Meet Recap: Recent Developments in Coffee
This week, the SCA Podcast is taking a quick break while we put the finishing touches on an upcoming lecture series recorded at last year’s World of Coffee event in Berlin. In the meantime, I’d like you to meet Recap. It’s our newest podcast! Every two weeks, Recap offers a brief overview of recent coffee developments in less than five minutes. If you like what you hear, subscribe by following the link in the show notes.
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Full Episode Transcript
Hi there! I’m Richard Stiller, a community manager at the SCA, and you’re listening to the SCA Podcast. This week, the SCA Podcast is taking a quick break while we put the finishing touches on an upcoming lecture series recorded at last year’s World of Coffee event in Berlin.
In the meantime, I’d like you to meet Recap. It’s our newest podcast! Every two weeks, Recap offers a brief overview of recent coffee developments in less than five minutes. If you like what you hear, subscribe by following the link in the show notes.
Welcome to Recap, a new podcast from the Specialty Coffee Association offering a brief overview of recent coffee developments every two weeks.
The monthly materials science journal, Matter, just published a study suggesting a new mathematical model for repeatable espresso extraction. Focused on the computational and physical attributes of espresso, the authors suggest that, if widely implemented, the protocol outlined in the study could significantly reduce coffee waste. Remarkably, the study was co-authored by Brisbane baristas Michael Cameron and Deschen Morisco, who tested the techniques of the study in a coffee shop. This study has already received significant attention from popular media outlets in the US and Australia. The study’s co-author, the computational chemist Christopher Hendon, will present the work at the SCA’s Specialty Coffee Expo in Portland this April.
Meanwhile, across the Pacific in the Philippines, the Taal volcano has erupted, covering coffee trees in thick volcanic ash. The ash causes the leaves of coffee trees to wither, effectively starving them of energy which in turn reduces their ability to mature fruit. To assist, the Philippines’ Department of Agriculture distributed water power sprayers to help remove the ash. It’s not a perfect solution: the intense spray sometimes removes flowers and nearly-mature coffee cherries. Although Taal’s eruption has caused considerable damage to many high-value crops in the area, coffee is reported to be the most affected. This will be a difficult harvest year for the affected Phillipino farmers, so the Department of Agriculture is also offering up to the equivalent of a million US dollars to affected farmers through a combination of cash aid and zero-interest loans. The effects of the eruption are likely to impact the country’s recent growth in specialty coffee production. A long-time producer of coffee, this is not the first time the Philippines’ coffee production has been decimated by environmental changes: a widespread influx of coffee rust at the turn of the twentieth century led local farmers to favor Robusta, Liberica, and Excelsa.
A recent feature in the New York Times explores a culture-shift in Saudi Arabia through the lens of coffee shops. In December, the government announced it would no longer require businesses to segregate their customers by gender. Since the law passed, some specialty coffee shops already pursuing a more inclusive vision can now continue to do so without fearing a visit from the country’s law enforcement. Reports suggest Saudi Arabia is the Middle-East’s fastest-growing coffee market and, in December 2019, the country held its first-ever sanctioned national barista championship. Ahmed Bahaa of Camel Step Coffee Roasters will fly to Melbourne, Australia to represent Saudi Arabia for the first time at the World Barista Championships in May.
If you want to dive deeper into anything you heard today, check out the links in the description of this episode. Recap will be back in two weeks’ time. Thanks for listening and have a great week!
You can also find Recap on iTunes, Spotify, or Transistor by searching for “Recap: Recent Developments in Coffee.” Have a story you think might be a good fit for Recap? Drop it into our contact form at scanews.coffee/contact or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for listening! We’ll see you again next week, when we kick off the 2019 World of Coffee Lecture Series.
- Espresso variability and repeatability research in Matter
- Taal Volcano Eruption
- “Saudi Society Is Changing. Just Take a Look at These Coffee Houses.” Vivian Yee for the New York Times.