Colombia Sensory Trial: What difference does variety make?

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Can a coffee variety bred for performance match a natural variety in aroma, fragrance, and taste?

World Coffee Research (WCR) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) are partnering to find out. The Colombia Sensory Trial will subject two leading Colombian coffee varieties, Caturra and Castillo, to a rigorous, independent analysis to answer that question.

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Welcome to Volcafe

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Volcafe Specialty Coffee has a long history in coffee that dates back to 1851 when two brothers began a trading company that included a coffee venture in India. From that beginning, Volcafe Specialty Coffee was established in 2001, dedicated to sourcing and promoting the production of high quality and single origin coffees from smallholders, cooperatives and estates worldwide. They actively seek to promote, encourage and assist in ecological and sustainable coffee production, and chose recently to support World Coffee Research through the Check-Off program.

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Challenge prize catalyzes international effort on potato taste in East African coffee

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June 23, 2014—Could a single insect cause the mysterious “potato taste” defect plaguing coffee in Africa’s Great Lakes region?  In Rwanda, the “antestia bug” (antestiopsis orbitalis) not only destroys up to 38% of coffee crops, but likely causes the taste defect, which costs the Rwandan coffee sector millions of dollars per year, causes huge losses in Burundi, and harms the Democratic Republic of Congo’s nascent coffee industry.  Joseph Bigirimana, Winner of the 2014 Potato Taste Challenge Prize, and his team will use the nearly $20,000 prize purse to pilot interventions aimed at testing whether controlling antestia will reduce potato taste.  Based at Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB)—the Rwandan government’s agricultural research institute—Bigirimana will partner with Dr. Dick Walyaro and Dr. Theodore Aswiimwe (also from RAB) in his potato taste mitigation efforts.

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Welcome to Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters

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The Dancing Goats Coffee Bar in Olympia, Washington is a nearly historic coffee business, which came to life in 1988, before the Pacific Northwest became home to the coffeehouse boom. It was started by Larry and Cherie Challain and was the beginning of Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters.

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Welcome to Reunion Island Coffee

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WCR welcomes Reunion Island Coffee as a new member.

Reunion Island Coffee was founded in 1995 by Peter Pesce, who is a past Chairman of the Coffee Association of Canada and has played a key role in the development of the national specialty coffee market. It is a family business, and now Adam Pesce continues the family business.

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Café Imports Checks-Off for WCR

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Café Imports, green coffee importers in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is now taking part in the WCR Check-Off program for roasters and importers. The Check-Off program makes it possible for every roaster and importer, no matter how small, to support the research being done by WCR. For more information about how you can make a difference with the Check-Off program, see this page.

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Can you hear your coffee now?

Is your coffee calling?

If you think about listening to your food, you are probably thinking of popcorn or maybe Rice Krispies in a bowl of milk.

But what about coffee? For those who roast their own coffee, Preston S. Wilson, an associate professor in the University of Texas at Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering, has some news about listening to coffee.

Modern technology makes it possible for anyone to control roast time and temperature, varying roast levels to affect flavor and aroma of the final product.

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Harvest in sight for World Coffee Research

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by Tim Schilling, Executive Director

Over the past two years, we have been very busy building the WCR program and brand.  We’ve fostered collaboration among producing country coffee research institutions resulting in a stronger industry R&D division to tackle the production and quality constraints today and those that will come tomorrow. We have gone beyond our ‘start up’ phase of activity and we are now ready to begin reaping the harvest from our core research program which is being put into place at this very moment.

Tim Schilling talking to South Sudanese coffee growers.

Tim Schilling talking to South Sudanese coffee growers.

In the last part of 2013, we developed a Global Development Alliance (GDA) program with USAID to strengthen the research and farmers assistance programs in the fight against the coffee leaf rust. Besides USAID, the program includes other partners (Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture, PROMECAFE, CATIE, CIRAD, and Universidade Federal de Viçosa in Brazil) which all work together with us to achieve these important objectives (see story).

Over this next year you will witness the release of the first genetic diversity analysis of the Arabica collection through whole genome sequencing of each accession.  This analysis will tell us how much more genetic diversity exists in the Arabica species compared to the handful of varieties being cultivated throughout the world.  The analysis will also tell us how to use the information to the benefit of the producer and the coffee industry. This piece of work is transformational as it will usher in the next generation of coffee varieties that are high in quality, stable in yielding ability, resistant to most coffee pests and resilient to the effects of climate change.

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Rebuilding the Central American coffee industry

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Keeping Coffee on the Table

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Coffee production from fields like these, may fall by as much as 15-40% in the coming years, which could trigger job losses exceeding 500,000, and make coffee more expensive in the U.S.

The largest project of its type for Texas A&M AgriLife aims to reconstruct a Central American coffee industry still recovering from the coffee rust disease epidemic that devastated the region to the tune of $1 billion in the harvest season of late 2012 alone.

The research project, an almost $5 million Global Development Alliance (GDA) with principal partners at Texas A&M University, will focus research efforts in coffee-producing regions of Central America, the Caribbean, and Peru.

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World Coffee Research Sensory Project launched

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Not just another cup of Joe

When you drank your morning coffee, did you slurp with approval and then think, Ah, a bit of earthy floral. Or did you gag and reach for a spittoon as you thought Ashy, with a chemical/medicinal undertone?

Historically, coffee tasters have attempted to measure aspects of coffee taste such as aroma, oiliness, sweetness, and mouthfeel. This is called coffee cupping and involves sniffing the coffee deeply and then slurping the coffee so it spreads onto the back of the tongue, followed by the use of a spittoon to expel the coffee. Although coffee cupping follows strict protocols, methods followed in industry are varied and within cuppers there are many permutations.

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