Seed to Cup
We knew that fighting inflammation and delivering a huge load of antioxidants and anti inflammatory substances was central to finding the world’s most PERFECT cup of coffee. We could have done this by just dumping anti oxidants and other supplements into coffee. But we wanted something pure. We wanted a coffee that naturally had all of these traits. Why? It would still be real coffee. But most important of all, coffee is the perfect delivery vehicle for anti inflammatory and and anti oxidant compounds and the all important polyphenols. This took years more effort than just adding ingredients to make a healthy coffee but has resulted in enormous benefits.
We have found an amazing cup of coffee. The beans rate at the top of coffee reviews while achieving big benefits. In essence, there is a 1:1 match up between spectacular quality, out of this world taste and resounding good health. Just as you measure how fresh your vegetables are by how many anti oxidants they retain after they are picked, so too great coffees are identified by how many phenols they still have as they are poured into your cup!
Exploration: I was fascinated by exploration since grade school when I consumed geography books and poured over maps about the early European exploration of Africa beginning with Sir Richard Burton’s discovery of the Nile’s headwaters. Not since then, have I had been so captivated by a project, reliving the sense of adventure and discovery that the early explorers must have felt, in undertaking the hunt for the perfect cup of coffee, I pulled out topographical maps, read through the whole scientific literature on coffee chemistry, interviewed coffee growers and scientists all around the world to acquire the ideal targets for our testing. We even funded our an extensive scientific testing program. I’ve traipsed through these areas along Africa’s great rift valley my whole adult life as a physician, humanitarian board member and correspondent for CBS and NBC News. Now I’ve found just how rich this area is in spectacular coffees and I’m just delighted to return and find the prosperity that great coffee production brings to these people. Very much like scientists scoured the amazon and other tropical rain forests looking for plants with medicinal qualities, we have done the same with coffee, discovering and then testing the best in the world.
Good breeding: Selecting the finest beans at the very start of the journey to perfect cup is the most critical step. The best growers pick beans which have benefited from decades of natural selection and then bred them for the best qualities. Bourbons, as an example have a long and distinguished lineage in the Arabica branch. SL 28 standing for Scottish labs is found in many of the highest quality coffees. This is one of our selections.
Geography: Selecting the best location We wanted coffees with the very highest anti oxidant levels. Where would those be? Well look at it from the perspective of the coffee plant. Where does it most need to defend itself? At the highest altitudes and close to the equator, the plant has to form the strongest defense against the harshest ultraviolet rays. The plant does this by producing these natural antioxidants called polyphenols. We identified these regions. For instance, my favorite is on the slopes of 17000 Mount Kenya, which I first visited as a young medical student..and was chased down by a herd of wild elephants and a cape buffalo! The bean becomes much more robust at high altitudes where the bean is challenged to be its very best by cold nights, cloud cover and harsh sunlight. This makes sense too that the coffee which did the most to protect itself with the strongest anti inflammatory and anti oxidant defenses would also be the very healthiest and best tasting of all coffees to drink. When we test our beans for anti oxidant values then match them against scores in coffee review, the premier coffee testing site, we find that those coffees which score 93-95 on taste, score near 100% on anti oxidant values.
Taste: Sourcing: The most experienced coffee buyers and tasters in the world served as a guide for us, traveling to the most remote parts of the planet to taste coffee and meticulously examine farming practice and preparation. This information was invaluable in terms of targeting the beans we wanted to test and ensuring that each of these coffees provided a tremendous experience. Even within a single town, the quality varied enormously.
Terroirs: Finding the best farms: We looked for farmers who maintained the perfect soil. We like the Volcanic soils for their rich mineral content. Our search led to estates with spectacular farming practices. Only those who have really crafted the art of bean preparation all the way through have the finest values on our tests. In this case we have discovered farms fed by high mountain glaciers. Within the same town, our beans scored as much as 100% higher as other growers. Great farmers made the difference.
Preparation: Packing for a long trip: Once beans are picked they may undergo washing and drying. Their final packing before shipping to coffee roasters can deteriorate a great bean or preserve a magnificent one. As an example, they may be shipped for months in burlap bags or carefully vacuum packed to preserve the maximum qualities we are looking for.
Preparation: Roast crafting engineering: Beans are roasted to accomplish several basic tasks. Roasting develops the sugars, aromas and fats in coffee that give it its flavors. We have carefully engineered roast profiles to extract the highest amount of anti oxidant and anti inflammatory components while just enough to develop these sugars and flavors in coffee that make them such a great joy to consume. These roast profiles include proprietary temperature, speed of temperature ramp up and time of roast to prepare a bean that is perfectly engineered while maximizing the of healthiest ingredients for you and minimizing those which may inhibit these benefits. We have carefully roasted our beans in 10 degree increments to look for temperatures which preserved the maximum amount of antioxidants and still delivered great flavor.