as we know it has taken hold in this Asian country. However, it’s only been within the past five years or so that cafes have taken hold and Koreans have adopted coffee culture as their own. Many credit this change with the rise of the Starbuck’s chain, and this can be said for the ride of coffee in any part of the world. However, as Koreans begin to look toward more boutique varieties of coffee and treat their cafes as personal oases, the Starbuck’s theory now holds little weight. Korea has created its own coffee culture, one that has little to do with the global chain. Coffee and Collectivism...
Finca Deborah Announces the Launch of New Website

Finca Deborah Announces the Launch of New Website

Chiriqui, Panama–Finca Deborah is proud to announce the launch of their new website. Specializing in the rare and unique coffee varietal known as Geisha, Finca Deborah’s labor of love has spanned more than 7 years. “We’re very pleased with how the site has turned out and hope those who visit us get a glimpse of what Finca Deborah is all about. Although it’s difficult to convey the essence of what a coffee plantation and it’s mission is all about, we feel it’s as close as it can be, short of being there.” By working closely with a local web and graphic designer, the site gives visitors a glimpse into the hard work and dedication required to produce one of the world’s most finicky and temperamental varieties of coffee; Geisha. Members of the coffee community now have an ability to view stunning, high definition photos, which will allow them a glimpse into the day-to-day life of Finca Deborah. Important details regarding the history and development of Geisha in Panama, Finca Deborah’s commitment to sustainability, stewardship of the local environment, and their cooperative efforts with their local staff are also available for readers to view. What’s to Come for Finca Deborah As the February 2015 harvest season is looming, Finca Deborah is incredibly pleased with the way the Geisha trees are performing and how every individual involved is fully committed to the farm’s success. “This coming harvest is shaping up nicely. The trees are showing a good level of production and, so far, the weather has been cooperating. We have an excellent staff that is working hard to meet the expectations...

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