It took years before I started appreciating a good cup of coffee. For the longest time I thought I just wasn't that person. But coffee has grown on me. It started with flat whites, then lattes, and these days I even appreciate a good espresso. So now I've finally come love coffee, wouldn't it be a shame if it disappeared? What? No more coffee? Well, if we do nothing, yes probably. You see, temperatures are rising and are more unstable than say twenty to thirty years ago. This is affecting the harvest, because a coffee plant likes steady and predictable temperatures. Climate change is a threat, not only to our coffee culture, but more importantly (at least in my opinion), to the livelihoods of millions of farmers who can't risk another failed harvest due to the changing of the seasons, long periods of drought, and/or rising temperatures. Research in Tanzania showed that an increase of 1 degree Celsius, means losing 137 kilo of coffee per hectare. For you Americans out there, that means 22.000 cups of coffee! This is fact, not fiction. So we need to do something quickly.
This year, Fairtrade Netherlands and the Nationale Postcode Loterij have launched the Fairtrade Climate Academy. They train coffee farmers all over the world so they will learn how to face the changing climate. The academy teaches a range of different methods to these farmers, since the effects can change from country to country or even region to regain. Together, knowledge and skills are shared, so the farmers gradually learn how their business can become more resilient.
To give you an example, the academy helps farmers plant the crops in a new way. In Kenya, they have changed their methods of plowing and manuring and have added shade perennials. These measures will be taken in Ethiopia as well. Farmers are also being taught not to rely on coffee alone, but to also cultivate other draught-resilient crops such as sorghum and millet as well.
I think the academy is doing great work, but it can't face the challenges of climate change by itself. It's therefore also important that we, who buy and drink the coffee, become more aware of this worldwide problem. Especially us Dutchies: we are in the top five coffee consumers. The good thing about this is, we can actually help the farmers, and prevent coffee from becoming extinct! A win-win situation. Fairtrade and Peeze Coffee Roasters have created a special roast, which is aptly named "Coffee to Stay". By purchasing a bag, you support the academy and the local farmers.
Perhaps you're wondering, is this really necessary. What does it matter? As long as I buy coffee, I'm supporting the industry right? Well no, that's not always the case. Often, coffee is sold for a price that's too low. The farmers need money to invest in machinery, to become more resilient, and to make a decent living (a topic I haven't even talked about yet). So we need to pay a fair price for our coffee to help them and protect the coffee crop. These farmers often live in poor countries with the low gas emissions, yet they're the ones who are facing the consequences of our western lifestyle. I feel terrible about this and want to help.
So this Coffee to Stay is produced by farmers from the Machakos region (Kenya) who participate in the Fairtrade Climate Academy. Machakos is a poor area where 49,5% of the people lives of less than 1,5 dollar a day. You can help the farmers by buying their coffee. It's certified and purchased directly from the farmers themselves. A special bean, called the Peaberry, is used for this limited edition. Coffee to Stay is a high quality coffee with fresh citrus aromas, tones of walnut, a pleasant intensity of milk chocolate and a refined grapefruit aftertaste. The sound to that alone blows your mind doesn't it?
Before I start talking about the recipe I will be sharing today, I want to tell you a little story about the Peaberry. Did you know that most coffee beans are twins? Within each cherry you'll find on the coffee plant, two beans grow side by side. That's why most beans have one flat side. Peaberries, however, occur when only one of the two seeds is fertilized. It's growing on its own! You could call them individualists. As a result of this, many coffee experts say that each peaberry is infused with all the flavor and nutrition that is normally reserved for two beans. How cool is that?
With this superhero of a bean I decided to make a cup of bulletproof coffee. Why? I started making this drink a few years ago and recently it resurfaced on social media. I realized that I actually miss brewing it. Especially now winter is upon us. I'm having such a hard time getting up in the morning. It's also not much fun starting a brand new day with the lights on. Though after a cup of bulletproof coffee, I feel like I am ready to go. Especially when using these superb beans. So don't forget to check out Coffee to Stay, ok? Because we don't want coffee to go, right? (Yes, pun intended.)
Superhero bulletproof coffee
1 cup/250 ml unsweetened plant milk (I used almond)
1 tsp almond butter
1 tsp raw honey
1 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp raw cacao powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
a pinch of vanilla powder
1 cup/250 ml hot coffee (add as the last ingredient)
How to make it:
1. Heat the plant milk in a small pan over medium heat. Bring to a low boil.
2. In the meantime, add everything else, except for the coffee, to a blender. Add the milk and then lastly, the coffee. Blend for half a minute.
3. Pour into your coziest mug and enjoy right away!