ABOUT UNION

WHO WE ARE AND WHAT WE DO

ABOUT UNION

UNION DIRECT TRADE

MORE THAN JUST PAYING A FAIR PRICE

UNION DIRECT TRADE

BREWING TIPS

BREW COFFEE LIKE A PROFESSIONAL

BREWING TIPS

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Hello I have recently returned from competing in the World Coffee In Good Spirits Championship in Shanghai where, for the first time, the organisers introduced a really exciting, interactive Spirit Bar round.

This new concept works like a mystery ingredient challenge – the barista can brew coffee using any filter brewing method that they like, but they have to brew on stage. They are given 5 minutes to brew up and make their two cocktails. Easy enough?

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In March I published a blog article on the complexity and issues around the cost of coffee production and my experiences from speaking to coffee farmers. Unsurprisingly I received lots of comments from people around the world equally passionate about the subject. I wanted to use this second blog post as a chance to follow up on your comments…

A couple of weeks ago an article on modern slavery in the coffee sector was shared by Sprudge, a well-known on-line coffee magazine.
Two of the world’s biggest coffee companies, Nestlé and Jacobs Douwe Egberts, admit that beans from Brazilian plantations using slave labour may have ended up in their coffee because they do not know the names of all the plantations that supply them.’ (The Guardian)

Michael Sheridan had already written a very insightful blog series on the issue.

The Ethical Trading Initiative has been very involved with developing training and raising awareness about the Modern Slavery Act 2015 .

However, the subject is so sensitive, that at first I really didn’t want to write about it. The article on Sprudge created quite some commotion, and I didn’t want to mix into the discussion. What struck me most about the reactions was that people were very upset and afraid that it would do harm to the overall Brazilian Coffee Sector.

Scottish-Aeropress-Championship
April 21st sees the third edition of the Scottish Aeropress Championships taking place – for the first time – in Edinburgh, at Summerhall.

The competition will take the format of 36 competitors, each brewing the same coffee in no more than ten minutes, using the Aerobie Aeropress. The winning cup will be chosen on its ability to make the judges “want to finish the whole cup”. This is a slightly more light-hearted competition and is often beer-fuelled and fun (I participated last year after a few pints and about 30 minutes of practice. Needless to say – I didn’t proceed to the later stages). The winner of each national championship goes on to represent their country at the World Aeropress Championship which coincides with the World Barista and World Brewers Cup Championships. This year the world final will be held in Dublin but the finals have been held in Rimini, Seattle, Melbourne, Portland and other far-flung venues – so it’s a nice trip for the winner!

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