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Coffee Roasting Trials in Brazil

Lilla recently organized a meeting at Café Pacaembu’s new plant in Brazil to demonstrate the advantages of roasting coffee with full control/profiles. More than 50 roasting companies were present including Santa Clara, and Café Iguaçu among others. Lilla demonstrated its new system to roast coffee, which can be used to maximize certain aspects of coffees. After several roasts, a cupping session was hosted by Eliana Relvas, a food engineer, with previous experience with the Sao Paulo Coffee Industry Union (Sindicafe-SP) and the Brazilian Coffee Roasters Association (ABIC). The session included cuppers from various roasting companies. Each roast was followed by a sample collection and analyzed by several specialists.

Lilla roasted several batches of the same sample to the same final color, changing only the profiles for each batch. The resulting cups were completely different, confirming that coffee can be dramatically altered by the roasting process. For example, bitterness can be reduced, acidity can be increased, and oil migration can be reduced even in darker roasts.

This full control of the roast process works simultaneously on four variables: roasting chamber temperature control; roasting chamber pressure control; hot air flow speed control; and roasting chamber rotation control

During further demonstrations, Lilla confirmed what the factors are that influence the roasting process and how new technology can help result in a perfect roast. Lilla also presented the results of several tests performed prior to the event and they matched the predicted cup profile.

Starbucks and EIPO Reach Agreement

Representatives of the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and senior leaders from Starbucks Coffee Company announced that they have agreed in principle to sign a licensing, distribution and marketing agreement that recognizes the importance and integrity of Ethiopia’s specialty coffee names.

This agreement will help to expand their ongoing collaboration to market and sell Ethiopia’s coffees. “Ethiopia is firmly committed to work in partnership with all international specialty coffee companies and distributors of its fine coffees, including Harar, Sidamo and Yirgacheffe. We realize our approach to trademarking, and licensing these coffee brands that originate in and represent the best of Ethiopia’s coffee heritage is a new approach that not only meets the needs of small Ethiopian fine coffee farmers and traders, but also the coffee roasting and distributing companies and their customers,” commented Getachew Mengistie, EIPO Director General. “Ethiopia is recognized as the historic birthplace of coffee and the source of some of the finest coffee in the world,” said Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman. “We’re extremely excited to continue to deepen our relationship with the Government of Ethiopia.”

Farmer Bros. Acquires Coffee Bean International

Farmer Bros. Co. has acquired Coffee Bean International (“CBI”). The privately held company, founded in 1972, is one of North America’s first roasters of specialty coffees.

CBI’s annual sales of more than $30 million have grown over the last three years at a compounded annual rate of 21%. Coffee Bean Intl. focuses on the upper end of the quality spectrum, serving several thousand customers nationally, including independent specialty coffee shops and larger, prestigious quality-oriented chains and private-label retailers. “We believe CBI will help re-ignite the growth of Farmer Bros. by establishing an immediate presence in the fast-growing market for specialty coffee,” said Rocky Laverty, president and c.e.o. of Farmer Bros. Co. “As CBI gains access to our capital strength and distribution capabilities, we believe it will be able to further capitalize on the opportunities for its specialty coffees and private-label programs.”

Farmer Bros. paid approximately $22 million in cash under a stock purchase agreement with Coffee Bean Holding Co., Inc., the parent company of Coffee Bean Intl. The final cash outlay will reflect various contingent adjustments. Farmer Bros. is planning additional investments in the CBI business, including improvements to the roasting plant in Portland that will increase CBI’s capacity.

Coffee Bean Intl. will continue to be based in Portland, Oregon and will operate as a separate company under its current leadership and management team. There are few overlaps between the two companies, which compete for different customers and offer distinct products and services. Coffee Bean Intl. provides specialty coffees to customers such as coffee houses and private-label retailers. Farmer Bros., in contrast, is an institutional coffee roaster that sells a variety of coffee and allied products to the foodservice industry. “CBI has a well-earned reputation for the highest quality products and for the effectiveness of its marketing and brand management programs. We are thrilled that the people who built this excellent reputation will continue with us in Portland,” said Guenter Berger, chairman and c.e.o. of Farmer Bros.

Tata Tea Buys Two Polish Brands

Tata Tea Ltd. reported that its Tetley Group subsidiary will buy the Vitax and Flosana brands from Premium Foods in Poland as it moves to increase its share of the fast-growing specialty tea segment. Tata Tea did not disclose financial details of the acquisition. The combined turnover of Vitax and Flosana brands is $23 million, Tata Tea said.

Vitax is a specialty tea brand, and its range of fruit, herbal and green teas will complement Tetley’s portfolio of black and Earl Grey teas, Tata Tea said. Premium Foods now distributes the Tetley, Vitax and Flosana brands in Poland, and that arrangement will continue.

The deal makes Tetley #2 in the Polish market, with a 10.5% market share and turnover of $36 million, Tata said. “There is significant potential to grow the market in Poland, and it makes sense for us to acquire an established and successful range of fruit and herbal products, rather than start afresh with a new Tetley range,” Garry Nield, Tetley Group’s managing director of Europe and emerging markets, said in a statement.

To submit a press release or for further information on Tea & Coffee's Trade News, please contact editor@teaandcoffee.net.

Tea & Coffee - June, 2007
Theta Ridge Coffee

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