How To Order
Visit one of our locations.
We'd love to talk over your coffee needs. We can even prepare your favourite coffee drink using the bean style you would prefer. Don't hestate to ask.
Call your nearest Columbus Coffee to have fresh coffee home delivered.
If you live outside of Auckland and would like to have Columbus Coffee delivered please use our national toll free number:
0800 100 110
Email us your requirements.
The Story of Coffee
The history of coffee is steeped in myth dating back a thousand years. There is a 'creation myth' most often told: the story, Kaldi an Ethiopean goat herder who is said to have accidentally discovered coffee. Kaldi noticed his herd became friskier than usual after eating the red cherries of a wild coffee shrub. Curious, he tasted the fruit himself. He was delighted by its effects. He was found by a wandering Abbot dancing with his goats. Soon the monks began to boil the bean themselves and use the liquid to stay awake during all-night ceremonies.
Coffee is believed to have originated in Ethiopia. It seems that coffee first eaten as a food and only later was used as a beverage.
The first brew was like wine. Fermented coffee berries were mixed with water to make an invigorating beverage. The first reference to coffee in Arabia suggests it was used as a medicine. "It fortifies the members, it cleans the skin, and gives and excellent smell to all the body" (quoted in Ukahs) It was principally religion that spread coffee drinking through the Middle Eastern world. From Mecca, coffee drinking was adopted into Muslim religious ritual. Coffee drinking grew with the spread of Islam and soon coffee houses opened throughout the Islamic world.
The Arabs guarded their monopoly on coffee production jealously and prohibited the export of seeds and trees. Eventually though seeds were smuggled out with pilgrims and the production of coffee spread around the world.
Today coffee is grown in over 500 countries and is the worlds largest cash crop and is the worlds second largest traded commodity.
At Columbus Coffee we have a range of over 20 coffee bean varieties and blends for you to try. We can take through the range and help you chose make up your own blend. Its fun
Growing and Harvesting Coffee
The coffee bean originates from the cherry of the coffee tree. Most trees produce the equivalent of 450 gms of roasted beans per year. 1 kilo of coffee is the equivalent of 5,500 cherries. Harvesting of coffee is made more difficult by the fact that the cherries mature on the tree at different times. Therefore harvesting has to be done by hand only selecting the ripe cherries at any one time. This process is employed for Specialty Coffee to ensure the highest quality. Commercial varieties are machine picked resulting in a mix of ripe and unripe cherries in the harvest.
Ripe cherries are made up of several layers and enclose 2 green beans. To separate the green bean from the rest of the cherry for roasting, growers either allow the cherry to dry on the tree or the ground before the beans are removed by hulling or the beans are immediately separated from the cherries, submerged in a vat of water, and then dried on large patios or mechanically.
Many species of coffee are grown. However arabica and robusta are the 2 main varieties grown for commercial use. Arabica coffee which makes up about 75 percent of world production grows best at high altitudes (600-2000 m) and has a much more refined flavour than robusta coffee. Only about 10% of the production is graded Specialty Coffee.
As the name indicates, robusta coffee is a robust species, resistant to disease, with a high yield per plant. It flourishes at lower elevations and produces coffee with harsher flavour.
The green coffee bean gives no hint of the aroma or colour that results following roasting. Roasting coffee is an art. Roasting unlocks the potential qualities of the bean by the chemical transformation brought about by the absorption of heat in a certain amount of time. Roasting machines vary in size considerably from large commodity coffee manufactures who roast continuously through to specialty coffee roasters who roast in small batches and test the quality of each roast. While it is possible to roast to a formula "certain heat x certain time" only a skilled eye can judge when a roast is done to perfection.
The roasting process generally involves heating green coffee beans in a large rotating drum. After about 5 to 7 minutes of intense heat, much of their moisture evaporates. The beans turn a yellow colour and smell a little like buttered corn. After about 8 minutes in the roaster, the beans grow in size.
After 10-11 minutes in the roaster, the beans reach an even brown colour, and oil starts to appear on the surface of the bean. At this roasting time the full flavour begins to develop in the beans, bringing out all the natural attributes of the origin. The coffee beans are released into a tray for cooling. At this point the smell of freshly roasted coffee fills the air!
There are a number of shades of roasting from light to dark. The darker the coffee is roasted the more acidity is lost (intensity of the natural flavour of the bean). Dark roasted coffee is not stronger than light roasts, it merely has a more aggressive flavour. Historically a dark roast was used to mask the flavours of poor quality beans.
Once roasted the beans are blended. This is where beans of different origins are blended together to create the taste profile the roaster is after. The Columbus Coffee blend is used in all our cafes and is our specialty blend. Our blend is the perfect espresso blend but is also suitable for use by other brewing methods such as stovetop brewing.