Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Because it's about time we had another coffee post

409 Responses

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  • Danielle, in reply to Sacha,

    It's all drip pots, all the time...

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Danielle,

    It's all drip pots, all the time...

    As opposed to potty drips.

    [snorkel]

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young,

    Sorry, but this has nothing to do with caffeine consumption:

    Ugandan LGBT rights activist David Kato has just been murdered after winning a court battle against the Ugandan tabloid Rolling Stone, which had published the names of numerous LGBT Ugandans. For the last few years, Yoweri Museveni's corrupt regime has been trying to pass legislation that would institute the death penalty for repeated acts of lesbian and gay sex- National Resistance Movement David Bahati's "Anti-Homosexuality Bill".

    Amnesty International, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and the European Union have all condemned this. It's time that all of us took action against Uganda's regime and forced them to abandon its homophobic extremism and drop this murderous legislation.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 573 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    It's all drip pots, all the time...

    No instant? Ouch. When I worked in a corporate environment, I got sick of drip pots and instant, and sick of paying for the good stuff downstairs. A one-cup plunger saved me. Then it enslaved me.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Gabor Toth, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    I roast my own beans at home, partly for economic reasons but mostly for amusement....

    Hi Stephen. Have also been roasting at home for about 18 months, and there does seem to be a lot of variance in the beans. Trade Aid in Auckland sells green beans, and seem to have quite a variety, but I have mostly purchased mine from Espresso Workshop, now in Falcon Lane Parnell

    Green Bean House seems to have the best value green beans of those I've tried and I've had no issues with the quality. Likewise I started home roasting mostly to save money but also to be able to guarantee the freshness of the beans. There was a bit of a learning curve to begin with, but overall, it really is dead-easy. It also made me aware of the huge mark-ups that must occur as the beans get passed from person-to-person (or corporate to corporate) from the farmer to the cafe / shop. The pathetic amount a coffee farmer makes per kilo wouldn't anywhere so miserly if the mark-ups that occur at each step between the farmer and the Western coffee drinker weren’t so high (I suspect that those controlling the flow of Fair Trade coffee are just as guilty of this practice).
    A case in point - I use Brazilian beans as a base for my blends which cost me only $11.30 a kilo bought in 4kg bags (1kg green = c.850grams roasted). These same beans would sell roasted for $30+ retail.
    I may have up to 12 kg of various origin green beans sitting in my cupboards at any time but the great thing is that until they are roasted, they have a very long shelf life.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2006 • 137 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Gabor: actually, I suspect a lot of the markup for roasted vs green beans reflects how perishable roasted beans are. As soon as you roast, you've taken something that's good for at least a year and turned it into something that must be sold within a few days. As for the price of coffee in beverage form, rent and labour are the big contributors.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi, in reply to Gabor Toth,

    (I suspect that those controlling the flow of Fair Trade coffee are just as guilty of this practice).

    Not really. For non-fair trade coffee, much of the increase in price along the production chain for coffee beans happens at the middlemen who buy the beans from the farmers-they’ll pay them an absolute pittance (often not even enough to cover the farmers’ costs for things like fertilizer, which leads to very real instances of debt slavery) and then they’ll sell the beans on at a horrendous markup.

    For fair trade coffee, the middlemen are replaced by farmers’ collectives themselves, who generally match the prices of the non-fair trade beans, but then return the actual profits back to the farmers and their communities. The fair trade organisations who then buy from the collectives and distribute the coffee locally are usually not-for-profits, so the additional markup there is only intended to cover costs (but still tends to make fair trade coffee slightly more expensive than non-fair trade coffee.)

    I won’t comment on the further markup that happens once the beans are delivered to your local cafe though, but again, that’s a pretty significant step.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Sandra Simpson,

    Slightly offtopic, but pertaining to this or any post on Public Address - where's the "printable version" option gone?

    I'm not made of printer certridge ink! :)

    Tauranga • Since Jan 2007 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Sandra Simpson,

    Sandra, have you tried printing yet? The separate print stylesheet for the new site should really strip out navigation text, graphic headers and suchlike.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher, in reply to Sacha,

    Yah, that's how it works. There's now no need for a separate printer version - it will automatically strip the side column, header and images just print the content.

    Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale, in reply to BenWilson,

    No instant? Ouch.

    There's definitely instant in the supermarket. I don't think it can be solely for the benefit of New Zealanders who buy a tiny jar and keep it around for years so they can make that one Alison Holst biscuit recipe. Though who knows.

    (I can't find the recipe online, oddly. I might have to dig it out and post it.)

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 471 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn, in reply to Amy Gale,

    New Zealanders who buy a tiny jar and keep it around for years so they can make that one Alison Holst biscuit recipe

    Or add a teaspoonful to a chocolate cake!

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Yah, that’s how it works. There’s now no need for a separate printer version – it will automatically strip the side column, header and images just print the content.

    I discovered this change the other week, as I have to print to pdf web pages quite a bit for my new job.

    Fan-diddly-tastic to whichever bright spark got that into browsers.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to Amy Gale,

    There’s definitely instant in the supermarket.

    Yes. It's just that I never saw anyone use it. At least, not in Louisiana or Texas.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale, in reply to Danielle,

    [There’s definitely instant in the supermarket.]

    Yes. It’s just that I never saw anyone use it.

    Yeah, me neither. Except for aforementioned biscuits.

    I think it must be the same people that are buying the aerosol frosting, uncrustables, cookie crisp cereal and other products that everyone I actually know swears they have never even tried.

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 471 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    I've been trying to come up with a riff about how making a good coffee is like making luurve to a beautiful woman, but it's far too filthy for public consumption.

    Grinding beans, dripping fluids, and using your steaming wand until it's hot and frothy.....

    Coat, getting, etc

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    Fan-diddly-tastic to whichever bright spark got that into browsers.

    The potential has been there for ages, just that many web designers don't bother - just like accessibility features that are often broken in implementation for no good reason.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    No instant? Ouch.

    Amidst making some interesting points, an agitated Gingercrush in the Standard's comments will be relieved that chardonnay socialists have finally conceded the beverage's existence, comrades:

    And the left and in particular the liberal left really have no fucking clue about how society works. I was reminded of this as I read this hilarious piece at Public Address. http://publicaddress.net/hardnews/because-its-about-time-we-had-another-coffee/. 245 posts.Could the liberals be anymore pathetic. And in those 245 replies not one fucking commentator there picked up the fact that actually most New Zealanders still like their instant coffee.

    And its that very attitude displayed so evident by those commentators. You’re completely out of fucking touch. That same attitude is increasingly displayed by Labour and the Greens. Sure those MPs can and do sympathise with the poor. Just as the liberals on Public Address do.But you’re not living that situation and giving 10 dollars isn’t going to make such people smile. And I’m not sure bashing the rich do you any good. The poor actually aren’t worried about the rich. You can’t bash the rich and give small pickings and expect those low income earners will be grateful.

    It's a joyless world.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rich Lock,

    how making a good coffee is like making luurve to a beautiful woman

    As a short black drinker I'm not sure I like your metaphor..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    But... I don't get how liking instant coffee would make me understand what it's like to live in poverty...

    Perhaps I'm reading it too literally.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Danielle,

    To me, it's the notion that you can only talk about either coffee or politics, and that this site is somehow a hotbed of smug luxury lifestyle discussions.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Sacha,

    It's a joyless world.

    There's always chicory.

    ETA: When you start looking for social commentary in coffee discussions, well, you can join the dottiness.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to recordari,

    join the dottiness

    Tee-worthy
    (or is that not political enough either)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Sure those MPs can and do sympathise with the poor. Just as the liberals on Public Address do.But you’re not living that situation and giving 10 dollars isn’t going to make such people smile.

    Oo, I LOVE it when people lecture me about not understanding poverty! I assume most people who raise two kids on an invalid's benefit grow up to be conservatives...

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to recordari,

    There’s always chicory.

    Which was a pretty common coffee additive in Louisiana, because they were poor. OMG, did we just get political?

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

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