Wine News

The real cost of your cup of coffee in 2022 Wine News

Thus, 1 kg of coffee transported to the United Kingdom from Brazil by plane produces 6.275 kg of CO2; per container ship, it is 0.18 kg. With that carbon footprint, it’s hard to justify even though, as Josh Clarke of Clifton Coffee Roasters in Bristol explains, “It’s usually about tiny packets of super specialty and expensive coffee, too small to ship.” And at the other end of the scale, Cornish Yallah Coffee brings some of its Colombian coffee to the UK by carbon-neutral sailboat.

It’s worth remembering, in the meantime, that Britain’s favorite coffee still comes in a jar. Instant coffee, a taste we acquired from American GI ration packs, accounted for more than two-fifths of our spending last year.

Coffee beans to be roasted fresh in 2022


About a quarter of all coffee grown. Mainly grown in Africa, Asia and Brazil. Faster growing and more productive than Arabica, it’s half the price. Used in instant coffee and some blends. Earthy and bitter taste.


About three quarters of the coffee grown is Arabica. It grows more slowly and, unlike Robusta, is usually picked by hand. It tastes sweeter and less caffeinated, with complex acidity and fruity flavors.


Popular in Malaysia, these large beans make up around 2% of the world’s coffee, but are favored as an alternative to Arabica and Robusta. They offer a typical smoky and chocolate flavor.


A variety of wild West African coffee being studied by Kew Gardens as a possible alternative to Arabica. Heat and drought resistant, grows at lower altitudes than Arabica, and the flavor is said to be similar.

How to Decode Coffee Terminology


No synthetic fertilizers or chemicals are used in cultivation or production, other than those on an authorized list. Grains have been shown to have higher levels of antioxidants, especially in lighter roasts. Critics point out that certification standards vary and that lower yields from organic crops can mean more land has to be farmed, so any carbon gains are wiped out.

Fair trade

Supporting small farmer cooperatives in developing countries, a fair price at the cost of production is paid for the goods when the beans are marketed, plus a premium that goes towards community projects. Some fear that what is paid by consumers for Fairtrade products goes entirely to the farmers.

Rainforest Alliance

This certification focuses on environmental goals, in particular reducing deforestation, so the coffee is likely to be grown in the shade, which is better for the environment. Critics say the audit process is costly for farmers and there is no guarantee they will get a better price for their produce.

Not all products need to come from an RA-certified farm for a product to use the logo – in the past it was only 30%. It is also criticized for failing to protect farms from price volatility and the forest protection criteria mean that any limits on deforestation are “largely unenforceable”.

Cultivated shade

Coffee plants have traditionally thrived in the shade of tall trees, but modern hybrids have been bred to be sun-tolerant, resulting in higher yields and simplified harvesting. However, the biodiversity of coffee-growing areas has dropped as deforestation has given way to sun-tolerant crops. Other negative consequences include increased use of chemicals (without the trees creating a natural barrier against insects) and greater soil erosion, and as soil (a carbon sink) is moved, an increase of carbon release. There is no official certification for shade-grown beans yet.

Natural process (aka “dry process”)

In this traditional method, ripe coffee ‘cherries’ are spread out in the sun to ferment and dry for about a month, before the outside is mechanically rubbed, leaving the green beans ready for roasting. Drying may be uneven, resulting in inconsistencies. Dry-processed beans tend to produce fruity, full-bodied coffee.

Pulped natural process (aka honey coffee process)

No honey is actually involved, but the coffee cherry’s skin and outer pulp are removed, while the remaining “mucilage” layer ferments and dries for three to four weeks. Flavors depend on the amount of mucilage left on the grain, but tend to be sweet, creamy, caramelized, and sometimes winey.

Wet process (aka “washed coffee”)

Ripe grains are soaked in water, then the pulp and skin are cleaned. The beans are then left to ferment in water before being dried. This produces a more consistent coffee, but it uses a lot of water and is therefore less durable. Coffee tends to have bright flavors, considered to be more true to the origin of the bean.

direct trade

There is no legal definition for this, but it is used for roasters who buy directly from coffee farms and cooperatives. This should mean a fairer price for the farmer and a beneficial relationship for the roaster.

This article has been updated for the London Coffee Festival 2022.

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This notice was published: 2022-03-20 12:36:57

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