Before You Buy an Espresso Machine, Consider This . . .

Written by John R. Barker

A really good cup of espresso is one of life's finer pleasures. And a surprising number of factors contribute (or take away from)repparttar quality of your coffee drinking experience.

Of course,repparttar 113084 quality ofrepparttar 113085 machine producing your espresso is a significant consideration. It's just as important asrepparttar 113086 coffee beans you brew.

Here are some simple, yet important guidelines when selecting an espresso machine for your home, business or office use.

Machine Look and Design:

Ask any barista; Making a good cup of espresso is an art form. The best espresso machines, largely influenced by their Italian roots, are themselves a work of art. Givenrepparttar 113087 wide variety of high performance machines available, you'll want to select a machine that complements your own unique style.

Quality ofrepparttar 113088 Machine:

Isrepparttar 113089 machine consistent? Is it easy to use? Doesrepparttar 113090 company back it with a long-term warranty? Arerepparttar 113091 key parts made of high quality materials? Or doesrepparttar 113092 machine feature mostly plastic?

Convenience and Usability:

Some of us want to push a button and letrepparttar 113093 machine dorepparttar 113094 work. Others of us want to be intimately involved with each step ofrepparttar 113095 brewing process. Some machines come with a built in grinder - and other will require you purchase a special grinder. Think hard about how much effort you're willing to put into making a drink when you crawl out of bed!

What is Sustainable Coffee and How Does it Affect My Wake Cup?

Written by Copyright 2005

Gourmet coffee lovers have been seeing a few new terms inrepparttar local premium coffee shop as they file pastrepparttar 113083 seasonal retail displays of roasted whole bean bagged coffees. Phrases include eco-friendly, organic, shade grown, fair trade and certified sustainable. Most often those beans seem torepparttar 113084 casual buyer to be simply more expensive thanrepparttar 113085 corporate mega-brands.

But these few phrases represent far more than at first glance, including economic and social gains forrepparttar 113086 growing regions and farmers, harvesters and processors of green coffee beans atrepparttar 113087 local level. Sustainable coffee means premium prices and quality coffee due to organic farming practices, fair market payment for beans to local growers and quality controls being adopted byrepparttar 113088 "certified" coffee brands.

Those premium coffee prices reflect growing concerns worldwide of paying fair wages to growers, using more expensive ecologically friendly organic farming practices, better pay for traditionally underpaid harvesters and processing workers and strict quality controls being adopted for "certified sustainable coffees."

Daniele Giovannucci consults with governments, international agencies, and businesses on coffee markets and production strategies to improve competitiveness and support innovative environmental and rural poverty reduction work. Giovannucci has authored exhaustive studies, includingrepparttar 113089 2003, "The State of Sustainable Coffee Report - A Study of Twelve Major Markets."

This study discusses coffee market forces in Europe and Japan andrepparttar 113090 growth of sustainable coffee aroundrepparttar 113091 world, estimating that fair trade, organic, and eco-friendly coffees represent less than 2 percent of coffee consumption in developed markets.

Another Giovannucci authored study, "Sustainable Coffee Survey ofrepparttar 113092 North American Specialty Coffee Industry," he estimatesrepparttar 113093 Global market for sustainable coffee to be approximately $565 million retail for over a million 60 kilo (about 132 pounds) bags of green coffee beans.

It is estimated that growers of certified sustainable coffees can nearly double their income from otherwise depressed coffee prices. So economically challenged third world countries see small farmers adopting organic growing techniques as a ticket out of poverty and subsistence. Corporate buyers are attracted to sustainable growers by consumer goodwill and health concerns related to those organically grown coffees. This leads to dubious claims by some ofrepparttar 113094 corporate coffee representatives and has lead torepparttar 113095 need for certification authorities.

Cont'd on page 2 ==> © 2005
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