For some people both of these beverages can share a special place in their heart.
Consuming coffee and sipping wine are synonymous with sharing special moments and connecting with others. It is known that the fruits of the Rubiaceae (coffea) tree and the grapevine both have essential roles to play in different societies around the world.
Coffee and Wine; cultivated companions
There are interesting parallels between coffee and wine; third and seventh, respectively, on the list of beverages consumed most around the world.
Coffee bears the unique stamp of its origin, and, like wine, conveys a sense of time and place. Coffee is steadily growing in connoisseurship as more people take an interest in its roots and the meticulous process that transformed the cherry to a bean to a perfectly smooth cappuccino.
Let’s take a look at the similarities:
- Coffee and wine carry within them the particularity of their terroir.
Terroir is a French word which describes the complete natural environment in which a particular wine or coffee is produced, including factors such as the soil, topography, and climate. In other words, the characteristic taste and flavour imparted to wine or coffee by the environment in which it is produced. Promoting terroir to market coffee is a relatively new concept.
- Meticulous farming practices.
The successful outcome of the crop begins on the farm.
Both grapes and coffee beans require skilled care, which is labour intensive. The art of picking the perfectly ripened fruit at just the right time is one that takes season’s worth of care and attention to detail to acquire.
The bean picking process is not automated as the beans ripen at different stages over a period of months. After hand-picking, the red coffee cherries are hand-sorted. Coffee and wine production have longstanding traditions that add exclusivity to the crops harvested at each estate.
- It is a well-known fact that coffee and wine are produced in specific regions. The world's best coffee comes from only a few locations which lie in a band of tropical regions along the equator. This region has become known as "The Bean Belt." Coffee plants are very particular about where they grow best. They thrive in tropical environments at high elevations — ideally 1,600 – 2,000 meters above sea level. The most delicious beans come from cherries that are grown in an environment that has a perfect balance of humidity, heat, rainfall, elevation, and soil quality.
Grapes which are grown for wine production enjoy temperate conditions – a warm, dry summer and mild winters; found in Mediterranean type zones.
- Flavour compounds.
Masterful tasters from both sides describe coffee and wine by their aroma, flavour, body and acidity. Wine has about 200 flavour compounds, while coffee has almost 500. In other words,coffee stirs a superlative sensory experience.
- Attainable; not pretentious.
Coffee connoisseurs, baristas, and sommeliershave made the man on the street nervous about venturing into the art of coffee and wine appreciation at a layman’s level. Not everyone has, or even needs to have, any specialised knowledge to enjoy the alluringly splendid outcome of the painstaking processes involved in producing these two customary beverages.
Coffee Cherries and Grapes; not your average fruit.
Coffee requires masterful care from harvest to consumption; it is a delicate product. Green coffee beans age rapidly and absorb external odours and contamination easily. They are also sensitive to moisture during transport by sea. It is, therefore, best to process and roast the beans as quickly as possible, with minimal risk of damage or contamination. This can be achieved if the beans are processed and roasted at the same estate on which they are grown, harvested and packed for transportation to the consumer within days. Coffee reaches its optimal taste between 4 to 6 weeks after roasting but can maintain an outstanding taste profile for up to 18 months.
Grapes do not continue to ripen after they are picked; therefore, they should be harvested at optimal maturity. A temperature of approx. 0°C is recommended for the storage of grapes, at which they have a storage potential of several months.
In the production of coffee and wine, it is evident that minimising handling and transportation would lead to the best end-product. That is the reason why wine is processed and bottled at the estate. Imagine producing flawless grapes at the estate only to have them transported, already peeled, in sea containers, to be processed and made into wine on the other side of the world. Would that be considered wine of the highest quality? That is exactly what happens to over 90% of world’s coffee but the consumer is not aware of it.
Single Estate Coffee – because managing everything at one estate makes sense for so many reasons.
The key is to maintain meticulous attention to detail at every stage of the process, such as:
- Planting at the right altitude.
- Hand-picking only the most perfectly ripened fruit.
- Separating theskin of the fruit using the purest, mountain water, leaving the beans ready for impeccable fermentation and drying.
- Hand-selecting the best green beans to become the finest speciality coffee.
- Skilfully roasting the beans to a pristine finish.
- Packing and sealing immediately to ensure that all the unique qualities of the coffee are preserved.
- Ensuring timeous delivery to the consumer.
A consistent, high-quality coffee is guaranteed when using the finest high-mountain Arabica beans that are not mixed with any other estate’s coffee. When the coffee is sealed immediately after it is roasted at the estate it results in an exclusive and traceable product which is purely possible through the skilled craftsmanship that comes from years of experience.
To learn more about single estate coffee click here:
Heritage in your cup.