Listened It’s coffee, but not as we know it Two long lost coffee species brought to light by Jeremy Cherfas

I’ll be honest, I thought I was pretty savvy about coffee taxonomy knowing that there were two kinds, arabica and robusta. Not surprisingly, perhaps, a research paper about “Coffea stenophylla and C. affinis, the Forgotten Coffee Crop Species of West Africa” caught my attention. And of course, as I should have known, there are scores of different coffee species. What is particularly intriguing about C. stenophylla, however, is that in its day people considered it a very fine coffee indeed. A 1925 monograph recorded that “The beans are said, by both the natives and the French merchants, to be superior to those of all other species.”

Another great listen Jeremy. I also like the new collections page.
Replied to Another cup of coffee culture Making friends with espresso by Jeremy Cherfas

Last episode, Jonathan Morris told me about the rise of coffee culture in Italy and how that changed as it made the move to London. Even long after the first proper espresso machines appeared in Soho, the UK was not a huge coffee drinker. Not so the United States, where coffee became an essential drug for the Union during the Civil War. In this episode, Jonathan Morris tells me how the habit lingered and grew into the bottomless cup of diner coffee. Along the way, we talked about Starbucks and about Friends, and the true history of the flat white.

Another interesting conversation with Jonathan Morris about the history of coffee, including a diplomatic discussion of the difference between Expresso and Nespresso.
Listened Pushing good coffee Beyond merely fair in search of ethical trade by Jeremy Cherfas

Walking down the supermarket aisle in search of coffee, I have this warm inner glow. If I choose a pack that boasts the Fair Trade logo, or that of any other third-party certifying agency, I’ll be doing good just by paying a little more for something that I am going to buy anyway. The extra I pay will find its way to the poor farmers who grow the coffee, and together enlightened coffee drinkers can make their lives better. But it seems I’m at least somewhat mistaken. Certified coffee is certainly better than nothing, but it isn’t doing as much good as I fondly imagine. And the price premium I pay could be doing a lot more.


In this episode I hear about coffee that’s more ethical than fair, and about some of the ways in which Fair Trade falls short.

I came upon this episode via Jeremy Cherfas’ response to two podcasts exploring coffee: In Our Time and Wake Up and Smell the Coffee.
Replied to Replied to One thing I see a lot is “for a cup o… (Jacky Alciné) One thing I see a lot is “f..I learned from a Norwegian friend the other day that it’s about £5/£6 for a cup of coffee in Norway… by Neil MatherNeil Mather

Replied to One thing I see a lot is “for a cup o… (Jacky Alciné) One thing I see a lot is “f..
I learned from a Norwegian friend the other day that it’s about £5/£6 for a cup of coffee in Norway…

Wow, that would be $10 a coffee in Australia. Thank goodness for instant 😬