The world is becoming obsessed with everything organic. Today, producers of the majority of food product categories have embraced organic; coffee and tea are no exception. More and more companies are coming on board, seeing, first and fore- most, an economic opportunity: after all, con- sumers of organic products are willing to pay a “purity” premium. Here it is, this new idea that can rejuvenate the market... right? Unfortunately, things are not quite so simple. I began thinking about this topic after I heard a presentation at the annual meeting of the FAO’s Intergovernmental Group on Tea in May of this year (see pp. 26-27). In
discussions after the meeting, I heard people say that switching to organic tea means much lower yields, and, consequently, lower production volume. Besides, entering and staying in the organic business requires services such as certification, which are still very expensive, meaning that access to the field is still difficult for small farmers. Thus, many obstacles remain on the road to organic, and the only thing that can make the entry into this lucrative business more affordable is an increased demand.
But there is another side to this problem, the side that has to do exclusively with coffee and tea. These beverages are known all over the world as natural and healthy. It is these very properties that are the cornerstone of the millennia-long love affair between people and tea and coffee.But if we keep talking about “organic” with respect to these products, the consumer may get the idea that the other, “non-organic”, coffee and tea aren’t quite as “natural” and “healthy”. And if this “organic” sentiment takes hold of the consumers’ minds, the mass market for traditional coffee and tea may suddenly crash! I think this possibility deserves serious discussion among industry professionals; at the very least, major market players should consider various hypothetical scenarios involving this outcome.
In this issue our readers will find information on many other top- ics of current interest – history, economics, new informational technologies in the field of coffee and tea, as well as about new ways of motivating consumers and professionals to deepen their knowledge of coffee and tea and of ways of preparing them.
Editor-in-Chief Ramaz Chanturiya
3 CALENDAR OF EVENTS
14 The“RussianGerman”Wogau family business: from tea to banks and factories
18 Mobile Сoffee, mobile Tea
22 La Roya — the sunset of Central America?
26 Certification in organic agriculture
28 Tea, Coffee and Health. Science news
32 Exporting countries: domestic consumption
32 Non-members net imports of all forms of coffee from all sources
Danny Johns, Ultimate Barista Challenge: “This Competition Simply Had to Happen!”
32 Per capita disappearance in importing countries
33 Who drinks the most tea?
33 Coffee consumption around the world
34 Danny Johns Ultimate Barista Challenge: “This competition sim- ply had to happen!”
36 In search of the perfect cup OR Behind the scenes at a tea compe- tition.
40 ADVERTISER INDEX