As a non-coffee drinker, I’m not the most likely person to go on a visit to a coffee roasters. But I’m glad I did last week. I learnt a lot from Paul Meikle-Janney and Damian Blackburn of Darkwoods coffee, a small speciality roaster in the midst of the Pennines, near Huddersfield, UK. Despite their small size they have a global perspective, which comes across in this interview as they take us across the globe through the changing world of coffee – worth over $100bn/yr according to Business Insider.
Paul Meikle-Janney (left) and Damian Blackburn (right)
They discuss fair trade for farmers and the prices paid to them, the expanding areas producing coffee and their impact, threats to coffee from climate change and loss of biodiversity and action to address these, how habits have changed in the UK and how a tiny company can fare against the coffee giants of the world. They also explain the impact the origin, variety, processing, roasting, brewing and the water have on the taste of a cup of coffee and what they do to support World Coffee Research in its work.
You can download a handy ppt by Dr Christoph Sänger, Senior Economist
International Coffee Organization, to a meeting in 2018 at UNCTAD summarising the world situation and outlook here. If you want to know more about the current state of the coffee market then go to the International Coffee Organisation website. One surprise to me was that Vietnam is now the second biggest producer of coffee in the world after Brazil.