In this day and age we are all pretty much aware of Fair Trade, we certainly know we should be looking out for the label on our foods but in terms of coffee there are also a few other certifications out there, the Rainforest Alliance or Organic certification for example. So if Fair Trade isn’t the only thing we need to be looking out for and it doesn’t cover all basis to ensure we get our guilt free cup of coffee, what is it and what does it cover in terms of coffee?
Coffee made its way over to Europe in the 17th Century, its initial use in Europe was for medicinal purposes. However it soon picked up some of the same cultural influences it had earlier in the Middle East and coffee houses began to pop up. These houses became central meeting places for the thinkers of the world. They became a place to exchange views for historians and philosophers alike, they even became known in some areas as ‘schools of the wise’. They lent themselves to being a good place of business too, merchants and insurance brokers and so forth would gather at coffee houses to make deals and exchange contracts. The coffee house in its modern form does not stray far away from these historical uses and it is even clearer now, in a day and age where over 400 billion cups of coffee a year are drank around the world that coffee culture provides a key forum for friends, family and colleagues to connect as well as a great space for personal reflection. Now a days “fancy a coffee?” Is now well known code for fancy a chat, a catch up, we need to talk and a multitude of other things, so how is this coffee culture ingrained in our lifestyle and what benefits to we get from it?