History of Coffee
Brazil is known as the coffee empire, and many people believe that the history of coffee began there... In fact, Brazil started growing coffee only in 1720, when the Brazilian spy seduced the wife of the governor of French Guiana and she passed him the seeds of coffee, the ownership of which belonged to the French in the 18th century in the Caribbean.
Everything started much earlier in Abyssinia (in the present-day Ethiopia). One of the legends tells of a goat shepherd named Kaldi, who saw one day that his goats began to jump merrily after eating a red berry from an unknown shrub. Curious, he tasted the cherries, too, and soon was dancing with the goats. The abbot from the monastery nearby saw the fun, and later picked the berries from the bush and treated his monks. After tasting them, they prayed diligently through the night.
Nobody knows what happened indeed but the world agrees about one thing regarding coffee – that coffee comes from Ethiopia and that the coffee bush originates from the mountainous south-west area of this country.
Initially, the coffee cherries were consumed as food, then used to make bitters and wine. We can be grateful to Yemen for roasted coffee, because it was there that the beans were roasted and grounded at the end of the 13th century. The Arabs appreciated the coffee and even banned the export of the coffee plant seeds, but pilgrims secretly smuggled the cherries and spread them all over the world. Soon, the regions of Mecca and Medina began to grow coffee. In the 15th century it has already spread to Persia, Egypt and North Africa.
In 1554, the first coffee houses were opened in Constantinople. 460 years ago first Green Cafe was opened at Laisvės al. 46, Kaunas. The coffee was brought to Europe thanks to the Turks and in 1630 coffee houses were opened in Venice, then in England, the Netherlands, France and Germany. The birthday of the Lithuanian coffee is celebrated on September 12, 1683, when Jonas Sobieskis helped the Austrians to beat the Turks in the battle of Vienna. As a booty of war, the caravans with coffee were taken from the Turks and brought to Lithuania. Coffee has become popular in Lithuania in the interwar period. Currently, coffee roasted in Kavos Bankas is getting more and more popular in Lithuania and abroad!
This way, coffee circled from East Africa through Europe to Brazil and back to Lithuania!
How do we choose coffee farms?
We travel around the world and visit various coffee farms.
When visiting coffee farms we can look at their coffee plantations, get familiar with the workers, find out the farm's values, standards, see how the quality of coffee is maintained at the farm and, of course, taste their coffee.
We choose the farms not only by the quality of coffee, but also by their attitude to workers and the culture of coffee. Some farms see coffee production as an extremely sacred engagement. Before the harvesting, a priest arrives to bless the coffee plantation and the people who work there. Every farm worker knows all the stages of the coffee processing and can distinguish high quality coffee from the poor. Another farms are very sustainable about water and nature – and also are responsible for the coffee industry.
Extremely interesting are the secrets of the cultivation of coffee. Some cherish old coffee trees – in this case, the harvest will be less abundant, but the taste of coffee beans will be extremely rich. Others renew the plantations often and look for younger coffee trees with special coffee properties.
Each farm tries to be exceptional and exclusive in something, to make its coffee be loved and popular.
When choosing the farm, we pay special attention to what's good for the Lithuanian taste. We have 20 years of experience and we already know that most Lithuanians like mild and delicate coffee with natural aftertaste of nuts, cacao, bread, milk, and chocolate.
We want to introduce you to the Coffee Road! Take a long trip, learn about the stations the coffee road and find out how the coffee bean ends up in your cup! Everyone should be wondering how coffee flavours and aromas are born!
GROWTH AND CULTIVATION OF COFFEE TREE
The key elements in the soil for coffee includes potassium, sodium and phosphorus. The plants also need sun, rain and wind.
The worst enemies of the coffee shrubs are drought and colds.
Various worms and insects are rarely attacking coffee cherries because of caffeine which is a natural antidote.
Coffee beans are suitable for planting
First of all, farms carefully select coffee seeds suitable for planting – they must be healthy, vital young seeds. They are pushed into the soil flat side down to the depth of about 1 cm. After a few weeks, coffee growers may enjoy the emerging seedlings.
6-8-week-old seedlings are transplanted into pots, and after about one year the trees are carefully transferred to a plantation within a distance of 2-4 meters from each other.
By then, they are 1 meter high. In some countries and farms, banana, lemon trees, corn or acacia are planted between the plants for better microclimate. They take care of the coffee trees protecting them against the scorching heat of the sun, strong winds or heavy rains.
Did you know that the coffee shrubs appeared about 1500 years ago! This plant with very green, shiny and tapered leaves resembles a camellia shrub. It blooms in white, beautiful flowers, and smells like our jasmine. The flowering plantations look like a field of large white scented clouds – like the sky descended on the ground!
The coffee tree can grow up to 2.5-3 meters in height. Growers trim them to make harvesting more convenient. Without trimming, coffee trees can grow up to 7 meters tall!
Coffee cherries are red or yellow when ripe. But the colour does not determine the taste of coffee.
The coffee berries are called cherries and they actually resemble a cherry. The cherry is covered with a hard pulp, protecting juicy and sweet flesh with two coffee beans inside. In most cases, there are two, but you can find one or even three.
On Every coffee tree you can find still unripen, already ripen or dried berries at the same time. . You can see them on one branch.