The Good Society Episode 5: Global Cooperation and Complexity, Part 1

The Good Society Episode 5: Global Cooperation and Complexity, Part 1


In previous episodes, we
discussed trade and exchange and how businesses
are formed. In these next two episodes,
we’ll look at the interaction between local business
and the global economy. We’ll also look at how a
seemingly ordinary thing, like a shot of espresso, is the
result of human ingenuity and astonishing layers of global
complexity and exchange. I’m Sean, Building Three Coffee. I was active duty for about
twelve years. I had to teach some great guys how to essentially jump out of
planes from super high altitudes. Loved my time in the service, but my wife and I decided that
being away was tough, and decided to do
something different. My wife actually worked
for Starbucks, so it’s kind of how I got into
coffee in the beginning. Here’s that almond milk latte; thank you. And then, you know,
deployments, drinking more coffee
to stay awake, and stuff like that. So that’s kind of where the
adventure started for us. It’s definitely, I think, more
life-giving now, doing this, getting to affect the lives
that we get to affect through this business and the
interactions we get to have here. You know what I mean? All this, just life giving stuff
happens because of coffee. That’s, that’s what I love
about coffee. Coffee was first discovered in
Ethiopia, where the story goes that a shepherd found
his goats energized after eating coffee cherries. Coffee began to spread through
North Africa and Arabia, and for many years all the
coffee was roasted and shipped out of a port
in Yemen called Moka. In the 16th century, it is said
that a man named Baba Budan smuggled out some live plants
and brought them to India, and from there, coffee
spread across the globe. Coffee is now grown
in over 50 countries and consumed all over the world. Brazil, Vietnam, and Colombia
are the largest producers, while the biggest consumers of coffee are Finland and Norway. That’s a good one;
you can drink it. Coffee is actually quite
simple, I feel like. Really, you’re just taking
coffee beans, cooking them, crushing them up, soaking them
in water and then drinking it. But quickly, as you start
exploring coffee, it gets quite complex, you know? I think I’ve got six different ways to prepare coffee just
here in this shop. I feel like every culture has their
own way of preparing coffee. Talking about espresso, the
classic Italian beverage, right? Espresso, essentially,
is finely ground coffee brewed under pressure
in about 30 seconds; and it’s about a two
ounce shot of liquid. But really to get that shot
to taste good, there’s, there’s just so
much involved: good equipment, good grinders,
good espresso machine. And it really starts
with great coffee. My name is Admire Chamisa. I’m the farm assistant manager
and farm agronimist for Utengule Coffee Estate. I was born and bred in
Zimbabwe. Because I come from Zimbabwe,
the British colony, where we drink more tea, I knew very little about coffee, to the extent that I thought
coffee is the same as tea. It’s the leaves which make tea, not knowing it’s the cherries that give the coffee. The fruit is called a cherry, yes. like a cherry we have home. The difference in the cherry is that you discard the stone
and you eat the flesh; in coffee, you discard the
flesh and you use the bean. My name is Thomas. I grew up in Switzerland on a
small farm. I’m a farmer by profession,
I have a master’s in farming. And then added real
hands on farming as a farm manager for ten years, and then another four
or five years in Uganda. I am married locally here
with a, with a lady from the neighboring
village called Saima, and we have three kids. I came here at Christmas time, 1990s or it’s 27 and a half years, a little bit more than half my life. Ending up in a in a cup of
coffee, it’s a long story. It starts, actually listen: a plant you have to establish. These are coffee seeds that will have to be planted
into a seed bed; it takes about eight to nine
months until the tree is ready to go out
into the field. It all starts in the nursery. To me on the inside, it’s more
or less like a kindergarten. If you look at the life span of
a single plant, it can stretch up to 40, 50 years. Then you need to build
a very solid foundation. It takes, in the field, about
two to three years to get the first crop; four to five
years to get the full crop. Good quality coffee comes out
of ripe cherries. It’s the degree of ripeness
which is very, very important. If you look at this one, that’s a—to me that’s a
properly ripe coffee. Like from the color, it’s not
deep red. That’s properly ripe coffee,
yeah. Our process we do here in East
Africa is called wet processing. That means we remove the flesh and we use the inside. This is called pulping. And there is the transportation
of pulped coffee to the fermentation tanks. It goes into a tank for two to
three days. And then you can wash, and you
dry then the coffee on a tray, and you end up with the
intermediate product called dry parchment coffee. We remove basically
the outer skin, called the parchment skin,
which is called hulling, and you end up with green
coffee which is then going into the international market, or
into the local market for a local roasting. My favorite part of the coffee
is actually extracting an espresso
in a proper espresso machine. I feel like hero whenever I’m holding
an espresso or a cup of coffee after all the hard work
that I would have invested during the course of the day. I love coffee; I don’t like
coffee, I love coffee. Being a roaster, we get to
reach into some of the lives of the people that grow the
coffee. And that’s where I really
started learning about the supply chain and
how complicated it gets. Actually, one of- our
Guatemalan importer, Onyx, they had a hard time finding
burlap one year to get the coffee into so
that it could get shipped to the United States. The burlap has its own very
complex system just to get made and then
delivered so that it can get the coffee product put into that. Well, I mean once it’s bagged, it’s, it’s kind of just starting its
journey really. When the green unroasted beans
are ready for shipping, they’re put into burlap bags
weighing about 60 kilos, and loaded onto containers. The containers are transported
by truck to port, where they’re loaded onto
ships that take the beans to Europe, North America and Asia. Generally, coffee travels
in 20 or 40 foot steel shipping containers; a 20 foot container holds
an average of about 20,000 kilograms of green coffee. When the coffee arrives at
port, it’s loaded onto trucks, and delivered to distributors,
commercial roasters, and specialty coffee shops. The entire system is just
mystifying. This happens year after year,
harvest after harvest. No one person is controlling it. All these different systems exist, and work every year to get
coffee to guys like me. It’s impressive, I don’t know. It, really it blows my mind. We gotta pour over here guys? I’m Bevan Cammell. I’m a Kiwi, from New Zealand. This is where we do the
roasting. Roasting is cooking coffee. That’s what it is. We do it in a certain fashion
to make sure it comes out vibrant and alive, and
making sure that we’re not burning it and
destroying what flavors are in it. This is our wonderful Probat P-12. So up here is the main loading
hopper; this is where we put the green coffee in. I’m gonna drop this coffee into
the coffee roaster. In Green, out brown. This is our release catch. This is what’s going to
release the green coffee into the roasting chamber. And in that is a double walled drum. And this is kind of special to Probat, and that’s their little secret,
what that actually is. And then this is our chamber door. This is where we’re gonna be
releasing the roasted coffee into our cooling tray again
to try and cool that coffee down as quick as possible,
so that we’re now going to bake a vibrant coffee. My name is Adriana Rein, and
I’m in, and I’m a part of the marketing department at Probat, and I’m responsible for the
shop roaster marketing. Did coffee as a barista, and went to Sydney afterwards to work
in a roastery there. When I came to Probat at first,
I only knew the shop process, so I was aware that there’s
industrial coffee and stuff, but it blew my mind when I
walked into the factory for the first time. We are at our production
facility here. We are producing industrial
roasters in our facilities, and we also
produce shop roasters. That’s a Probatone 12. So that means
12 kilos per batch. The roasting drums for the top
roaster; besides the burner, that’s the
heart of a roaster The drum is put into the frame; the cast iron walls are assembled; the cooling tray with the
stirrers, they are assembled; and also the burner and the
control cabinet is put onto the frame. And the heat, the energy to roast is produced by a modulating burner, which is located
underneath of the drum. When roasting coffee, it’s
always important to have the right air/bean ratio, so the right amount of energy put onto the right amount of coffee. So only if that is the optimum then you get a good cup quality. We’re coming to the
end of our roast, which means first crack. We’ll see it really starting to
brown now, and you should audibly hear the
coffee starting to crack. So I’m ready to
pull my coffee out. It’s all done. Roasting is one part of the
chain; it’s roasting, it’s cooling, it’s grinding,
it’s preparation, yes. but of course roasting is the
most important thing in the whole production phase. Roasting is, is a pedestal; in reality we’re just cooking it, and all that quality comes
from the producer. Our job’s, just not ruin it. Let’s be honest: everybody knows the grind
is the most important. The grind is the most
important, yes. Now If our grind isn’t even, it’s not going to taste any good. You’re still only halfway
through the journey. In the next episode. We’ll find out more of what it
takes to make just one single cup of
espresso. Nice.

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