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Coffee Knowledge

At Lola Savannah Coffee and Tea, we are passionate about sharing our knowledge and love for coffee. Browse through our collection of articles below to learn more about coffee and its origins, brewing techniques, and the best ways to enjoy your favorite cup of joe.

The birds and the bees, coffee edition


Spring is in full bloom, and if you haven't already found time, make some to stop and smell the flowers. The bees are buzzing, the birds are chirping---and a groundbreaking new study has found that coffee beans are larger and more plentiful when these those two helpers work together to protect coffee plants.

This new finding is essential for the entire coffee industry, which generates 26 billion dollars annually. These animals help everyone, from farmers and corporations to the everyday coffee lover who depends on coffee for their morning buzz (pun very much intended). Without the help of the birds and the bees, some of which even travel thousands of miles, coffee farms would see a 25% drop in their crop yields, roughly $1,066 per hectare (100 acres) of coffee.

This new study from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is the first to showcase these findings, using real-world experiments from 30 coffee farms. Researchers found that nature's contributions, such as bee pollination and pest control by the birds, produce larger yields when combined than either does alone.

Lead author Alejandra Martinez-Salinas of the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) says, "Until now, researchers have typically calculated the benefits of nature separately, and then simply added them up. But nature is an interacting system, full of important synergies and trade-offs. We show the ecological and economic importance of these interactions in one of the first experiments at realistic scales in actual farms."

For the experiment, researchers from the United States and Latin America manipulated coffee plants across 30 different farms, using large nets and small lace bags to exclude birds and bees from the trees. The scientists then tested four key scenarios: one study allowed access to birds, one allowed access to bees, one excluded both birds and bees, and the fourth recreated a natural environment where birds and bees were allowed access to the trees. Among the conclusions: Birds are essential for natural pest control by eating insects like the coffee berry borer, one of the most damaging pests that affect coffee production worldwide.

"These results suggest that past assessments of individual ecological services—including major global efforts like IPBES -- may underestimate the benefits biodiversity provides to agriculture and human wellbeing," says Taylor Ricketts of the University of Vermont's Gund Institute for Environment. "These positive interactions mean ecosystem services are more valuable together than separately."

"One important reason we measure these contributions is to help protect and conserve the many species that we depend on and sometimes take for granted," says Natalia Aristizábal, a Ph.D. candidate at UVM’s Gund Institute for Environment and Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources.

University of Vermont. "The secret to better coffee? The birds and the bees: Study calculates winged helpers’ effects on coffee—while pioneering a better way to measure nature’s ‘unpaid labor’." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 April 2022.

So the next time you enjoy a cup of Lola Savannah coffee, perhaps take a moment to appreciate the wondrous, wonderful world we're a part of. We'll keep doing our part and work hard to ensure that you experience a consistently excellent cup of coffee, whether in the office impressing clients, as an after-dinner treat with dessert, or slowly waking up on a lazy weekend morning.

Coffee flowers with a bee


How coffee waste could help Neuroscience


If you need any more reasons to love coffee, we'll keep them coming!

Researchers in New Delhi recently reported the first application of spent coffee grounds in electrochemistry and neuroscience. These discoveries add to the growing list of eco-friendly ways to reuse spent coffee grounds and keep them out of landfills.

According to Scientists from the American Chemical Society, coffee grounds can be used as environmentally-friendly electrode coatings for sensitive neurochemistry measurements. This discovery can help scientists better understand brain activity and detect minute neurotransmitters' levels and activity. In recent research, scientists from ACS stated that they are taking recycled coffee waste in a more biological direction. Their study demonstrated that electrodes coated with carbon from coffee waste could detect trace levels of biomolecules in vitro, which means outside the living body. A principal investigator of the study, Ashley Ross, claims that this is the first example of residual coffee grounds being repurposed for biosensing applications. Biosensing detects target molecules based on the principles used by a living system such as an immune system. Neuroscientists use traditional microelectrodes; these are made from carbon fibers, which are fine strands of solid carbon bundled together. However, making carbon fibers is tedious and expensive and involves several steps and harsh chemicals.

The statement from Ross recounts her aim to fabricate electrodes with carbon from coffee grounds. Spent coffee grounds would be a more inexpensive and environmentally friendly approach. The team used the coffee grounds as a coating for conventional electrodes as a first step toward realizing the goal. To accomplish this, one of the researchers took coffee grounds and heated them in a tube furnace at around 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit. They then added those coffee grounds to a potassium hydroxide solution to activate the carbon and open up holes in the structure. The team then removed undesired by-products by heating the mixture under nitrogen gas, leaving behind an inky slurry of porous carbon remains. The researchers then diluted the sludge with water. They then dipped the carbon fiber electrodes into it to coat it with a layer of porous carbon nearly a hundred times thinner than the diameter of a human hair.

The scientists used the electrodes to sense small quantities of dopamine and compared the performance of coated and uncoated electrodes. They found that electrodes coated with porous carbon had current oxidative levels three times higher than bare carbon fibers. According to ACS, this indicated that the coated electrode offered a more sensitive surface for dopamine detection. The coating increases the surface area, and the porous structure allows more dopamine molecules to participate in the reaction. Ross said that the system also momentarily traps dopamine molecules in the crevices of the electrode. The sensitivity of the electrochemical process increases due to these properties and produces faster measurements.

So what's next for the research team? They now aim to make carbon fiber electrodes entirely from this porous carbon made from waste coffee grounds. They hope this would give the electrodes uniform porosity on the surface and within. This could boost their neurochemical detection abilities with an even larger surface area to adsorb the dopamine molecules.

TL/DR: Smart people using waste product from coffee to improve health outcomes! We love it.

While this achievement is excellent news for neuroscience, the environment, and coffee lovers alike, you don't have to be a scientist to enjoy coffee's many benefits. And with Lola Savannah, we make sure it's a delicious cup of coffee you'll love every time.

Coffee grounds held in a gloved hand


The best type of coffee for your health


Science has been researching and discovering the benefits of drinking coffee in the past few years. Before, there was debate over whether or not coffee was good for your body, but these days the research is proving coffee connoisseurs' claims to be true. In addition, a large study has found some interesting insights into your drinking habits, including that drinking three cups of coffee per day is good for heart health---but only if you drink a certain kind of coffee.

The data from this new study is fascinating and important because it is one of the largest of its kind. Conducted over an entire decade, it included close to half a million participants and gathered some very comprehensive data. For example, the researchers concluded that individuals who regularly drank coffee were 12% less likely to die than those who didn't drink coffee daily. In addition, the risk of developing heart or cardiovascular disease was one-fifth, or 20% less than for those who don't drink coffee at all. Another interesting finding was that the health benefits stemmed from drinking coffee from ground beans instead of instant coffee.

Drinking more than three cups of coffee per day did not increase the health benefits. Still, the researchers noted that in addition to caffeine, coffee has many other minerals and antioxidants that have been linked to other health benefits. Past studies have also shown the similar findings: a reduction in the risk of type 2 diabetes, dementia, various types of cancer, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease.

This large, intensive study was conducted by a collaboration of Semmelweis University in Budapest and the Queen Mary University of London. Dr. Stephen Petersen from Queen Mary University showed that moderate coffee drinking might benefit cardiovascular health.

The study included half a million participants: 22% who did not drink coffee, and 58% who drank up to 3 cups of coffee per day. The rest drank a minimum of three cups a day, and sometimes more. The study, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, showed that people who drank between 0.5 to three cups of coffee a day had a 12% lower mortality risk at the end of the study than those who didn't drink coffee at all. In addition, the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease was 17% lower than for those who didn't drink coffee, and the coffee drinkers' risk of having a stroke was 21% lower. Those who drank coffee were also less likely to become diabetic. Caffeine is also known as an appetite suppressant, and researchers speculate that it may help prevent obesity.

Another exciting aspect of this study found that a quarter of the study participants who drank instant coffee didn't receive these extra health benefits. So even though instant coffee has more caffeine and more antioxidants, it also has more acrylamide, a substance found in certain foods that might increase the risk of cancer and can damage your nervous system.

Researchers from this study believe that coffee's positive effects on our health can be explained by the changes in the heart structure of regular coffee consumers. After examining MRI scans of the cardiovascular systems of their 30,000 study participants, they found signs that coffee drinkers have healthier hearts. The scans show that participants who drank moderate to high amounts of coffee daily had larger heart chambers, which allowed their hearts to pump more blood.

Now, we're not scientists, but at Lola Savannah, we're on your side. Whether you're starting your day with your favorite cup of coffee or treating guests with a delicious after-dinner dessert coffee, we have something for everyone and every occasion.

Spoons holding whole bean coffee, ground coffee, and instant coffee


How to repurpose used coffee grinds


If you've been keeping up with our coffee blog, we're sure you've heard the fantastic benefits coffee can have on your health. Coffee is well known as a super-food that is chock-full of antioxidants that can reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, Parkinson's, and other health problems. Coffee can also help focus the mind, helping you stay alert and spark creativity.

The downside is that each year worldwide, 6 million tons of coffee grounds end up in landfills where they ferment and emit methane, a greenhouse gas that is "25 times more potent than carbon dioxide." Thus making coffee a significant cause of climate change.

The good news is that scientists have been working hard to find new ways to recycle and reuse these used coffee grounds, and some exciting ideas are emerging. Here are three of the most recent and essential studies.

First, there was a study conducted by the School of Engineering at the RMIT University at Melbourne. The scientists found that "the carbon footprints and environmental impacts related to construction projects are concerning, but SCG's (spent coffee grounds) have potential use as aggregates in construction materials across a broad range of civil engineering applications."

Another study from Tianjin Chengjian University showed that SPGs effectively remove pollutants from wastewater. "For ultrapure water production, results showed that catalyst and oxidant wielded a great influence." So spent coffee grounds can help us remove toxins from water to create ultrapure water.

Another promising study from Erciyes University in Turkey this year found that coffee grounds can be a highly efficient biofuel. "Integration with biorefinery in general and with pyrolysis process in specific is considered the most successful solid waste management strategy of SCG."

Although these studies prove to be good resolutions for SCG, most of today's government recycling programs have not set up a program to reclaim spent coffee grounds for recycling. Some startups, an example being Uk-based BioBean, collect these spent grounds and use them as a revenue source, but it is still a very new idea.

We have shared some ideas of how you can use your spent coffee grounds here to inspire our customers on how to put your used grounds to use instead of throwing them in the trash. But it is new stories such as these that give us hope and some excitement at the thought of coffee's unlimited potential to help better this world.

Ground coffee scattered among gardening tools


Caffeine Naps


For most of the world, a cup of coffee in the morning is the standard to starting your day. If you're a fan of coffee, you know well the effects a delicious cup of Lola Savannah can have to jump-start your day. But what about coffee before sleep? While most research studies have found that caffeine can disrupt sleep cycles, a neuroscientist's new claims might help you get those extra z's you need without cutting back on the caffeine.

Brice Faraut, a researcher at the Hôtel-Dieu Hospital in Paris, is researching the effects of restricting sleep. In his new book, Saved by the Siesta, he reveals his secrets for combating sleep deprivation. "There is scientific evidence that the practice can not only cure extreme fatigue, but combat drowsiness, pain, immunological fragility, stress, hypertension, obesity, and cardiovascular disease," Brice writes. He also has found that drinking coffee immediately before a 20 to 30-minute nap can help you eliminate the grogginess when you wake up. "Caffeine takes about 20 minutes to kick in and stimulate the brain, which means that you will still fall asleep, but after a 20 to 30-minute nap, the caffeine will help you wake up more alert for the four to six hours afterward," Brice says.

This "caffeine nap," as it is called, is Brice's new approach to a mid-day energy boost, has been studied, and the results are promising. But Brice warns that naps should not be taken too late in the day. A 20-minute nap after 5 pm could make sleep at night difficult. He recommends six hours between napping and bedtime as a rule of thumb. Brice also recommends limiting rest to a maximum of 30 minutes; any more can make you feel more tired when you wake up, determined by the sleep stages you experience. "In a five or ten-minute nap, you are mostly in light slow-wave sleep, whereas deep slow-wave sleep, the most restorative type, sets in after about 20 minutes." Waking up to an alarm during deep sleep can be rough and make you feel disoriented. "A power nap of ten minutes is usually enough to offset the effects of one hour too little sleep at night and is the perfect preparation for afternoon meetings," states Brice.

Siestas are a standard part of the day in Spain and some Latin American counties, the Mediterranean, and Nigeria but are becoming more culturally acceptable elsewhere. And well, here at Lola Savannah, we believe everything is better with a cup of coffee, so maybe there's something to this theory. Whether you're a daytime napper or a strictly morning coffee connoisseur, we've got something for every coffee lover!

Coffee naps


Interesting Coffee Facts


Did you know that your beloved coffee beans are actually seeds? And if you are thinking, "aren't beans and seeds the same?" not all beans are seeds. A bean is a kind of seed, but the bean has to be in the family of Fabaceae, also known as Leguminosae, and the coffee plant is not a member of this family. Therefore, coffee "beans," as people commonly refer to, are not beans but seeds.

Here are some other exciting coffee related facts:

  • The coffee "bean" is the seed of the coffee plant, the pit inside of the coffee fruit.

  • The majority of the world's coffee is grown between twenty-five degrees north and twenty-five degrees south of the equator. The appropriate temperature for coffee to grow is between 60 degrees Fahrenheit and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • For high-quality "beans," coffee should be grown at high elevations. The less oxygen in the air allows the tree to mature for longer.

  • Once you plant a coffee tree, it takes about five years to mature and produce seeds.

  • A coffee tree has a lifespan between 50 to 70 years.

  • Coffee trees that are well shaded or grown indoors with little sunlight produce higher quality coffee because it takes longer for the fruit to ripen.

  • Coffee is the world's second-largest commodity after oil.

  • Some of the world's most influential businesses, including Lloyds of London and the New York Stock Exchange, started as coffee houses.

  • On average, 1.4 billion cups of coffee are drunk a day.

  • An American adult's average annual coffee consumption is 26.7 gallons or about 400 cups.

  • The term "cup of Joe" stems from American soldiers in World War II, "G.I. Joes" were known to consume a large amount of coffee. Maxwell Instant Coffee was included in their rations.

  • The most expensive coffee is "civet coffee," where the berries go through the digestive tract of the Kopi Luwak (a small, cat-sized Indonesian animal). The "beans" are then harvested from the animal's waste, cleaned, roasted, and sold. This coffee costs $100 to $600 per pound.

  • The only American regions to produce coffee are Hawaii and Puerto Rico.

  • One acre of coffee trees typically yields about 10,000 pounds of coffee fruits, about 2,000 pounds of coffee "beans."

Coffee cherries and beans


Improving Coffee with Chemistry


The English word "coffee" is first attested to in 1582, a loan word from Dutch "koffie." The Dutch had themselves imported the word from, ultimately, the Arabic, where it is known as "qahwah" or "quwwa," which is reference to the power or energy enjoyed by those who drank it. It was also known as Kaffa (also spelled Kefa) in a medieval Ethiopian kingdom that first exported coffee plants to Arabia.

Legend has it that coffee was first discovered by a goat herder in Ethiopia who noticed that his goats' energy levels increased after consuming the coffee fruit. Coffee then spread from Ethiopia to the Middle East and Arabian Peninsula in the 15th and 16th centuries.

From drip coffee to thick espressos, coffee is the world's second most-consumed beverage, behind only water. It is also the world's second-most traded commodity, behind only oil. Coffee as a beverage is so ingrained and loved by all cultures that contestants from South Korea, Greece, and Canada took the top spots at the 2019 World Barista Championships.

But excellent coffee is not as simple as you might believe, and some specialty coffees come with a hefty price tag. Take, for instance, a Black Ivory Coffee that cost $500 per pound in 2020. Aside from those high-priced small batches, coffee beans, mostly the Arabica and robusta species, are roasted in large quantities for mainstream consumption. As a result, Arabica beans account for 60% of the global market, with 2.5 million tons exported annually from Brazil alone.

Robusta beans are produced primarily in Vietnam, accounting for just under 40% of the market. They contain a higher concentration of caffeine, often have a bitter flavor, and are used primarily to make instant coffee.

Scientists have developed numerous varieties by cross-breeding these major coffee species, with the goal of tweaking unique flavor profiles and caffeine content. And as our technology improves, newly developed types can withstand harsher weather conditions, with the result that coffee can now grow in new and different regions around the planet.

Certain varietals are better suited to mountainous areas due to their preference for higher altitudes. Others require dry, hot conditions to produce the best beans. But thanks to advances in the chemistry of coffee, there are now over 70 countries that grow coffee, which is a good thing considering that global coffee consumption is expected to have reached 167.23 million 60 kg bags – or more than 10 million tons – in 2020/2021.


At Lola Savannah we're always exploring and tasting new offerings with the goal of providing our customers the best that the world has to offer. We invite you to explore our website and see what interests you!

coffee chemistry, caffeine molecule


How coffee can make you sleepy


If you're reading this blog, there's a good chance you love coffee as much as we do here at Lola Savannah. However, many of us have still experienced that tired feeling that can come through in the afternoon. Some of us even reach for the second or third cup of coffee, but sometimes that's not the best answer. In our blog today, we discuss why our morning brew can make us feel groggy and some options to help combat this feeling and help improve our overall health.

Sleep is vital to our health and our brain function. When you sleep, your body's lymphatic system clears waste from the central nervous system and removes toxic byproducts from your brain, which build up throughout the day. But how does coffee interact with our brain and sleepiness? From a recent New York Times article, you can think of sleep as the gradual tipping of a scale. It all begins the moment you wake up, and then throughout the day, a chemical called adenosine builds up in the brain. The more of this chemical, the sleepier you feel. Come bedtime, this chemical has built up and puts you to sleep. The growing amount of adenosine is also known as "sleep pressure."

When we consume caffeine, it prevents the adenosine chemical from binding to receptors in the brain. So as the caffeine builds up in your brain, you don't feel yourself growing more and more tired. While this may sound great at the moment, the problem is, at the end of the day, when your brain should feel tired and ready for sleep, your mid-afternoon coffee could be disrupting your sleep patterns. This is because your brain "thinks" you've been awake for only six or seven hours, and that can make it difficult to fall asleep or to get the adequate sleep you need each night, making you feel more tired the next day.

Every five hours, the amount of caffeine in your system is reduced by half. So if you have a cup of coffee at six in the morning, by 11 am, you only have half of the caffeine you consumed in your body, and then half of that by 4 pm. As the caffeine wears off, you begin to feel the sleep pressure that's been accumulating throughout the day, which is why to say, mid-afternoon, you might feel a bit sluggish and sleepy. The same New York Times article by Wudan Yan explains that if you're not sleeping well and hit that afternoon crash, another cup of coffee is creating the perfect storm for feeling more tired. The extra caffeine we consume will negatively impact our sleep, making us feel more tired in the morning, leading to more caffeine consumption.

So how do we blend our love for coffee and our need for deep sleep? Here are a few helpful tips.

One is following a general rule of how much caffeine you should consume every day. Healthline suggests 400 mg per day, or around 2-4 cups of 8 oz coffee, depending on how strong a brew you prefer.

Also, consider how late in the day you consume caffeine. If you drink your caffeine earlier in the day and do away with the afternoon serving, you'll allow your body more time to process the caffeine, which will help you get better sleep.

Another option is being mindful of consumption. If you've grown accustomed to coffee in the morning, and then pick up an energy drink on the way to the office, or maybe a pre-workout caffeinated drink before you hit the gym, chances are that you're consuming more than 400 mg of caffeine each day. If you feel you're consuming too much caffeine, reduce your overall intake gradually. Going cold turkey can cause headaches and other side effects. If you usually have a third cup of coffee around 11 am, try not drinking caffeine after 10 am to help reduce your overall consumption.

Another option is making the switch to decaf or half-caf. Half-caf is when you mix decaffeinated coffee beans with regular coffee beans to decrease the amount of caffeine in your coffee. This way, you're still getting your morning coffee but with less caffeine. Again, you can start by measuring your coffee by gram and slowly adjusting the caff/decaf beans ratio to find your sweet spot. Lucky for you, all of our signature flavors come in decaf, so you'll never have to miss out on your favorite cup of coffee.

Try to get a whole night's sleep. Although everybody is slightly different, the National Sleep Foundation guidelines advise that healthy adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night. (PS: If you're able to achieve that, please let us know how you do it!)

Of course, caffeine isn't the only culprit in disrupting sleep patterns, so if you're still having a hard time getting the amount of rest you need, alcohol and blue light (common on our phones and computers screens) are also associated with sleeplessness, so try to minimize late-night screen time. The goal is a good night's rest that will help put your mind at ease and allow you to enjoy your morning coffee rituals without the afternoon crash.

We believe coffee is one of those simple pleasures in life that can add value to your day as well as your taste buds! And by being conscious of how and when you consume caffeine, you can maximize the benefits of coffee to suit your lifestyle needs. So whether you decide to try some of our decaffeinated blends or stick with your tried and true favorite Lola Savannah caffeinated coffee blend, we've got you covered!

Woman sitting up in bed, with a mug of Lola Savannah coffee


Extensive Study links drinking coffee to liver health.


Here’s some good news for us coffee lovers: According to a new study, drinking more than three cups of caffeinated coffee a day can lead to fewer liver problems. The study gathered data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which recorded what people typically ate and drank. This study is likely the most rigorous on the benefits of coffee on liver health in the United States, and the results are a treat for those who enjoy multiple cups of coffee daily.

"This is the closest we’re ever going to get to a linkage between what people are eating or drinking and the health of their liver," said Elliot Tapper, MD, the study’s senior author and an assistant professor of gastroenterology at the University of Michigan.

The researchers looked at data from over 4,500 patients who participated in the survey from 2017-2018. Each of the participants was 20 years or older, with the average age being 48, and 73% were overweight, which is the national average. When the researchers went over the data, they found no connection between coffee consumption and the measure of fatty liver, but they did find a link between coffee and liver stiffness. Liver stiffness is a sign of liver fibrosis and can lead to cirrhosis. The study showed that participants who drank three cups of coffee daily had lower liver stiffness.

Some hepatologists worldwide believe coffee to be a natural remedy and find this data reassuring when recommending coffee to their patients. These studies are ongoing, but more and more of them are finding similar conclusions. For instance, another study run by Nathan Davies, a Ph.D. professor of biochemistry at the Institute of the Liver and Digestive Health at the University College London based in the U.K, found that coffee appeared to protect against chronic liver disease.

"Looking at a snapshot moment does not necessarily reflect an individual's behavior during the onset and development of their condition," Davies said. "As such, there are a number of behavioral and nutritional factors that could be contributing to the observed effect over a period of years."

We love to read and share these new findings with you because coffee is so much more than a delicious drink to jump-start our mornings. It's a lifestyle. That's why we work hard to make sure every batch of Lola Savannah coffee is a special treat you and your body can enjoy and feel good about.

cup of coffee with latte art


Four reasons to drink Black Coffee


Coffee preferences are a personal choice, and when it comes to coffee, there is no right or wrong way to enjoy drinking this unique beverage. At Lola Savannah we always encourage our customers to explore the limitless options our coffees have to offer.

Maybe you like to add cream, sugar, and/or flavored syrups to your coffee, and that's all good. But today's post is for the purists, those who drink plain black coffee, and five reasons why drinking it that way can add some pleasant and straightforward changes to your routine.

1. Black Coffee is a Healthier Option

Depending on how much sugary coffee you drink, switching to black coffee can cut a significant amount of sugar from your diet. Lowering your sugar intake can help you maintain energy levels as well as help with weight management. Additionally, most creamers also contain a large number of unwanted sugars and empty calories. Sugar intake is related to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, gum disease, and cavities. Try to cut back and use sugar and cream with your coffee on special occasions or as a special treat instead of every day.

It's also more Cost-Effective.

Taking your coffee black could have you realizing significant savings on not only health care and dental visits but also at the grocery store and coffee shop. The annual price of sugar and cream additives does add up. If you consume coffee regularly and constantly add creamer, cutting back could save you a pretty penny or two. And once you have developed a palate for black coffee, you can also save some cash at the coffee shop. French press or drip coffee is far less expensive than sugary espresso-based drinks.

2. Black Coffee is Simple

When you order quality coffee from a reputable and experienced brand like Lola Savannah, you'll be able to remove a lot of the guesswork from making a great cup of coffee. We invite you to explore our large selection on flavored coffees for different taste sensations. You're sure to find something to please your palate—no need for a prior barista experience. We aim to make it easy for you to serve quality coffee to impress your family and friends.

3. It makes coffee flavors more interesting

When your cup is overflowing with cream and sugar, it can be difficult to identify the different flavor profiles in your coffee. As we've talked about on other blog posts, coffee comes from various regions, and each has its unique flavor profile. Once you have developed the sensitivity to notice these flavors, you can identify these differences and enjoy all the variety that's out there.

4. Different Brewing Methods

There is a whole world of different methods and gadgets that drinking black coffee opens for our deeply immersed coffee lovers. You can begin to explore the other brewing methods that help bring out different traits in your coffee. The process you choose to brew your coffee can also determine the feel, texture, intensity, and aftertaste your coffee carries.

So if you're interested in the amazing miracle of the coffee bean, then maybe it's time to enjoy black coffee and appreciate it for what it is. And once you've begun drinking black coffee, you will gain stronger preferences as to which roasts and coffee brewing styles are most enjoyable. Look no further than Lola Savannah when it comes to taste, flavor, and a wide variety of options to suit your coffee needs. We've got you covered!

Bag of Lola Savannah coffee, bean scattered on table, hand holding mug of coffee


Can high levels of caffeine consumption make you feel more tired?


We've all been there: a busy morning or early afternoon where you turn to that second (or third) cup of Lola Savannah coffee for an extra boost of energy. Caffeine, the main active ingredient in coffee, is well known for its energy-enhancing and mood-boosting effects. But it's important to know that caffeine's effects can impact each of us differently depending on our consumption habits and genes.

Mark Stein, a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington, has been studying the impacts of caffeine on people with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The findings conclude, "The paradox of caffeine is that in the short term, it helps with attention and alertness. It helps with some cognitive tasks, and it helps with energy levels, but the cumulative effect – or the long-term impact – has the opposite effect."
A part of this paradoxical effect results from caffeine's impact on "sleep pressure," a term coined by researchers to describe how we become sleepy as the day wears on. Our bodies run on a biological clock from the moment we wake up in the morning till we return to sleep at the end of our day.

Neuroscientists at Johns Hopkins University have been studying sleep habits and how sleep pressure builds up in the body. During the day, our cells and tissues burn energy in the form of a molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). As we think, exercise, run errands, or go about our daily activities, these ATP molecules get expended and generate a byproduct chemical called adenosine. These adenosine chemicals bind to receptors in the brain, which makes our bodies feel sleepy.

Chemically, caffeine and adenosine look very similar on the molecular level to those binding sites in the brain. So when we consume coffee, we prevent the adenosine from binding to those brain receptors. This results in caffeine's temporarily suppressing sleep pressure, making us feel more awake. Meanwhile, the adenosine levels continue to accumulate in our body.
"Once caffeine wears off, you get a very high level of sleep pressure, and you have to pay it back," claims Seth Blackshaw, a neuroscientist working on the research project. The only proper way to relieve and reset elevated levels of sleep pressure is to sleep.

Compounding sleep pressure by drinking more caffeine will build up your body's tolerance to the drug. In addition, our liver produces proteins to break down caffeine. When these adenosine receptors in our brain multiply, they are still sensitive to adenosine levels used to regulate our sleep cycle. So ultimately, continued or increased caffeine consumption can negatively impact sleep patterns, which will make you feel more tired in the long run.
"If you're sleeping less and you're stressed, and you rely on caffeine to improve it, it's just a perfect storm for a short-term solution that's going to make things much worse in the long term," says Blackshaw. "You're going to be adding more shots to your espresso, but the negative impact on your sleep is going to continue, and that is cumulative."
Caffeine can also cause spikes in blood sugar that can lead to dehydration; both can make us feel sleepy.

If you're feeling an afternoon slump after you've had a cup of coffee, the solution isn't another cup. Christina Pierpaoli Parker, a clinical researcher at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, has some advice: temporarily cut back on the caffeine if you find this happening. You can let your body clear the caffeine build-up in your system to help regulate your brain-body functions. Drinking coffee "should be fun and useful, and give you a boost when you need it," states Parker.

If you find this happening to you, experts recommend taking a nap, getting some exercise, or sitting outside for exposure to natural light to naturally add an extra energy boost to your day. "Monitor your sleep and make sure you're sleeping well," Stein said. "Adequate sleep and physical activity are the first-line interventions for attention problems and sleepiness. Caffeine is a useful adjunct, but you don't want to become dependent on it."

Our passion and fascination for coffee is a life-long love affair, and at Lola Savannah we appreciate both the art and the science of this seemingly magical elixir of life. We encourage our customers to explore and discover what works best for their lifestyle and are proud to offer the best and freshest beans to help keep you fueled, focused, healthy, and happy.

neon sign saying, "coffee sleep repeat"


Inside the world of professional coffee tasting


Techno music plays in the background as competitors sniff, slurp, and examine eight sets of three cups of coffee to identify the "odd cup out" in each group as fast and accurately as they can. This is a scene from the World Cup Tasters Competition, an annual worldwide event. When the timer starts, competitors jump to action around small soup bowls filled with coffee, rounded spoons at hand that they plunge into the bowls to spoon coffee from bowl to nose to mouth. This challenge is known as a "triangle test." Just a few feet away from the competitors, the crowds cheer and watch the action on a big screen.

"It's about accuracy first, then speed," says Jen Apodaca, who represented the United States at Berlin's 2019 World's competition. "If one competitor finishes in under two minutes, but they only get seven cups correct, they would place behind someone that took five minutes but got all eight cups." The World Champion in 2019, Daniel Horbat of Ireland, won with seven correct cups he identified within two minutes and 33 seconds. (We think the caffeine might have helped!)

The atmosphere of these competitions is very intense, and the competitors will go to great lengths in preparation for these events. "There are competitors that ate essentially chicken and rice for six months to prepare..." stated Apodaca. These tactics help protect taste buds, and some competitors go as far as wearing a face covering for up to a year before the event to protect their noses from intruding scents.

This competitive competition of sensory skills begins with the ceremonial method of tasting coffee called "cupping," a topic we've explored on our coffee knowledge blog. It's an intricate, multi-step process that coffee producers, baristas, buyers, roasters, and coffee enthusiasts use to identify and categorize different types of coffee.

Competitions like this can help individuals in the industry advance, and the practice of cupping can earn you the title of Q Grader. (A Q Grader is the equivalent of the wine sommelier within the coffee industry; they score the quality of roasted coffees. To achieve this title, coffee professionals must pass a total of 22 tests to prove that they have the sensory and coffee knowledge to grade coffee on the most impartial scale possible. It's a big deal! The testing is rigorous, and the candidates face challenges beyond merely "tasting coffee." For example, one part of the test consists of nine glasses of water. First, candidates have to identify which three are sweet, which are sour, and which are salty. Then, within those three sets, the test is to rank which glass from most to least sweet, sour, or salty. Q Graders evaluate the quality of a coffee and assign grades, which can help farmers earn more money for crops or learn about flaws within their crops to improve quality.)

Some people find this 'Speed Cupping' to be more than just a novelty exercise, including Shannon Cheney, Lab Director at Coffee Lab International. "That kind of competition is just fun for people...I learned so much at Worlds, so I definitely have advice for people who want to go for it," she says. It is an excellent opportunity to meet coffee lovers from all parts of the industry. Taking a top spot on the global stage does require some intense preparation, but that's the kind of dedication a world champion coffee taster might have to make.

Rest assured with Lola Savannah; there is no need for a fancy title or going through the guesswork. We take extreme pride and pleasure in top-quality sourcing coffee beans and roasting them daily to ensure that you get the freshest cup of coffee possible.


professional coffee tasting


Rediscovered coffee plant could thrive in new climate conditions


There are more than a hundred different species of coffee plants! However, the majority of coffee that we drink comes from only two species: Arabica and Robusta. These plants require specific altitudes and climates to flourish, so they grow in only select regions of the world, a topic we've discussed before.

But as the world encounters the effects of changing climate, it's becoming difficult to grow our familiar coffee plants like we used to. The good news is that scientists are identifying other species that can thrive in the warmer temperatures we're experiencing.

Aaron Davis is the head of coffee research at the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens in the U.K. He has discovered that some of these new species taste as good as Arabica but are more adaptable to warmer climates. Drought and increasing temperatures affect coffee crops in different areas, so Mr. Davis is turning to the Stenophylla species of coffee that was once widely farmed in West Africa.
"We were in contact with people that had a memory from their childhood of this coffee and said it was absolutely wonderful. But when we went out and spoke to farmers...nobody had any knowledge of it." Davis says.

A mission was dispatched to discover this forgotten species of coffee, and local experts teamed up with Davis's group to search for and find a Stenophylla coffee plant growing in a forest in Sierra Leone. The team harvested the coffee beans, roasted the samples, and tried the coffee created from this particular species."The aroma and the fragrance of the coffee was wonderful," Davis says. "It actually tasted like Arabica coffee."

The real difference is that Stenophylla can grow in temperatures up to 12 degrees warmer than traditional coffee crops can tolerate. Therefore, this would be a more climate-resilient crop for farmers and could help increase the cultivation and breeding of more coffee plants, which is excellent news for us coffee lovers!

At Lola Savannah, we're committed to being good stewards of our planet and its resources, and we'll keep you up-to-date on exciting developments. In the meantime, we invite you to check out our wonderful assortment of coffees from around the world.

coffee berries on the tree


What is single-origin coffee?


It's pretty straightforward; single-origin coffee comes from a single producer, crop, or region in one country.


"Single-origins highlight the terroir of a specific place — so how the coffee tastes in that place," says Jeremy Brooks, head of sourcing and green coffee buying at Verve Coffee Roasters.

"Single-origins are typically very expressive of the country where they're purchased from. [Anecdotally], Ethiopian single-origin coffee is like eating a peach. Whereas with blends, we can play around and position them in a way that actually gives you a little bit more of a dynamic range: Instead of having a peach, you have a peach cobbler."


Most blends contain beans from several origins, and the art comes comes from how a coffee roaster can build a flavor profile within a cup of brewed coffee by mixing and matching several different origins. "We're taking coffees that maybe have one attribute of chocolate or plum, and then you're building something to bring a coffee to a customer that would allow them to experience it in a certain way," Brooks explained.


There's still debate among professionals as to which option they prefer or think is better. "I think there is a time and place for everything," Brooks said. "Early on in my coffee career, I was a die-hard single-origin maker. I would only drink single-origins. As I developed my coffee career and I've also become closer to the sourcing and roasting side, I now understand the value in both. They both play an important role in sourcing and the supply-chain side of supporting farmers and kind of what you want to taste. Like anything in your life, it depends on your mood."


"Blends are a way that roasters communicate a vibe or something about themselves, something signature," Talitha Clemons, owner of the Oklahoma City-based mobile coffee company Bright Vibe Coffee and a coffee taster competitor, told HuffPost in a recent article. "Maybe [roasters] want to create something that will remind folks of time around a fire or of holidays. When you taste a blend called Fireside, Sweater Weather, or Tropical Weather, you are in a frame of mind to let that coffee take you to a place or a moment or memory, rather than focusing so much on given tasting notes. What is difficult for me is that a blend can contain multiple coffees, and you may get some information about the regions the coffee comes from, but the level of transparency changes."


While both single-origins and blends will appeal to different types of coffee drinkers, Brooks says that some people complain about how sour or acidy single-origins can taste. "It is a little bit more of a unique flavor profile that you have to grow to love," he said. "Sometimes people can take that as a negative. But, on the reverse, some people can say that blended coffees are boring, they don't have any flavor at all, that you have to put milk and sugar in them to make them taste good."


Brooks recommends preparing single-origins with paper filter pour-overs or a Chemex. As for blends, "If you're looking for something with more body and you're wanting the coffee to showcase a little bit more of that blend traditional flavor profile, using a drip pot or doing a French press is good with blends," he advised.


Single-origins tend to cost more than blends, and at the start of the pandemic, there was an increase in sales of single-origins. So perhaps home brewers are curious about specialty coffees. If you find yourself in a similar position, Brooks recommends that novices start with single-origins from Latin America, maybe Costa Rica or Colombia, with a mild taste. "They tend to be inherently sweet and approachable," he said. "As you progress, you can get into some of the more exotic profiles, getting into Africa, especially East Africa."


Whether you buy a single-origin or a blend, what's most important these days is supporting a company you can back. Brooks shared similar thoughts. "Whenever you're looking to buy coffee, you're looking at the underlying missions and values of the people who are buying the coffee and the coffee that you're drinking," he said. "If there's a coffee company that's buying amazing blends and they're paying their farmers really well, and they're making a blend, and that's your approach, I think as long as you're buying the coffee you know is supporting the long-term sustainability of the coffee industry as a whole, then you're doing your part. If some coffee companies are really doing that just through their single-origins, then I think you should buy single-origins. But if they're doing it through their entire buying philosophy, with their blends through their single-origins, I think it's perfectly fine to buy from either side."

The bottom line: Try something new once in awhile, and find something you can be passionate about.

At Lola Savannah, we want our customers to feel confident when they purchase and enjoy our coffee. We want to share our passion, and we hope that people will take the time to learn about this unique natural resource, how coffee is grown and processed, so that they can cultivate a genuine appreciation for coffee.


Feel free to browse our selection of single origins, including coffees from Brazil, Costa Rica, Kenya, Peru, and more!

cup of coffee with world map formed in bubbles


Does coffee enhance athletic performance?

If you were following the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games over the past couple of weeks, you had the opportunity to witness the world's greatest athletes compete after years of dedication and training. But could a cup of coffee be the secret to success for some of these gold medalists? A review from the latest published research by the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee has shown the impact coffee has on participants' performances in sports.

Research now suggests that caffeine intake can improve athletes' muscle strength, endurance, and various aerobic and anaerobic sport-specific benefits. Analysis of 21 studies suggests that caffeine has a positive effect on a range of exercise tasks. Dr. J. W. Langer, a nutritional expert of medical pharmacology at the University of Copenhagen, states, "Many studies show that athletes who consume caffeine before a race or sports event can go faster, last longer and recover more quickly than athletes who do not have the extra boost."

The International Society of Sports Nutrition, known as the ISSN, reviewed recent research and updated its conclusion that caffeine can enhance various aspects of exercise performance. The ISSN now claims that small to moderate amounts of caffeine can improve movement velocity, muscle strength, muscle endurance, sprinting, jumping, throwing performance, and aerobic and anaerobic sport-specific actions.

The results from a 2019 study on a group of runners showed the positive effects caffeine has while running a 5km race. The findings showed that a moderate dose of caffeine produced noticeable gains in comparison to a placebo. Additional research showed how consuming a strong cup of coffee an hour before a one-mile run can improve a male runner's performance by 2 percent. The evidence of this study concluded that participants who drank coffee were five seconds faster than runners who got a placebo---and four seconds quicker than participants who drank decaffeinated coffee.

The results of the research don't just end at running. Another study showed that drinking caffeine 50-60 minutes before playing football can produce valuable athletic improvements in performance, including jumping, repeated sprinting, and running distance.

Although further research still needs to be conducted to confirm and validate these findings, it's encouraging to see the benefits of coffee in real-life situations and its ability to enhance our lives. From our morning cup of coffee to the afternoon pick-me-up we crave or sometimes need, specialty coffee from Lola Savannah can not only lift our spirits but possibly add to the quality of our lives.

cartoon of a running cup of coffee


The Process behind Decaf Coffee


It's a tale as old as time: You wake up in the morning, and the first thing on your mind is a fresh cup of coffee. But, for some people, it's not about the caffeine pick-me-up that coffee is known for; instead, it's about the ritual of drinking and enjoying a cup of coffee. Yes, we are talking decaf! Decaffeinated coffee, first created in the early 1900s, has been around for over one hundred years, yet the process of making this product hasn't changed much since its conception.

A complex blend of compounds, including caffeine and related molecules, are locked inside coffee and produce the distinct taste and flavor we know when the beans are roasted. So the process of removing a key molecule like caffeine from a coffee bean is no small task and can be pretty labor-intensive. On average, a single arabica coffee bean contains 1.9 milligrams of caffeine compared to a single robusta coffee bean that can have 2.9 milligrams of caffeine.

One technique known as the Direct Solvent Decaffeinated Method removes caffeine directly from the coffee beans and leaves (most of) the other flavor compounds behind. This process is done by steaming or boiling green, unroasted beans to pull the caffeine from the bean interior. Then the caffeine molecules are typically washed out using solvents like methylene chloride or ethyl acetate. Like how sugar dissolves in water, the caffeine dissolves in the chemical wash, resulting in coffee beans with little to no caffeine compounds left.

Another method for producing decaf coffee goes some steps further to enrich the flavor. After the solvents have removed the caffeine compounds from the coffee beans, decaf companies brew a strong decaffeinated brew to soak the beans to infuse them with more aroma and flavor.

There have been a few technological advances we can thank science for, including a method called the Swiss Water Process, which uses carbon filters rather than solvents to remove the caffeine from the fresh beans. However, this process does cost more.

And an even more advanced approach, which is quite costly compared to other methods, uses highly pressurized CO 2. This process is called the Carbon Dioxide Method and uses high pressured CO 2 to adopt properties of multiple states at once, so it flows like gas but can maintain liquid density. In this form, CO 2 binds to the coffee beans and removes the caffeine compounds from freshly water-soaked coffee beans.

But what happens to the caffeine that is extracted from coffee beans? Crude caffeine, as it is known, is a brown powder substance that contains all of the extracted caffeine, and it is a huge commodity that is sold to other manufacturers. In addition, crude caffeine is added to other caffeinated beverages like sodas, energy drinks, and candy and beauty products.

In the future, another hopeful source for decaf coffee is in newly discovered strains of naturally decaffeinated coffee plants. These coffee bean strains would eliminate the extra processing that can affect the flavor, leaving a bolder decaffeinated brew. However, for various reasons, such as needing to scale up to commercial production, this commodity is hindered from entering the market.

Regardless of all the hard work that goes into decaffeinating coffee and all of the technological advances, many coffee lovers still feel that decaf coffee is subpar in taste and flavor compared to regular beans. Even with the 100+ years of experience, some coffee manufacturers haven't been able to perfect this practice of removing caffeine without altering the flavor profile to some degree.

As for Lola Savannah's offerings, our flavored decaf coffees use the UVVW process. We also offer one SWP coffee.

Nevertheless, rest assured that Lola Savannah will always go the extra step in testing and tasting all of our blends, ensuring you have the best tasting cup of coffee, caffeinated or not!

the word DECAF spelled in coffee beans


Sustainable Upgrades to Your Coffee Routine


Coffee plays an enormous part in our everyday lives all across the globe. Just within the United States, we consume 400 million cups of coffee every day, resulting in coffee's being one of the most significant commodities to global economies. In this coffee knowledge blogpost, we discuss some of the environmental impacts coffee has so that you can make informed decisions to help combat these issues.

Coffee is cultivated in tropical regions called the "Bean Belt," located around the equator.

Brazil, Colombia, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Ethiopia are the world's top producers of coffee, and so "locally grown" coffee isn't an option for Americans. This means that there are large-scale consequences for our environment arising from just the global shipping of coffee beans from where they're grown to where they're consumed.

There is also considerable waste generated depending on the ways we choose to prepare and consume coffee. But with greater awareness, there are new options for coffee lovers to help reduce waste and create sustainable and responsible coffee routines.

Here is a list of practical tips for "green" coffee practices:

1. Choose consciously and conscientiously

A great way to positively impact the coffee trade is purchasing coffee with legitimate labels and third-party certifications. When a coffee product has authentic credentials, the production process has followed specific humanitarian and environmental policies. Some certifications you can look for when purchasing coffee include

  • Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee brands follow a list of the Sustainable Agricultural Network's environmental, social, and economic standards. This alliance addresses deforestation, restricts the use of pesticides, and assures federal minimum wages for all employees.

  • Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center Bird Friendly Coffee is another certification that products are 100% organic and 100% shade-grown coffee. This group aims to protect migratory birds' habitats, maintain healthy base soils, and use zero pesticides.

  • Fair Trade Certified coffee has a primary focus on supporting workers in general and farmers specifically. A product is certified fair trade through Fair Trade USA and Fairtrade America, representing our country as a member of Fairtrade International. Fairtrade International sets a global stage for reasonable prices and provides funds for community development.

  • A USDA Organic label verifies that farms follow an environmental standard, prohibiting synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Lola Savannah has several organic options.

2. Using Reusable options when possible

Although the environmental footprint of coffee goes far beyond plastic waste, there are still significant steps we can take to improve our impact. With 64% of Americans enjoying at least one cup of coffee per day, if we all made small steps towards sustainability, it could make a significant difference!

Disposable coffee filters require lots of resources to produce, and then they end up in our landfills. Many of these filters are also chemically bleached. Try replacing traditional coffee filters for compostable filters or reusable filters made from plastic, metal, or a washable fabric that you clean between uses. And if you can use an unbleached paper filter, that helps, too. And remember that you can compost paper filters---no need to throw them in the trash.

Coffee on the go can quickly add up to substantial global impacts. With 58 billion paper cups being thrown away every year in the United States, using your reusable mug can make significant changes. A durable, reusable mug for to-go coffee can eliminate 23 pounds of trash each year for a daily coffee drinker. Another way to save on single-use packaging is by buying in bulk.

3. Be Mindful Of Waste

When you consider that the average mature coffee tree produces only around two pounds of coffee beans each year, a considerable amount of effort and energy goes into producing this unique commodity. It's important to acknowledge and pay our respect to those resources and to use every drop of what we brew. If you ever find yourself with leftover coffee, you can save it in the fridge for iced coffee later in the day or the next day. Or freeze it in an ice cube tray to add to cold brew or to jazz up smoothies! And of course, coffee is mostly water, so think about pouring room-temperature brewed coffee on acidic-tolerant plants in your yard.

Utilizing your used coffee grounds instead of throwing them out is another sustainable hack. For creative ideas, click here [Perri, please link] to read our blog post on ways to use your coffee grounds.

While we at Lola Savannah are always striving to make your morning coffee as simple as possible, we also think it's important to acknowledge our impact and to look for ways to improve our carbon footprint. We believe that small steps can have significant results, and that's why we are proud to carry several USDA Organic coffees, including some delicious flavored coffees that we think you're going to love too! So if you are looking to make some sustainable upgrades to your coffee routine, know that Lola Savannah is here to make that transition a happy, delicious one!

man pouring coffee into Lola Savannah coffee mugs


How drinking coffee every day helps connect our brain’s network!


Over 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed daily throughout the world. It's no doubt that people love coffee, and the research behind this unique concoction only continues to justify the fascination. The effects coffee has on our mental performance have been the subject of extensive research, demonstrating the positive impacts coffee can have on our alertness, motor control, and memory. A new study sponsored by the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC) discovered insights into the connectivity and functional changes within regular coffee drinkers' brains.


The findings concluded that regular coffee drinkers had a reduced degree of connectivity in the right precuneus and the right insular when at rest. This difference improved motor control and alertness, helping them better react to a stimulus than non-coffee drinkers.

This study also found more efficient connectivity patterns in other brain areas, in the cerebellum and between the thalamus and the cerebellum. These connections improve motor control among regular coffee drinkers compared to non-coffee drinkers.

The findings of this study also showed an increase in dynamic activity observed in several cerebellar and subcortical areas of the brain among regular coffee drinkers. These produced effects including reduced mind wandering, increased attention, alertness, arousal, and enhanced learning and memory. All in all, these changes imply an improved ability to focus by stimulating areas of the brain that include the cerebellum, striatum, thalamus, parahippocampus, and the lingual and inferior occipital gyri.

Interestingly, non-coffee drinkers could consume a cup of coffee and experience the structural and connectivity differences observed among regular coffee drinkers, which is a testament to coffee's powerful effects on our mental state.

This research ,conducted by Professor Nuno Sousa of the School of Medicine at the University of Minho, Portugal, and his scientists' team used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). This imaging system provided the means to compare the connectivity and structure of the brains of 31 individuals who drink coffee every day and 24 non-coffee drinkers. The scientists tested each of them first while the participants were at rest, while they were performing a task, and just after they had consumed a cup of coffee.

"This is the first time that the effect of regular coffee drinking on the brain's network has been studied in this level of detail. By using fMRI technology, we were able to observe the effect of coffee on the brain's functional connectivity and structure, and the differences between regular coffee drinkers and non-coffee drinkers, in real-time. These findings have – at least in part – helped to provide a mechanistic insight for some of the effects observed in existing research on coffee; such as improved motor control, increased alertness, and benefits to learning and memory."
Nuno Sousa, Professor of School of Medicine, University of Minho

While this may be no surprise to those who love a daily cup (or more!) of coffee, it still amazes us to see the new studies and research capabilities that modern technology provides us only confirm what we know to be true. Coffee makes the world run a little smoother, and here at Lola Savannah, we want to make the most of every cup!


illustration of coffee pouring into the mind


Can Coffee help save our forests?


By now, you are most likely familiar with the benefits of drinking coffee to the human body. But now a new study in Toronto suggests that coffee can fuel more than humans; it can also potentially help restore forests.

Researchers tested a theory in Costa Rica, where the ground was covered in coffee pulp for two years. The results were more vegetation, denser tree trunks, and greater canopy height on the trees.

This project started on a former coffee farm located within southern Costa Rica in 2018. The region had gone through rapid deforestation, and a significant amount of rainforest in the area had been lost.

To test the theory that organic waste could help in forest restoration, the researchers took two adjacent plots of land. They covered one side with coffee pulp, given to them from a "nearby coffee processing cooperative." This thin layer of coffee pulp was no small feat, taking 30 dump truck loads to cover the entire plot of land.

The researchers took a census of the plant species and measured the soil quality and trunk diameters. After the two-year experimental period was over, they returned to measure and record the results.

The land covered in the coffee pulp had significant growth in herbaceous plants, providing a plant cover to the land nine times greater than on the untreated plot. There was also a high percentage of carbon and nitrogen on the land treated with coffee pulp, which showed an increase in soil quality, revitalizing the previously damaged soil. The density of stems and tree trunks on the treated land was 16 times more significant, and the number of trees was vastly greater. The results were visible; images provided by drones showed the tree coverage, and the coffee-treated land had a more lush environment.

The results were provided in the journal Ecological Solutions and Evidence and suggest that these techniques could help jumpstart forest restoration.

"While this single-site study points to promising outcomes for the use of an agricultural by-product to speed up forest recovery, well-replicated testing across multiple sites and over a longer period of time will be necessary to validate the restoration strategy," the researchers stated.


While there still needs to be more research on this topic, the prospects for coffee lovers are hopeful: repairing soils, strengthening forests, and doing our part. Maybe the coffee that we know so well for waking us up can be used to wake up our future forests. A bit of good news and another reason to drink Lola Savannah coffee. Cheers!

coffee and rainforests


What is Coffee Cupping?


Most coffee lovers usually have a "go-to" coffee, whether it's a particular roast, brewing method, or -ahem- favorite coffee company. So what is it that draws you more to one coffee over another? The art of coffee cupping, the term for coffee tasting, is a complex skill to master. Producers and buyers around the world widely use the technique of coffee cupping to check the quality of a batch of coffee. In cupping, coffee's aspects include cleanness, sweetness, acidity, mouthfeel, and aftertaste. Besides being a quality control method, cupping is an excellent way to increase your knowledge about coffee. With practice, you can develop a palate for all the different hidden components within a simple coffee cup and distinguish what flavors draw you in most.

To start developing coffee cupping skills, we will begin with the basic guidelines to identify flavor profiles.
-Always taste coffee black, no additives. Cupping is best done with light or medium roasts, whereas dark roasts are more for tasting the roasting process than the actual coffee bean.
-Best to start with a clean palate and drink water before tasting
-When tasting, start slow with small sips. Then take a nice big slurp to swirl around in your mouth for five seconds, coating your mouth in the coffee.
-Have a flavor wheel handy; this will help you in recognizing the flavors
-Write down what you taste, identify whatever notes your senses pick up on.

So why is this method called "Cupping?" They named this practice after the specialty deep bowled spoons that professionals use to sample the coffee. First, they grind coffee beans to a coarse consistency, in which they pour over water that's just off the boil in a small bowl. After the grounds steep for three to four minutes, the infusion is mixed, and the foamy layer of coffee grounds is removed from the top of the cup using spoons. The coffee needs to cool before tasting, to allow the flavors to emerge fully.

It's a good idea to focus on typical flavor notes such as nutty, chocolate, or fruity when you are just beginning. Similar to wine, there are endless flavor notes since each harvest can be different. Flavors can be directly affected by weather, altitude, soil, and cultivar.

For a more casual cupping experience, brew up a batch of your favorite coffee using a French press or your preferred method of brewing and pour it into smaller cups. Take your time to appreciate how the coffee smells and the unique flavors on your tastebuds. You can discover nuances you never thought existed in a cup of coffee. If you feel daring, maybe try a new blend of Lola Savannah to put your new coffee knowledge skills to use!

coffee tasting table


Coffee Vocabulary


Do you consider yourself a coffee connoisseur? The world of coffee is quite extensive. From the different types of coffee beans and countless creations you can make with coffee, sometimes it's hard to keep up. Here is a list of coffee vocabulary words you can add to your repertoire to talk up any coffee snob.

Acidity: This describes the sharp, snappy quality that makes coffee refreshing, a characteristic of high-altitude-grown coffee beans. Acidity is experienced mainly at the tip of the tongue and is not bitter or sour, as some people assume.

Affogato: Affogato is an Italian term that translates to "drowned." Typically prepared by pouring espresso over vanilla ice cream.

Aroma: This is the scent of brewed coffee, whereas the fragrance of coffee grounds before brewing is called a "bouquet."


Bag: Within the coffee industry, this refers to a burlap sack filled with coffee beans. The weight of a "bag" varies from country to country, but 132 pounds is quite common.


Barista: This term has gained widespread recognition through Starbucks but is an Italian word that refers to all people who make coffee as a profession.


Bitter: This is a characteristic of dark roasts but can also be the cause of over-extraction, too fine of a grind, or low coffee to water ratio when brewing. Bitterness is experienced at the back of the tongue and is a flavor studied among others within the coffee community.


Blend: This is a mixture of two or more different coffee types, typically from one region. This mixture adds depth and complexity to the flavor composition.


Body: This is known as the coffee's texture, the tactile weight in the mouth, and how it feels on the palate. You will see the body listed as a characteristic of different coffee blends; it can range from thin to medium, full, buttery, or syrupy. Discover which is your favorite by experimenting with different blends.


Briny: The refers to the salty sensation that can come from excessive heat after brewing. This characteristic is well known as "Truck-stop coffee," which occurs after a fresh coffee pot is continuously heated for a prolonged period after brewing.


Cappa (or Cappu): This is a short-expression for "cappuccino."


Crema: This is the caramel-colored foam that forms on top of an espresso shot; this occurs when colloids and lipids are forced out into emulsion with the pressure of an espresso machine. The cream acts as a "cap" that retains the flavors and aromatics within your espresso shot. Pro-tip, crema indicates a proper brew. Drink before the crema dissipates, or else you have waited too long!


Dark Roast: This is the term used to describe coffee beans roasted for an extended period to produce a more robust flavor.


Demitasse: A French term that translates to "half cup." Demitasse is a 3-ounce cup used for macchiato or espresso drinks.


Doppio: This is Italian for "double" and is used to order two shots of espresso.


Drip: This is a method of brewing coffee, where you pour hot water over coffee grounds using a French press or filter.

Earthy: This is a term used to describe coffee that refers to the damp earth or soil-like flavors. Earthy elements are typical in Indonesian coffees and have a fresh, smooth quality.


Exotic: This term refers to exotic flavors, often undertones or subtle notes in a coffee's overall flavor, such as "floral" or "berry" qualities.


Fair Trade: This is an economic program that ensures that coffee growers earn a proper minimum wage.


Flavor: When speaking of the flavor of coffee, it is describing all parts of the coffee experience, the aroma, acidity, body, and taste. It is the combination of all sensual elements when drinking coffee.


French Roast: This refers to dark roasted coffee beans, also described as a double roast. Produces a light body yet intense brew that has smoky-sweet characteristics.


Green Coffee: These are coffee beans that a coffee roasting company purchases; the seeds have a green color after being processed and dried.

Once roasted, the coffee takes on a dark brown coloring.


Half Caf: This is when you mix half regular brewed coffee with half decaffeinated coffee.


Roast: Roasting is the process that involved heating green coffee beans till they darken and develop rich, complex flavors.


SCA: This stands for Specialty Coffee Association, the roasting institution and baristas' parent organization that upholds standards and practices in the coffee industry.


Spicy: This is similar to spice in other foods and drinks, spice flavors in coffee offer district and different tastes. Spices for coffee such as cinnamon, vanilla, chili, and chai can be detected in different coffee flavors.


Stale: When the coffee is left exposed to oxygen for too long, it becomes flat and loses its flavor. Leaving a bag of coffee open can cause coffee to go stale. Airtight containers stored out of sunlight is recommended to avoid stale coffee.


Sweet: This is a term to describe coffee that means smooth and free from any harsh flavors. This characteristic depends on the coffee bean's actual flavors and the specific roasting technique; it is more subtle than what we typically think of sugary sweetness.

cup of coffee and a book


Why we CRAVE coffee!


Did you know that Americans are the world's leading consumers of coffee? We consume up to 400 million coffee cups every day. That's more than 146 billion cups of coffee per year!

What makes this elixir so popular and magical? Beyond the familiar aroma and the sophisticated taste, there are real medical and scientific reasons why your body craves coffee.

Coffee boosts energy:
When we are active, adenosine binds with its adenosine receptor, which then makes you feel drowsy. When we ingest caffeine, the receptor binds with the caffeine instead of the adenosine, which is why within 15 minutes of drinking a cup of coffee, you will feel more energized.

Caffeine also causes our pituitary glands to kick in; this in turn affects our adrenal glands. When stimulated, our adrenal glands produce Adrenalin, commonly known as the fight-or-flight hormone, which also gives you a burst of energy.

Reduces Depression:
A study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health found that women who drink four or more coffee cups per day were 20% less likely to suffer from depression.

Strengthens your DNA:
According to a European Journal of Nutrition study, coffee drinkers' white blood cells are less likely to undergo spontaneous DNA strand breakage.


Reduces Cravings:
Coffee is also known to help suppress your appetite. If you're having a sugar craving or want to stop yourself from going for seconds at mealtime, try drinking coffee to help fill you up.

Burns calories:
Caffeine can help with your workouts, stimulating thermogenesis to burn more calories and fat in your body.


Stimulates the central nervous system:
The caffeine in coffee is the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance worldwide. And it's 100% legal!

Coffee could be a lifesaver:
Studies have shown that drinking three to five cups of coffee a day can lead to 15% lower death rates.

It's healthy:
Coffee contains hundreds of biologically active compounds, including caffeine, chlorogenic acid, trigonelline, cafestol, and kahweol. It has also shown its effectiveness in reducing the risk of Alzheimer's, heart disease, gout, type 2 diabetes, and Parkinson's in men.

Brightens mood and vigilance:
Research reveals that caffeine can increase the amount of serotonin released into the brain (our "feel good" chemical).

Improves short-term memory:
A study from Johns Hopkins University found that swallowing the amount of caffeine in one or two cups of coffee boosts a person's memory for new information by roughly 10 percent.

A significant source of antioxidant:
Coffee is rich in antioxidants and can deliver more of them than can a cup of green tea or a plate of fruits and vegetables. Your mom should be happy.

It's not hard to see why people love coffee! With the various medical benefits and the countless creations you can consume, you can't grow tired of this drink! And with Lola Savannah by your side, we will make sure you enjoy every single cup!



brew coffee be happy


History of Coffee


Coffee has become such a staple in our modern-day lives that it's almost impossible to imagine a time before and without coffee. Coffee beans are the second-most traded raw material worldwide, second only to crude oil in value, generating sales over $55 billion a year. How did these unique beans become such a popular, recognizable part of our lives?

Coffee originated from plants in Ethiopia. These plants are evergreen, meaning that they have green leaves year-round. After three to five years, coffee plants start their flowering process, where small white flowers produce green berries. These berries mature over a year, ripen, and turn red.

Legend has it that, many hundreds of years ago in the Ethiopian highlands, a young goat herder named Kali saw his goats eating some berries they found on a tree, and he noticed that the goats then became so energetic they did not sleep that night. The young man decided to collect some of these berries and share his encounter with the local monastery. The monks became intrigued and experimented with the berries, roasting them and mixing them with water to create a delicious beverage.

By the 15th century, news of the energizing effects of coffee beans had spread from Ethiopia to the Arabian Peninsula. Initially met with controversy and banned on religious grounds, coffee finally got some respect when it was adopted to aid long prayer and study sessions. The popular beverage they called "qahwah" was consumed both at home and in the first coffee houses, public spaces for people to gather, socialize, listen to music, and talk about politics.

With greater travel from Europe to the Middle East in the 17th century, returning Europeans brought coffee back home with them. Once again, coffee was met with fear, and some priests even called it "the bitter invention of Satan." But when Pope Clement VIII tried coffee for himself, he found it so delicious that his approval resulted in its being made available to all Catholics. Soon after, coffee houses were opened in Western Europe and became centers of social activity.


In 1714, the Mayor of Amsterdam gave King Louis XIV of France a young coffee plant; the King added the plant to the Royal Botanical Garden in Paris. Eleven years later, a naval officer named Gabriel de Clieu decided to steal a seedling from the King's coffee plant and took it on a voyage to Martinique in the Caribbean. Gabriel's journey was quite treacherous, and he had to defend himself from attacks by fellow crew members trying to destroy the small plant. The trip was also interrupted by an ambush from pirates, and the crew had to spend a whole day defending themselves. Then a terrible storm nearly sank the ship, and the sailors lost most of their freshwater supplies. Gabriel had to share his water rations with the small seedling for the rest of the journey for them both to survive.

After Gabriel arrived in Martinique, he grew the plant and spread its seed. The coffee harvests that resulted brought such a profit for the French that King Louis forgave Gabriel for his theft and appointed him Governor of the Antilles. Within 50 years, over 18 million plants were on the island, and all the coffee plants across the Caribbean, South America, and Central American (now several hundred million at least) all originated from Gabriel's one stolen seedling.

In 1727 the Brazilian government sent Colonel Francisco de Melo Palheta to French Guiana to acquire some of these moneymaking beans for their economy. The story goes that the French Governor did not want to share the crop, but his wife was rumored to have had an affair with the Colonel and gave him flowers sprinkled with fertile coffee seedlings upon his departure back to Brazil. Brazil's coffee industry took off shortly after that and is now the globe's largest coffee producer, responsible for 30% of the coffee produced worldwide.

Coffee first came to New York, known as New Amsterdam at the time, from Europeans in the 1600s, but the settlers did not take to the drink rapidly. Tea was more predominant until the Boston Tea Party in 1773, where angry protestors boarded ships and destroyed a whole shipment of tea in response to King George III's expensive tea tax. The protest was one of the first events in the American Revolution and the War of Independence and paved the way for coffee to become an American staple.

Coffee continues to inspire and motivate our modern world, and its widespread popularity has made it the world's second favorite drink, second only to water. With such an extensive and rich history, coffee is likely here to stay. And we at Lola Savannah couldn't be happier or more proud to serve some of the world's best beans to you!

coffee grinders


Coffee Roasting 101


When Lola Savannah started in 1995, we had a simple vision: Roast high-quality coffee beans and have fun doing it. We take pride and pleasure in roasting quality beans daily in our Texas facility to make sure that you get the freshest cup of coffee possible. On today's blog, let's discuss the basics behind the mastery of roasting coffee beans.

Fresh green coffee beans have none of the characteristics of the dark brown, fragrant coffee beans we know and love these days. Green, unroasted coffee beans are rock hard and smell grassy. Unroasted coffee beans, when stored, lose flavor quality at a slower rate than roasted coffee beans, but it is roasting these beans that truly brings out the aroma and flavor.

When green coffee beans are brought to very high temperatures, they transform chemical and physical properties. Fun fact, roasted coffee develops 800 up to 1000 different aroma compounds!

Roasted coffee beans change in color ranging from a light brown, similar to brown sugar, to a rich black, and weigh up to 20% less after the moisture has evaporated. Properly roasted coffee beans are crunchy and ready to be ground up and brewed into a fresh cup of coffee.


Although some people still enjoy roasting their own fresh green coffee beans, commercial retailers started the distribution of roasted coffee products in the early 1900s. It takes a skilled eye to "read" coffee beans during the roasting process, and mere seconds make the difference between a ruined batch and a perfectly roasted batch of coffee beans.

Trust us in knowing we appreciate both the art and the science of coffee, and yes, we're still having a lot of fun doing it!

coffee roasting


Coffee and Tea could boost life expectancy


As if we needed another excuse for drinking coffee, this new study shows that extended life expectancy could be achieved by drinking coffee and tea every day. For years research has shown the many health benefits of coffee and tea, individually. Still, this new study shows how enjoying these two beverages throughout your day could lower the risk of premature death.

A study published in the journal BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care presented the data from a team of Japanese researchers who analyzed the effects of drinking green tea and coffee among 5,000 diabetic adults.

While most people consider themselves a coffee or tea person, the study results observed that premature death risks were the lowest among those who drink two cups of coffee and four cups of tea every day.

You might have heard some of the benefits of drinking coffee and tea in moderation. These drinks have shown that they can help regulate weight, optimize metabolism, and boost brain health. New research from the Fukuoka Diabetes Registry ran this study for five years. The researchers observed diet and lifestyle topics, including exercise, whether participants smoked, how much they slept, and their daily coffee and tea intake.

The study concluded that those who drank one cup of green tea every day had a 15 percent lower chance of early death, and those who drank two to three cups had a 27 percent lower chance, whereas drinking four cups had a 40 percent lower chance of premature death.

When it came to coffee, drinking one cup per day was observed to have a 19 percent lower chance of death, and those drinking two cups of coffee per day were linked with 41 percent lower odds of early death.

The people with the lowest odds of early death drank four cups of green tea and two cups of coffee every day.

Whether you drink coffee, tea, or perhaps both of these beautiful beverages, we've got you covered at Lola Savannah! So go ahead and pour yourself that second or third cup!

Lola Savannah coffee mug and liquid coffee art


How to repurpose used coffee grinds


Do you prefer fresh coffee that comes from grinding your coffee beans? Well, before you throw out those old used coffee grounds, consider some of these ingenious life hacks on how you can repurpose this precious resource!

-As a deodorizer-
Save your coffee grounds and keep a small can of them under your sink. Next time you chop an onion or fresh garlic, scoop out a small number of grounds, rub them over your hands, and then rinse for odor-free hands and fingers.

-In your garden-
Coffee grounds are highly acidic, for amazing blooms spread them generously over the flower beds of acid-loving plants, such as azaleas, rhododendrons, and Hydrangeas. Used coffee grounds are also a great component to add to compost, loaded with phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, and copper. Seedlings will enjoy a nitrogen boost by stirring grounds into the soil or adding to a watering can. When planting carrot and radish seeds adding a handful of coffee grounds can also double your harvest.

-As an exfoliant-
Caffeine in skincare is said to promote healthy, tight skin and also works great as an exfoliant. To make an exfoliating scrub, add coconut oil, vitamin E oil, or jojoba oil to coffee grounds and rub it over your skin while in the shower. You can also make your own gardener's soap to clean dirty hands. Melt a bar of glycerin soap and stir in ⅓ cup of coffee grounds. Pour this into a soap mold, let sit, then use after gardening or other messy household chores.

-Household Hacks-
Repair small scratches or scuff marks on wooden furniture by mixing one tablespoon of coffee ground with one teaspoon of olive oil. Apply this mixture with a cotton swab, then wipe dry. Always try this on a small inconspicuous area to test results first.

It never ceases to amaze us the wonderful world of coffee and how it can improve our lives! Whether you try one of these hacks or not, we've always got you covered for the perfect cup of coffee here at

cup of coffee and coffee grounds


Coffee Around the World


If you love coffee and traveling, this blog is for you! Coffee around the world looks quite diverse, characterized by different brewing methods and flavored with various ingredients. Today on our "Coffee Knowledge" blog, let us take a trip around the world exploring coffee drinks and be inspired to try something new!


In Austria, a popular coffee drink is Kaisermelange. This drink is prepared by adding a fresh egg yolk and honey to black coffee.


In France, Café Au Lait translates to precisely what it is, black coffee with hot milk.


In Germany, Eiskaffee is a tasty treat where vanilla ice cream is added to coffee.


In Hong Kong, Yuan Yang is a milky coffee drink made with a ratio of ¾ Hong Kong-style milk tea and ¼ coffee.


Italy has a delicious dark drink named Marocchino; this is made with espresso, cocoa powder, and a bit of milk foam.


Ireland, known for this popular coffee version, Irish Coffee is when cream and whiskey is incorporated into black coffee for an adult kick.


In Mexico, coffee is traditionally prepared as Café de Olla. This coffee beverage is brewed in a clay pot and has cinnamon sticks and piloncillo (unrefined sugar) for flavoring.


In Portugal, Mazagran is an iced coffee drink served with sugar and lemon juice.


In Spain and Vietnam, a popular drink both cultures share is coffee mixed with sweetened condensed milk. In Spain, this is called Café Bombón, also known as Ca Phe Da in Vietnam.


Where ever you travel, coffee is always a good idea! And when you can't travel, try one of your favorite Lola Savannah coffee blends in a new way with one of these globally inspired beverages!

world map formed from coffee beans


Recycled Coffee Ground Clothing


For the last few years, innovative companies have been finding new ways of creating textiles to transition the fashion industry to a greener future. Plastic bottles, pineapple leaves, seaweed, and yes, even used coffee grounds are being transformed into functional, eco-friendly clothing items. From jackets to activewear, this trend has many benefits, and not just for the environment.

The coffee grounds used to create the yarn are taken and recycled from some of the world's largest coffee vendors, like Starbucks. This process gives a second life to coffee grounds that would have otherwise ended up in the trash, and the clothing created can be composted at the end of their life, giving it a circular lifestyle.

To create these garments, coffee grounds are processed in a low-temperature, high-pressured environment and made into yarn; this is then woven into a naturally high-tech fabric. The combination offers excellent natural anti-odor qualities, in addition to UV ray protection and quick drying time. It is naturally anti-bacterial and dries 200 times faster than cotton.

This innovative way to create textiles will surely delight coffee enthusiasts worldwide while also eliminating waste globally for a better, brighter future!

coffee dyed cloth


Is decaf tea and coffee bad for you?


Love your morning coffee or tea, but want to cut down on caffeine? Then decaffeinated varieties might seem like the perfect choice – especially if you regularly experience negative side effects after consuming caffeine, such as insomnia or feelings of anxiety.

But just how is caffeine extracted from your favourite hot beverages? And is decaf coffee or tea bad for you?

Read more about decaf tea and coffee...

coffee being poured from a French press


Indian Monsoon Malabar Coffee


In a previous post, we discussed coffee bean production worldwide and how a region's elevation affects different coffee profiles. Today we will cover a unique method of cultivating coffee that produces Monsoon Malabar coffee beans.

"Monsooned" Malabar is a process unique to India, in which harvested coffee beans are exposed to monsoon rain and winds for three to four months. These environmental changes cause the beans to swell and lose some of their acidity, which produces a beautiful flavor profile with a neutral pH balance.

This coffee is protected under India's "Geographical Indications of Goods Act" and is made exclusively in India on the Malabar Coast, near Karnataka and Kerala. This process dates back to the British Raj (when Britain ruled India, 1858-1947.)

When coffee beans were being transported by sea from India to Europe, the sea's winds and the humidity caused the coffee to ripen from fresh green to an aged pale yellow during the months-long sea voyage. During the monsoon season, the journey would take almost six months to sail around the Cape of Good Hope at the southern end of Africa. The coffee beans during this time changed in size, texture, appearance, and taste.

As modern transportation took root and the journey's length got shorter, the beans were better protected from weathering. However, the Europeans receiving these beans were displeased with coffee beans' shipments, which now lacked the same depth and character the weathered beans had developed.

This led to the invention of an alternative process to replicate the conditions from the sea voyage. They recreated this weathering process along the coastal belt of southwest India during the monsoon months. This new method created the same characteristic changes to the coffee beans and the same distinct flavor profile the Europeans had grown to love.

This unique blend is now created in India from June through September, where selected beans are placed in well-ventilated warehouses and exposed to moisture and monsoon winds for 12 to 16 weeks. This process involves careful sorting, repeated spreading, and raking to produce significantly larger, gold pale-colored coffee beans.

The result is a heavy-bodied, savory blend with a chocolatey aroma and notes of spice appreciated worldwide.

At Lola Savannah we always have some Monsoon Malabar in stock, and we invite you to try this special treat!

map of Malabar region of India


Coffee: Cultivating Change


This blog post features an inspiring story of positive change and how communities can come together over coffee.

Coffee has been an essential crop in Rwanda for centuries, but men predominantly governed this business. Traditionally, women managed the household and took care of the children while the men worked the coffee farms and handled business affairs. After the genocide in 1994, one of the darkest periods in their history, Rwanda is rebuilding its economy and its civil society by fostering community through Co-Ops of Women in the coffee industry.

After the genocide, women across the country found themselves in similar positions. Many of the country's men had been killed or imprisoned or had fled, leaving the fields untended, and coffee farms languished. The women left behind took on new duties and responsibilities, learning to grow and sell coffee to support their families.

When the women came together, they realized they could sell their coffee at higher rates collectively rather than individually. The women involved in these co-ops increase their earnings four-fold, and some have set up emergency funds accessible to co-op members in need.

These Co-Ops have helped empower women to take up a new place in society. These newly minted businesswomen are coming together, healing, and finding support after facing so much loss. One co-op named Hingakawa, which translates to "Let's Grow Coffee," consists of both Hutu and Tutsi, who have made "poverty their mutual enemy rather than each other" and aim to heal through leadership.

Chances are that if you've had a cup of coffee today, no matter where in the world it comes from, it was planted, picked, delivered, and/or harvested by a woman. Rwanda’s new women coffee farmers and business people have embraced equality and community in a time of need to rebuild their society and unite them when they needed it most. May they be an inspiration to all of us!

coffee drying


Types of Coffee


Coffee plays an undeniable role in our lives. Whether you’re an avid coffee connoisseur or you enjoy just the occasional cup, coffee has been widely appreciated since the 15th century and isn't going anywhere soon. So, where does this plant grow, and what makes it so unique? Today we’re sharing the basic breakdown of different species of coffee and where they are cultivated around the world.

Coffee is a shrub native to sub-Saharan Africa—now widely grown worldwide, primarily around the tropic belt that surrounds the equator. Referred to as the "Coffee Belt," these mountainous regions extend 30 degrees north and south of the equator and produce the world's most extraordinary coffees. In addition, high elevations provide the most ideal growing conditions for coffee trees. Lush volcanic soil and elevations over 1200m prolong bean development and enhance acidity and flowering. Africa, Indonesia, and Latin American benefit from these microclimates and represent the bulk of coffee growing regions.

There are several different coffee beans types, the four most popular being Arabica, Robusta, Liberia, and Excelsa. The beans most commonly roasted for consumption in the United States are Arabica and Robusta, the latter being more popular in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Here are a few keynote differences when it comes to these coffee beans.

Arabica has a sweeter, more delicate flavor and tends to be less acidic. These beans come from high elevations above sea level, with lots of rainfall. Brazil, known for its lush rainforests, is the foremost exporter of Arabica beans and represents 60-70% of the coffee produced globally.


Robusta is known for its robust flavor profile. Robusta coffees have higher levels of caffeine, which help this species grow because caffeine acts as a natural insect repellent. These trees are also very tolerant of being grown in many different altitudes and climates. Robusta coffee beans have a reputation for tasting burnt or rubbery. It is a popular choice where strong coffee is a cultural norm.


Liberica coffee beans are rarer, grown in such particular climates that production is too scarce to reach a global market. These beans are said to have an aroma that resembles fruit and flowers and has a "woody" taste.


Excelsa, a member of the Liberica family, is a very distinct variety. It is grown in Southeast Asia and represents the smallest fraction of the world's coffee production. This coffee bean has a tart, fruity flavor with a unique profile that has attributes of both light and dark coffees.


When it comes to finding your perfect blend, consider how you like to consume your coffee. Arabica is excellent for those who prefer a light coffee without having to add cream or sugar. If you prefer iced coffees or adding your favorite flavorings, Robusta's strong profile may be a better choice.


Explore the different options, and you will see for yourself that there's something for everyone in the coffee world!

coffee growing regions
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