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July 2004 Newsletter

Changes are the subject of this month’s newsletter. The first and most obvious change will be to the coffee packaging. Increasing prices for my existing bags have led me to explore other possibilities, so from now on the coffee will be packed in valved, zip-lock resealable “stand up” pouches. The cost of small bag packing will increase as well, but the resealable nature of the new bags means that ordering in larger bag sizes is now more feasible.What won’t be possible is getting 10 x 200g bags into a single postage satchel, 8 x 250g bags will be the absolute maximum.

The next big change has been brought about by the growth of the business; I’m finally going to employ someone (on a casual basis) to help with coffee grinding and packing. Most people won’t notice any difference, but those of you who order by sending me a quick email (usually quite terse, along the lines of “Same again” or “The usual”) are going to find delays in getting your orders filled.

My employee will be able to print out and fill orders placed via the website, but won’t have access to my email account. There’s also the point that my new employee won’t know what your “Usual” is, so things will slow down until I get on to them myself.

Changes to fuel prices mean that the courier fee for local Melbourne delivery has gone up as well, and the order pages have been adjusted to reflect this. And finally, speaking of order pages, I’ve put up an equipment order page for most of the current equipment items I sell. I’ve struggled on-and-off for the last couple of years to work out a method of programming in delivery costs, but because Australia Post uses both weight and “cubing” it’s basically impossible. Too much depends on who’s using the tape measure!

Some things don’t change, and one of the things that hasn’t changed in the last millennium is this month’s special. A bit of history is in order: coffee originated in Ethiopia, but the first records of coffee cultivation and roasting come from what was then Arabia and is now Yemen, and start around 1000 A.D. That’s why it’s Coffea Arabica. Al Mokha, the port where all the coffee in the world was shipped from up until the 1700’s, is the origin of the name Mocha.

“Mocha” as a blend of coffee and chocolate was an attempt to approximate the taste of the real thing with inferior coffees. The coffee has been grown and processed in exactly the same way for the last 1000 years. See http://www.yemenmocha.com for the full story.

Of course, it’s just my luck that the first bags of green Yemeni Mocha to come to Australia in the last 10 years are also the “best of the best” and the most expensive bulk green coffee I’ve ever bought. So this month’s special is:

YEMEN MOKHA ISMAILI
$48.00/kg

How to describe it? Well, once you get past the “like angels dancing on my tongue” poetry it’s got a subtle front palate acidity, moving into a malty, fruity middle palate. The finish and aftertaste is absolutely smooth, pure chocolate.

This is an exquisite, aromatic, complex coffee with a full body and beautiful balance. I would rate it as one of the top 2 or 3 coffees available in the world today. It also makes a fabulous single bean espresso, with a deep, rich reddish crema and a persistent chocolate aftertaste. Tom at Sweetmarias loves it too, see http://www.sweetmarias.com/coffee.arabia.yemen.html Do yourself a favour and taste it while it lasts, which I doubt will be very long! It may well be another 10 years until you see it again.


Alan