Wednesday, June 22, 2005


the beginning of good news?

"african coffee farmers are benefiting from a rise in global prices, but higher income will only start translating into increased output and better quality after the next season, coffee officials said on wednesday."

perhaps this will finally be the beginning of the end of the coffee crisis.

but just getting farmers more money next year won't be enough -- the entire basis of the current coffee market(s) remains unsustainable, unsound, and unfree. anyone who argues that the current coffee markets are free and fair has never been to origin to watch the so-called "coyotes" and local strongmen force farmers to "sell" their coffee to them at absurdly low prices.

and they have never spoken to an artisan specialty roaster about how the specialty spot market is an un-level playing field that likewise rips them off.

and anyone who argues that both of these practices are rare or unusual has been in the coffee business for about 5 minutes -- or is probably part of the corrupt system themselves!

since all of this come down to us, coffee-drinking consumers, it means we too are unknowingly ripped off; with low-quality coffee, coffee that doesn't return to the farmers what we think we are paying them, etc. etc.

but enough of my usual rant. . .let us now discuss safety with the cafetiére (that's a french press to you!). yuppers, when you plunge the pot, it's crucial to press slowly and firmly, to keep both hands on the pot, and if you meet resistance, to pull the plunger back up.

then you can try stirring or pushing down again -- slowly. resistance like this is usually caused because the grind is too fine!

and the problem this resistance can cause is backsplash, as you press down too quickly or with too much force and drive the 195-degree liquid back up through the sides of the press filter. this can lead to one severely burned wrist!

another important way to prevent backsplash is to turn the pouring slot in the lid around away from the pour spout. this is the one that got me!

posted by fortune | 10:35 AM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 0 comments

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