Indeed, we founded our business on the principles of accreditation and traceability to the country of origin, plantation and grower.
Talking of origins, take a wander back through time and enjoy the history of great coffee.
The coffee plant is native to Ethiopia. According to legend coffee was discovered by an Ethiopian goat herd called Kaldi. He noticed that goats who ate certain beans became very lively.
Coffee was drunk in Yemen by the 15th century. By the 16th century coffee had spread to Persia (Iran) and Turkey. There were many coffee houses where people could drink and also socialise.
So, perhaps some aspect of life in the 21st century is not so very different!
Coffee reached Europe in the late 16th century through trade. Coffee was introduced into Italy first. (Today coffee is still a very popular drink among the Italians). Coffee really became popular in Europe in the 17th century. In the 1600s coffee houses opened across Europe. The first coffee house in England opened in Oxford in 1651 and by the late 17th century there were many coffeehouses in English towns where merchants and professional men met to drink cups of coffee, read newspapers and chat.
Thankfully, today’s coffee houses are a little more inclusive!
The first coffee house in London opened in 1652 and by the end of the 17th century there were hundreds of them. Lloyds Coffee House opened in London in the 18th century and soon became a centre of marine insurance. However by the mid-18th century coffee houses were past their heyday in England.
Meanwhile the first coffee house in America opened in Boston, Massachusetts in 1689. Merchants Coffee House opened in New York in 1737 and it became an important meeting place. In America drinking coffee rather than tea became patriotic after the Boston Tea Party of 1773 (a protest against a British tax on tea).
And with the EU currently imposing a 7.5% tariff on roasted coffee, perhaps there’s a post-Brexit protest brewing!
In the early 18th century the Dutch began growing coffee in Indonesia. Also in the 18th century people began growing coffee in Brazil. By the early 19th century coffee plantations in Brazil were booming. In the 20th century a vast amount of coffee was grown in Uganda. Meanwhile the first American coffee percolator was invented in 1865 by James Mason.
Today coffee is still one of the world’s most popular drinks. Brazil is still the world’s largest producer of coffee.
Instant coffee was invented by New Zealander David Strang in 1889. Freeze dried coffee was invented in 1938. Meanwhile decaffeinated coffee was invented by Ludwig Roselius in 1903. Melitta Bentz invented the coffee filter in 1908. Achille Gaggia invented the modern espresso machine in 1946. The first pump driven espresso machine was made in 1960. Meanwhile in the early 20th century the coffee table became a popular item of furniture.
During the Second World War coffee was rationed for a short time in the USA. Coffee rationing was introduced in November 1942 but it only lasted until July 1943.
With established relationships with traditional traders in London, Amsterdam and Hamburg and relationships with specialised companies in Brazil, UK, Belgium – it is the exceptional knowledge and experience of the L&Y team that gives Cafe Origin the confidence that we are buying the right coffee, at the right time and at the right price.
We are proud to partner with Lincoln & York, our coffee roaster for over a decade. Through their established and numerous relationships between growers and co-operatives, Cafe Origin coffee is sourced direct from the plantation, from coffee growers we know well.
Once a coffee tree is planted, it takes 3-5 years to mature into coffee cherries.The cherries usually turn a bright red colour and then the ripest cherries are carefully picked. Once picked, they are processed, dried (to less than 12% moisture) and sorted.
Before the coffee is shipped, a sample is tested for quality by one of our 4 Q graders. We source coffee from over 40 regions around the world which means our tasters test over 200 cups of coffee every day. The coffee is then shipped to us in sacks which, once emptied, we recycle into carpet underlay.
Once the beans are at our roastery, they are tested again for quality and then roasted on one of our six Brambati coffee roasters. In a year, we source, roast & pack enough coffee beans to make over 1.5 million cups of coffee everyday in the UK alone.
Diamond Logistics fulfilment centre based in Stoke on Trent provides Café Origin with a store, pick and pack service to distribute our range of products businesses nationwide, using express delivery networks. Depending on the size and location of the delivery, we work with DPD, DHL Domestic and TNT to deliver orders on our next day ETA service*
*applicable for orders placed before 3.30pm, Monday to Thursday.