Chocolate & espresso muffins w/ brown butter & whipped honey

Chocolate & espresso muffin w/ brown butter & whipped honey

When you start your day of with a cup of coffee, do you ever happen to think about the farmer who harvested those cherries which eventually turn into coffee beans? Or perhaps know that in the future we might not be able to drink our daily cup of joe because of climate change?

Today I'd like to talk to you about the coffee growers in Ethiopia. These farmers and their families are threatened by deforestation and global warming. Coffee is very sensitive to a rise in temperature. It can lead to a loss of quality, a loss of productivity, or can even fail to survive. 

This is especially hurting the smaller farmers. They don't have the savings to compensate the losses. On the other hand though, these farmers aren't just victims of climate change, but also in part "guilty". 

Why is that? Well, almost everyone in Ethiopia uses firewood to cook with, which is one reason of deforestation. And deforestation contributes to global warming. 

This is why Fairtrade has offered coffee farmers to participate in the cookstove program. 15.000 families receive each two clean cookstoves: one for regular cooking and one to bake the Injera, a teff flour flatbread, with. These stoves reduce the use of firewood by 50 percent (!) , the release of harmful soot particles and CO2 emissions (up to 90 percent). Also, it saves women 30 minutes on cooking which allows them to focus on generating more income. 

The farmers pay for the cookstoves partly in cash, and partly with the carbon credits they receive by using the stove. Those carbon credits can be sold to companies and people in Europe who want to compensate their CO2 emissions. I will explain how this works in a minute, but it's much more easy (and more clear) to watch this video first.

So, why am I telling you this? Because like me, many of you are trying to eat more local, or fair, but what I often forget is the effect of climate change on producers. The example of the coffee growers in Ethiopia shows us that global warming & fairtrade production are actually very much intertwined. And if we don't pay attention, there's no coffee left to drink in twenty years or so. 

Here in the Netherlands, there are a few coffee roasters that have introduced a climate neutral & fairtrade coffee. These companies have reduced the amount of CO2 emissions by making changes in the coffee process, be it during the harvest, the processing, the transport, or the roasting. The coffee only gets this 'certificate' when they have reduced the effects the process has had on the climate to zero. This can be partly done by buying those carbon credits from small farmers, but not until the companies have taken measures to reduce emissions themselves first. And because the coffee growers are fairtrade certificated, they receive an honest price for their carbon credits. 

I hope this all makes sense. If not make these chocolate & coffee muffins first, and then try to read it once more. ;)

Chocolate & espresso muffins with brown butter & whipped honey

You need:

1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1/2 cup palm sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
120 ml/1/2 cup plant milk
60 ml/1/4 cup coffee, freshly brewed
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter or coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
100 gram chocolate, chopped roughly

How to make it:

1. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Grease a standard muffin tin or fill with paper liners.

2. Melt the butter in a small pan over medium heat, cook and swirl until solids turn light brown and the butter has a nice shade of amber. Remove from heat. Skip when using coconut oil.

3. In a bowl, combine milk, eggs, vanilla, butter/oil, and coffee. Stir.

4. In a second bowl, add the dry ingredients and mix. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.

5. Add the chopped chocolate but be careful not to overmix. 

6. Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

7. Cool for 15 minutes, remove from tin and leave to cool on room temperature.

8. The muffins keep well for 3-4 days in an airtight container outside the fridge.

This post was sponsored by Fairtrade Netherlands. Of course, my opinions are my own.