This blog will focus mainly (but not exclusively) on coffee cultivation past and present. The blog’s title, “coffee cultures,” plays on multiple senses of the word “culture,” referring on the one hand to ‘the customs, civilization, and achievements of particular times and pople’; and on the other hand to ‘the cultivation of plants and the soil.’ It will occasionally follow the life of coffee beyond the farm, from ‘plantation to cup,’ since coffee production and consumption are intimately intertwined. I hope that this blog will become a complement to the superb Coffee and Conservation blog, which I follow regularly. This blog will have more of a historical flavour, focusing on coffee production in the past as well as the present. It will also pay attention to the origins and development of the many different coffee cultures operating today, including the conventional ‘commodity’ coffees, as well as specialty and certified coffees. In short, we’ll be talking about “good” coffee and “bad” coffee alike, and also pondering what it means for different kinds of coffee (and different kinds of coffee cultivation) to be judged as “good” or “bad.”
If you are more interested in the life of coffee from the roaster to the consumer — in reviews of coffee equipment, recommendations for good cafés, and news about the contemporary coffee industry, the Coffee Geek website is a wonderful starting point. If specialty coffee is your thing, check out the Specialty Coffee Association of America for a wealth of information. The International Coffee Organization has a wealth of general production and consumption statistics, and much other coffee-related material besides. For information on Fair Trade coffee, visit Fairtrade International.