Mast Brothers Respond to Chocolate Attacks — Grub Street

… chocolate. He argues, in part: Small bean-to-bar makers generally source cacao with distinctive flavor characteristics (and often, unfortunately, flaws) that persist, through minimalist processing, in the finished chocolate. But each Mast Brothers bar had a flat, roasty, anodyne flavor typical of industrial manufacturers using bulk cacao from western Africa. More suspiciously, the texture was as smooth and slick as store-bought couverture from a multinational behemoth, which is unimaginable from …

Chocolate prices to skyrocket thanks to strong winds and poor harvest

By Saffron Alexander – 30 November 2015 EXPERTS WARN CHOCOLATE PRICES COULD RISE NEXT YEAR CREDIT: LUKE SHARRETT/BLOOMBERG Experts have warned that chocolate prices are almost certain to rise next year, thanks to poor harvests in West Africa and strong winds caused by the El Nino weather system. Cocoa prices have been rising steadily over the last 15 years, and have now reached a four-year high with cocoa selling for …

African coffee: It’s not just for export anymore

By Sibusiso Tshabalala | October 15, 2015  A continental expansion is brewing. (Reuters/Noor Khamis) Java House, an East African coffee chain with 36 stores in Kenya and Uganda, is planning to get bigger, and much more far-flung. CEO Kevin Ashley tells Reuters that the company plans to open 12 locations per year, and that in five years it will have “a major presence in most of the major urban centers of Africa,” with new outposts in …

Efforts on to make tea industry climate-smart – The Hindu

… production and livelihoods in North-East India, revolving around climate variability, land-management practices and climate-smart agriculture practices It may be mentioned here that tea is a rain-fed perennial crop, which provides the main ingredient for one of the world’s most important beverages. It supports livelihoods across the humid regions of south and south-east Asia and east Africa. The physiology of tea plants is closely linked to external environmental and climatic factors …

America’s biggest coffee snobs are not in Seattle, but wide-eyed and alert in Alaska | Life and style | The Guardian

By Julia O’Malley, Anchorage | August 19, 2015 Barista Henri Thomas works the slow bar at SteamDot in Anchorage. Photograph: Ash Adams for the Guardian You think your Starbucks cold-brew coffee is trendy? People in Anchorage were buying bottled cold brew five years ago. As for your pour-over black cup made with single-origin beans from a small farm in Africa? Yawn. Fairbanks has been doing that since the 1990s. Little-known fact: …