Coffee Notes


The Six Century Circumnavigation

Coffee Arabica is said to have originated on the plateaus of central Ethiopia, under the natural shade of the rain forests thousands of feet above sea level.

From Ethiopia to Yemen where the Europeans discovered it growing, the tenacious arabica plant began an enormous journey at an electrifying rate that would eventually cover the globe.

From medicine to a beverage used with meditation and religious exercises to the coffee houses in the streets of Cairo, everyone who tasted it wanted it.

The arabica plants’ journey was made easier because of its natural stubborn, self pollinating persona. From Yemen to India to Java and eventually to Europe, the plant was on the move.

King Louis XIV had a huge curiosity and love of luxury, coffee was on his list. The Dutch happened to owe him a favor and so turned up with a single coffee plant that he oggled over for a time and then had the first greenhouse in Europe constructed for this almost holy plant.

The French had tried to grow the plant in Southern France but had failed due to frost, one thing the plant will not tolerate. And so this plant flowered and bore fruit in a little greenhouse in Paris. This was in 1715 and it’s journey had just begun.

Sprouts from this precious tree reached the shores of Martinique in the Carribean in 1720 after a man named Chevalier Gabriel Mathiew De Clieu made a stupendous journey across the Atlantic. Eluding pirates, storms and the doldrums, the crew eventually became short on rations including water and all but one of the seedlings died. De Clieu couldn’t stand to see the last shoot die and so shared his water rations till the land was reached and the little shoot was safely ashore.

There it flourished and 50 years later became 18 million plants in Martinique. This noble tree spread throughout the Carribean and into Mexico, Central and South America and eventually coffee seed from Brazil was introduced into Kenya and Tanganyika only a few hundred miles from where it originated in- Ethiopia.

So ends the six-century circumnavigation of coffee, a huge industry that we all need to learn more about and be passionate about in order to find a balance for all the people involved in this industry. Like many things in our unbalanced world, harmony is difficult to find but impossible if we don’t try.

6 Responses to “Coffee Notes”

  1. Good Morning,

    My boyfriend and I were visiting family in the Okanagan a couple of weeks ago and picked up a bag of your coffee (Ship Wreck) and absolutely loved it.
    The only problem is we live in Edmonton and can not find your coffee anywhere. Is there anywhere that sells your coffee out this way?

    Thanks for your help, and your amazing coffee!!

    Jamie Curr

  2. Hello,

    I am interested in your products and think they would be a great addition to our gift baskets. I have attached some information about us and our baskets. Would you please provide more information about the sizes, packaging, flavours, order form and wholesale pricing for your products. Also, I would really appreciate some samples of your different products available.

    I look forward to hearing from you. We are located on Vancouver Island in Brentwood Bay, BC. Your products come highly recommended and would be a great addition to our baskets.

    I look forward to working with you in the near future.


  3. Visited Naramata in August 09 and on the way picked up a bag of your coffee – love it! Can we get hold of it in Vancouver?

  4. Thank you so much!
    My boyfriend and I stopped by on our vacation through the Okanagan and noticed your coffee in the Summerland Sweets shop and thought we’d try a bag since we love local products.
    We loved it and were upset we didn’t pick up more than the 1 bag!
    I am now sending my father on a mission to pick some up from you on his vacation down there.
    Just so you know, you have fans in Edmonton. And we know our coffee!

  5. There’s a lovely relaxing coffee ceremony in Ethiopia (reminiscent of the Japanese tea ceremony) when a woman of the household lays fresh green grass in the corner of a room around a small charcoal brazier on which she roasts fresh green beans. Beside her will be another burner on which she’ll put some Frankinscense or Myrrh. The whole room fills with a marvellous scent – of roasting coffee and incense. When she thinks the beans are sufficiently roasted, she’ll pound them in a mortar to a fine powder, which is then added to water in a beautiful Jebana, the coffee pot. Once brewed the first, and strongest coffee will be presented to the most honoured visitors in small cups. A second and third infusion may be taken from the pot. It all takes time, which is just fine…see:

  6. Hi Richard,

    We spoke in the summer (Will Valley’s Aunt/Cousin) regarding purchasing 150 1/4lb bags. Could we get a price of this and 1/2lb bags.

    Wedding is Dec. 1st in Savanah, Georgia. We had discussed with you sending them in early November.

    Also, put your sticker on as well because it will be great advertisement and we our proud to show case such wonderful coffee made in an igloo in Canada. Those Canadians are amazing living in the cold like they do.

    Breanna has stickers that will say, “Gabriel & Breanna.

    So excited to have your coffee on the tables.

    Thank you both.

    Breanna & Delores