July-August 2019 Newsletter
The United States of America has always been at the forefront of the
"Fake Food" movement. If you start at "Non-Dairy Creamer", move on
through "Cheese Whizz", take a detour through "Dairy Whip" (may
contain milk products) in spray cans, you can eventually arrive at
those orange plastic slices used as cheese on hamburgers. And that's
just the milk aisle.
When you get into the "Snacks" department things can get really
strange. There are many so called "Snack Foods" out there that are
entirely constructed of starch, salt, synthetic sugars and fats and
various texturing and flavouring chemicals ... and the starch and
the salt can both be manufactured themselves. Ditto many so-called
"Soft Drinks". A stroll down the aisle in most supermarkets, which
generally has crunchy deep fried starches on one side and carbonated
sweet flavoured water on the other can be quite instructive. Reading
the ingredient labels can be a horrifying experience when you know
what some of the raw materials are.
Well, now a couple of Americans have invented a synthetic coffee. A
Food Chemist, Jarret Stopforth, and an Entrepreneur (covers a
multitude of sins) Andy Kleitsch have started a company called
Atomo. In their own words, they've produced a coffee substitute made
from "dozens of compounds found in food", including caffeine.
From the little that I've seen published so far they've run some
impromptu taste tests but have had no formal contacts with
recognised coffee industry experts. So there is no real indication
of how good or bad the taste, aroma etc. actually is. One thing that
is implied but not made explicit is that it is a soluble beverage,
that is an instant coffee analogue. Tasting better than instant, or
even most American drip coffee, is not a high bar to pass over.
Then there is the whole constructed from chemicals thing.
"Scientific Studies" have generally gone from claiming that things
directly cause cancer to saying "May increase the risk of cancer by
x%", making the studies harder to refute and ensuring the provision
of funding for more research. However, I'd give odds that at least
one of the chemicals involved would already be known to cause cancer
I'm pretty sure that if it does turn out to be a success there'll be
that other American fixture, the lawyer, queuing up to sue someone
as soon as possible. It's the American Way!
The best way to get improved coffee flavour is of course to drink
better coffee, which is exactly what this month's special is about.
It's the most requested repeat special we have.
Costa Rica Tarrazu Miel
The full name is Costa Rica Tarrazu Coopedota R.L. SHB Honey
Microlot, and it has the usual magnificent balance of taste and
intensity that you expect.
And finally a reminder that we'll be away in August for my late
brother-in-law's memorial. When you have 3 brothers, 2 sisters and
innumerable spouses, offspring, cousins and other relatives it's a
pretty big deal.
We will close down on Friday 9th August and reopen on Monday 26th
August. Hopefully this will be the last trip for some time, and at
least it won't be spent visiting hospitals. The next newsletter will
be in September.