september_coffee_marketCrop year 2013/14 is now finished in all exporting countries, and despite a year’s worth of speculation and persistent price volatility, total global production is nearly unchanged from last year at 145.2 million bags, according to the latest estimates from the International Coffee Organization.
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Nestle has released a series of science-psychedelia images showing coffee and a number of its common additives and condiments on a particle scale. The electron-scanning and florescence microscopy images were captured by Nestle’s own in-house food scientists, and as Nestle describes, they “reveal hidden worlds in everyday products.”
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The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) is asking for help to acquire samples of unique flavoured coffees for a research project they’re currently involved in.
The project, which the SCAA is working on in conjunction with World Coffee Research and Kansas State University, is to develop a flavour lexicon for coffee.
Flavour lexicons are tools for describing a selection of food or beverage and are commonly used in the wine and cheese industries.
“A flavour lexicon is simply a set of words to describe the flavour of a product or commodity,” said M.A Drake and G.V Civille, in Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety.
The lexicon provides a source list to describe a category of products, such as coffees.
“To develop this lexicon, we must provide researchers with samples of coffees featuring many different, unique flavours and sensory characteristics,” said the SCAA. “We are looking to our members to provide samples of their most distinctive, unusual, or interesting coffees for evaluation by a panel of professional tasters.”
The SCAA is seeking 4.5 kilogram sample packs of roasted coffee to be sent to Kansas State University along with tasting notes, and information regarding the grower and producer. These coffee samples will be used to develop a common language for comparing coffee.
“Once developed, flavour lexicons can be used to record and define product flavour, compare products, determine storage stability, as well as interface with consumer liking and acceptability,” said Drake and Civille.
Anyone interested in submitting a coffee can learn how to online:

Legendary taste professional Gail Vance Civille delivers a compelling story of sensory science and the coffee trade: how taste works, some of the tools available to us, and new frontiers in flavor analysis. This talk gives an important background to any taste professional’s exploration of the cutting edge of sensory science.

Not all coffee beans are created equal. In fact, it’s almost a class system.

On one side of the divide are Arabica beans, which are born into the privileged position of being considered worthy of the industry’s investment. On the other are Robusta beans, which are so dogged by deep, long-standing prejudice that never before has anybody dared to suggest they could contribute anything of value to decent society.
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