What are the fantastic benefits of Cascara Tea?

Cascara coffee cherry tea.

Benefits of Cascara Tea, do you know what they are? Have you heard of the new hybrid tea Cascara Tea now available in many artisanal and boutique cafes?

Did you grow up like me in a household of tea drinkers? Was coffee a funny tasting acidic hot drink you tolerated once it was placed in front of you? If you want to read my journey regarding the world of coffee, click on this link:

An Englishman’s journey with the world of coffee.

My initial journey was typical of many of my baby booming generation. Luckily for me, the world of coffee changed enormously and the fact I moved to Colombia at the ripe old age of 58.

Now, I am a coffee person, but, I think discovering Cascara Tea has tipped the balance back to tea again.

Cascara is a Spanish alternative word for Tusk, peel or skin. It was given to describe its origin. The tea comes from the outer peel of traditionally discarded coffee cherries. Amazingly, the same outer shell that surrounds and protects the coffee beans within them as they grow and ripen.

Coffee producers around the world are turning to sun-drying the coffee cherries and brewing them in similar ways as we brew our tea.

The first El Salvador coffee grower who realised the opportunities of creating and blending the wasted coffee cherries was a forward-thinking lady named Aida Batlle. She accidentally discovered the sweet fruity aroma one day when standing next to a pile of discarded cherries.

Like all discoveries, where the rest of the world ignored the pile and accepted the waste as the norm.

Aida instead picked through the dry cherry pile. She selected a small amount and cleaned them with fresh water. After that, she placed the cherries into a glass of hot water and sat back to sample what it would taste like.

I suspect the revelation of discovering this brand new delicious experience was as exciting to Aida as it was for me. For me, I could not wait to share the flavours with all who would stop and listen to me. Reading that Aida’s customers were soon drinking her newly discovered Cascara made me smile.

Little did the early explorers of Cascara consider the longterm benefits of Cascara tea.

Legend has it that Kaldi the goat herder, after witnessing the strange effects on his goats when they ate the nearby unknown fruit later to become renown as coffee, did report the dilemma to his local monks. None at the time truly understood or even contemplated the benefits that would come from the coffee cherries hanging in the trees.

You can read Kaldi’s story on a previous article I wrote with this link:

The incredible history of coffee.

A happy goat showing one of the benefits from the coffee cherry.
A happy goat showing one of the benefits from the coffee cherry.

Cascara Tea for me is a delicious drink that has an abundance of sweet and fruity flavours.

Today I met a very hardworking and talented Barista here in Colombia. He reintroduced me to his version of Cascara Tea. I noted the many flavours of rose hip immediately, closely followed by cherry, mango, hibiscus, red currant, and I believe a hint of tobacco.

The logo for La Gaitana School of Baristas.
The logo for La Gaitana School of Baristas.

The latter may have come from my stretched imagination, but I like to think was true. Julian, my Barista Teacher and Exporter for the day was happy to promote the benefits of regularly drinking Cascara Tea he had discovered himself as well as his loyal customers.

He reported to me the brief history and the following benefits of drinking Cascara Tea:

Tea has proved to be a resounding source of comfort, and healing for all tea drinkers around the world. Most certainly within the British way of life.

Tea’s diversity has proved to be the best thing that all will gladly mention when the subject arises. It is the same for any tea whether it be black, green, herbal or fruity.

Us tea drinkers can always relate a time when the tea of our choice made a difference to our lives. Now it is Cascara Tea’s time to shine.

Cascara Tea is an excellent source of antioxidants. They provide support for our energy, mental clarity, and overall wellbeing.

With us Brits, no matter where we hang our hats, we have enjoyed the benefits of drinking tea for over 350 years. It has become our quintessential English drink. But remember, tea’s history did not start with the English, its story began a lot earlier.

Chinese history can trace back a form of herbal tea being brewed as far back as 2737 BCE with Emperor Shen Nung the dedicated herbalist.

Benefit 1. Cascara Tea has proved to be a great source of antioxidants.

A woman holding board with antioxidants concept.
Woman holding a board with Antioxidants concept

Antioxidants are in many foods we refer as “Superfoods.” Their properties have long been known to protect our immune system and overall health. They protect our cell membranes and delicate cells, as well as the ability to reduce any inflammation we may suffer.

It was reported that Cascara Tea has a higher density of antioxidants than fruits such as blueberries, cranberries and pomegranates.

Benefit 2. The ability for you to promote improved levels of energy naturally.

For those of us who have discovered Cascara Tea will gladly agree that this tea is the perfect balance between tea and coffee. We love the fruity sweet flavour and find it a natural choice when we do not wish to face the acidity taste of our favourite coffee.

The incredible irony both come from the same source – Yes the coffee bean. Thus, making the caffeine structure similar in design but less in amount.

Cascara Tea has approximately one quarter less content of caffeine compared to your regular coffee. If you worry about the effects of drinking a coffee later in the afternoon or at night, you now have an alternative.

Another benefit of Cascara Tea. It gives you the needed energy support without losing sleep at night, and protects you against the extremes of highs and lows with sugar. You now can avoid other alternatives such as energy drinks and sugary soda drinks.

Benefit 3. The positive feeling of promoting and improving our mental health and clarity.

businesswoman having positive feelings about work.
A young businesswoman showing a happy mental health and wellbeing at her desk.

From the coffee cherry, it is noted that levels of Brain-derived Neurotropic factor or BDNF can be supported. It gives us the ability to preserve our memory.

According to the British Journal of Nutrition higher levels of BDNF is critical for our brain’s clarity. It supports the promotion of healthy ageing of our brains. This positive benefit can also benefit our memory, our feelings of happiness and goodwill.

The conclusion to: “What are the fantastic benefits of Cascara Tea?” is a brief on how to make this tea.

Just like your typical tea, the longer you brew, the stronger the flavour.

You can alter the taste to match your preferred level of strength and sweetness by adding small amounts of Stevia. But, I can assure you that omitting the addition of any form of sweeteners is not required.

Why not just enjoy the organic benefits of Cascara Tea and drink it as nature has provided. It is a delicious beverage all by its self.

It will be fantastic to hear your stories regarding the benefits of Cascara Tea that you have enjoyed. Please submit your comments below:

Mike’s Bio.

Mike Bowley is an Indoor Coffee Houseplant & Colombian Giftware Importer, SEO Content Writer, Baby Boomer, and published Author. He thrives on creating alliances with UK based Artisanal Cafe Owners and Garden Centers with artisanal product makers in Colombia.

He enjoys helping “Newbie” website owners. Plus, fellow Baby Boomer Online Entrepreneurs in getting organic content onto web pages and mobiles.

Mike has spent over 50 years in sales/marketing and shares his life and work between the UK and Colombia. He is a regular writer on both Viviamaridi and WattPad.
Visit his author’s website here: mikebowley.com.

What is inside a coffee cherry and how does it affect your cup of coffee?

A small bunch of red and green coffee cherries.
Red coffee beans on a branch of a coffee tree, displaying ripe and unripe berries isolated on white background.

Have you ever wondered what is inside a coffee cherry? How does it affect your cup of coffee? How many times have you said to yourself; I must Google the answer later, and never have? Would you like to know all the processes that go into providing you with that simple cup of coffee?

The answer is simple, the beans come from a bright red coffee cherry.

But, you may already know this fact. So, what is inside a coffee cherry and how does it affect your cup of coffee?

There are crucial parts to the inside of a coffee cherry, and each has its own importance on the final processing method that is adapted to creating your brew of choice.

Red coffee cherries and dry coffee beans.
A beautifully displayed bowl of ref coffee cherries with an abundance of dry coffee beans as a base.

The first fascinating thing to remember when we roast, grind and brew our coffee beans, they initially were the seeds of a fruit.

Each coffee plant produces its coffee cherries, and each will contain one or two seeds inside of them.

Another surprising fact regarding the coffee plant with their deep green, and waxy looking leaves, when left alone can grow to over 30 feet tall. With each branch displaying an abundance of coffee cherries.

When you visit the coffee farms around the world, you will see nearly all the farmers prune and cut back on a regular basis to allow the plants to conserve their energy and to help in the harvesting processing.

Like many other plants and shrubs such as roses, pruning regularly will give a better yield and quality in a limited space.

It will often take between three to four years for each plant to yield the fruit and you can expect the average plant to produce around 10lbs of coffee cherries in an average year. In turn, these result in the production of around 2lbs of green beans.

The coffee growing belt that expands around the globe will harvest many varieties of coffee, and the beans will naturally have many characteristics. These same variations will affect the flavour, their size and what level of resistance to diseases each has.

The Anatomy of a coffee cherry.
An infogram showing the inside of a coffee cherry.

Let’s look at the insides of a coffee cherry.

The thin red skin of the cherry is known as the Exocarp. It starts life green in colour until it ripens into a bright red cherry. You can see this in the pic above. In some varieties, you will find the colour change to pink, yellow or orange.

Remember: it is easy to become confused with green coffee cherries and green coffee beans. The latter is the unroasted seeds that as I have said are found inside of each ripen coffee cherry.

  • The next layer below the Exocarp is a thin layer known as the Mesocarp or for ease of remembering you can refer to as the Pulp which houses the water and sugars.
  • Within the pulp, you will discover a thinner layer known as the sweet coating Mucilage.
  • This is where you will also find another layer known as pectin. All these layers are full of sugars which makes them crucial during the coffee fermenting process.

Now we finally come to the coffee seeds themselves. In the coffee industry they are known as the Endosperm, but, like the rest of us, you can refer to them as the beans.

You will usually find two beans inside each coffee cherry, and each is covered by a thin layer of Epidermis or silverskin followed by a papery hull – Endocarp we refer to as the parchment.

This parchment will be removed as the first step of hulling in the drying process. All evidence of the remaining fruit is also removed from each of the beans.

Machinery used in the latter stages of washing the cherries.

I mentioned earlier the Epidermis, this layer is made up of a group of cells called Sclerenchyma cells. These cells are robustly attached to each of the beans. They act to support and protect the seeds themselves. During the roasting process, these cells will naturally fall away and are known as the Chaff.

Prior to roasting, the inside of each coffee cherry is removed and the beans dried to approximately 11% of moisture content.

There are two commonly used methods for extracting the cherry skin.

They are known as the washed process (with water) and the dried process.

This latter process allows the coffee to dry under the sun naturally. Thereafter, placed in machines to extract the skins.

In around 5% of coffee cherries when opened, will reveal only one seed inside. You will find them rounder and larger in size. These beans are called Peaberries.

They are usually formed due to insufficient pollination, or because the other seed has simply not grown. Peaberries will occur where the coffee plant is exposed to extreme weather conditions. Hence why you will often see banana trees near the Colombian coffee plants to add protection.

Farmers, tend to treat the peaberries different to the usual crop to avoid any inconsistencies when roasting.

A handful of dry parchment beans.
A handful of dry parchment beans.

What bearing does anatomy impact on your regular cup of coffee?

In most cases, the coffee cherry skin is discarded. But, thankfully some entrepreneurs and pioneers are exploring the beautiful taste of Cascara.

A brew of cascara in a clear cup.
A brew of cascara in a clear cup.

Only yesterday I was given a cup of this fantastic brew. When you see it for the first time, it looks like tea, it smells like tea, and it tastes like a fruit flavour tea. Then you discover the primary ingredient is the skins of coffee cherries!

From the moment, the mild flavour with a hint of sweetness of Cascara hit my lips I was hooked. I feel this is the most delicious and refreshing tea I have ever tasted.

The flavour for me is so reminiscent of a mild mix of fruits such as red mulberry, cranberry raspberries and of course cherries.

Coffee farmers do find it difficult to remove the skin and mucilage from the coffee beans. Over time they have managed to design and develop numerous methods to achieving the desired outcome.

The only thing for you to reflect on is each method can and does have an effect on the profile and taste of the coffee, you are about to drink.

  • With washed coffee, the fruit is completely removed before the drying process.
  • In natural coffee, the fruit flesh is removed after the drying process.
  • Regarding the honey coffee process and pulped natural process. Coffee cherry skin and large parts of the mucilage are removed before the drying process. Afterwards, the remaining mucilage is removed.

The term Honey is down to the mucilage being extraordinary sticky and sweet just like real honey. If you ever get the opportunity to savour a honey processed coffee, you will immediately notice their sweet delicious flavours.

Coffee cherries begin germinating as soon as they leave the branch, by utilising the sugar in the seeds. The germination only stop when the drying process starts.

From the insides of the coffee cherry to your favouite cup of coffee.

Hopefully, after reading this article on “ what is inside a coffee cherry and how does it affect your cup of coffee?” you will not need to Google every time the question comes up. In fact, why not share my articles on the world of coffee to all friends, colleagues, family and coffee fanatics.

The incredible history of coffee

What is the history of colombian coffee and why is it famous?

What is the coffee bean growing belt?

Now you know the inside of a coffee cherry. So, when savouring your next favourite brew pause and wonder no more.

Mike’s Bio.

Mike Bowley is an Indoor Coffee Houseplant & Colombian Giftware Importer, SEO Content Writer, Baby Boomer, and published Author. He thrives on creating alliances with Artisanal Cafe Owners, and Garden Centers with artisanal product makers in Colombia.

He enjoys helping “Newbie” website owners & fellow Baby Boomer Online Entrepreneurs to get their relevant content onto web pages and mobiles.

Mike has spent over 50 years in marketing, and now shares his life and work between the UK and Colombia. He is also a regular writer on both Viviamaridi and WattPad.

Visit his author’s website here: mikebowley.com.

Caffeine in your coffee? Is it Healthy?

A coffee bean dripping.
A coffee bean dripping.


Is it healthy to have caffeine in your coffee? Let’s answer your questions and clear up any misunderstandings you have regarding caffeine in your coffee.

In every 8 oz cup of brewed coffee, you can expect it to contain between 70 to 140 mg of Caffeine.

Ok still non the wiser with regards to caffeine in your coffee? Look at the next table, which when used as a guideline, will help you to know, the different types of coffee and which has the most caffeine:

8 fluid oz2 – 3 mg0.25 – 0.38 mg
8 fluid oz3 – 4 mg0.38 – 0.5 mg
Drip Coffee8 fluid oz65 – 120 mg8.13 – 15 mg
Brewed Coffee8 fluid oz95 mg (average.)11.88 mg
Cold Brew Coffee16 fluid oz200 mg12.5 mg
Nitro Coffee16 fluid oz325 mg20.31 mg
Espresso2 fluid oz per shot60 – 102.67 mg30 – 51.34 mg
12 fluid oz702 – 928 mg58.5 – 77.33 mg
Latte or Mocha8 fluid oz63 – 126 mg31 – 55 mg
Sources: US Food & Drug Administration, Caffeine informer, National Coffee Association.

Caffeine is a stimulant that enhances your brain functioning power and in the short-term boosts up your metabolism and exercise performance.

Coffee, tea, chocolate, and soft drinks all contain caffeine. Our much needed early morning cup of coffee sadly has the most. Caffeine is regarded as the most commonly consumed Psychoactive substance on our planet.

Caffeine blocks the functioning of our inhibitory neurotransmitter. Easier known as our Brain Hormone. Also medically known as Adenosine.

By obstructing the adenosine, the caffeine in your coffee is able to increase the activity in our brains. At the same time caffeine releases other neurotransmitters called Dopamine and Norepinephrine. Thus reducing the effects of tiredness and having the opposite effect of increasing our alertness.

Is that all you need to know about caffeine in your coffee?

Alas no, the above chart gives you the basic knowledge of what to expect in one of your favourite coffees. Now let’s look at the source of your coffee, do you drink Arabica or Robusta coffee? As the type of bean in your coffee matters.

It’s safe to regard  Arabica Beans to be of a higher quality than Robusta Beans.

Arabica is the harder of the two species to farm but does produce wonderful sweet and fruity flavours. Only drawback, these same beans have on average twice as much caffeine than it’s counterpart the Robusta.

Now, if your taste buds prefer a strong bitter-earthly taste, then seek out the Robusta bean. These have less caffeine and costs less to produce. Nearly all the supermarket brands around the world will have Robusta beans as the main ingredient.

This image is showing the differences bwtween a Arabica and Robusta coffee bean
This image is showing the differences between Arabica and Robusta coffee beans.

Your next  2 questions. Does the type of roast matter?

Does Light Roast have more caffeine than Dark Roast?

Yes and No. Both roasts bean for bean has almost the same number of mg of caffeine.

When beans go through the roasting process, they will lose some of their body mass. Now it stands to reason the dark roasted beans will weigh less than their light roasted counterparts. Pound for pound in weight the dark roast will generally pack more beans.

Subsequently, do you measure out by volume in which case the light roast will have more caffeine or do you measure by weight? If so guess what, the dark roast wins.

Confused? I know I was.

How about if I explain it this way?
  • For every cup of light roast, you are going to have more caffeine than a cup of the alternative dark roast. Why? Because the light roast has denser and heavier beans.
  • Now if you measure out say 25 grams of each light and dark roast. The latter will have more caffeine due to the extra volume.
  • Yes, it’s true they both weigh the same – 25 grams but remember the dark roast beans have less density, and therefore you actually have one or two more.

Now, refer back to the original chart showing you the various coffees and the amounts of caffeine in each. It is time to investigate other types of beverages available.

Americano drip coffee vs. Espresso?
Americano drip coffee vs. Espresso?

The size of your beverage has its role to play in the confusion on whether espresso is the better choice over a drip coffee. Guess what? Espresso does not appear to be the better choice.

An 8 oz drip coffee is the ideal choice if you wish to reduce your quantities of caffeine. Try not to forget that espresso has per ounce more caffeine (40 – 45 mg) and drip although greater in volume has only 9 -18 mg.

Also, bear in mind, the exact caffeine content in your daily cup of tea or coffee will vary depending on where it originated from, what preparation & processing methods were used, and finally, the actual brewing time.

Please use the following two tables as guidelines.

Black8 fluid oz25 – 48 mg
Black Decaffeinated8 fluid oz2 – 5 mg
Green8 fluid oz25 – 29 mg
Bottles Ready to Drink8 fluid oz5 – 40 mg

Citrus (Most Brands)8 fluid oz0
Cola8 fluid oz24 – 46 mg
Root Beer8 fluid oz0
Energy Drink8 fluid oz27 – 164 mg
Energy Shot1 fluid oz40 – 100 mg

What are the positives and negatives of caffeine in my coffee?


Apart from the boost in metabolism and enhancing your exercise performance in the short term. Caffeine in your coffee can have other benefits that will please you.

  • Coffee drinkers have been shown in various observational studies around the world may have a lower risk of between 32 to 65% in developing Parkinson’s Disease.
  • Sadly, there are over 300 million souls around the globe are registered type 2 diabetics. Again observational studies have shown that regular coffee drinkers can reduce their risk of developing diabetes by between 23 to 67%.
  • Another positive for coffee drinkers, further observational studies have shown that coffee drinkers have up to 40% lower risk of attracting Liver cancer.
  • We coffee drinkers are happy people and less prone to depression and suicide. By drinking as much as four cups of coffee per day can lead to a suicide reduction rate of 53%.
  • There are observational studies completed at Harvard University back in 2011 that demonstrate us coffee drinkers live longer than our non-coffee drinkers neighbours. The main drawback, we’ve got to drink 4 to 5 cups of our favourite coffee per day.
  • There are no negatives with your caffeine in your coffee. Sorry only kidding.
  • If we drink too much coffee, caffeine intake can lead us to be jittery or anxious. We can experience heart palpitations and panic attacks.
  • If you are still drinking coffee after 2 pm each day, you might find your sleeping quality is disrupted. You might start to suffer from insomnia. Best to revert to fresh water for the afternoon and evening.
  • I am sorry to say that caffeine is an addictive substance and without it can lead some of us down the path of headaches, migraines, lethargicness, and irritability.
  • So watch out if you are a regular coffee drinker, consuming regular amounts of caffeine will make you at some point tolerant to it.
  • If you suddenly abstain from caffeine, you can guarantee you will have withdrawal symptoms. Irritability, brain bog, headaches, and exhaustion can last many days.

You have not mentioned Decaffeinated coffee. Should I revert to Decaf or stay with the regular?

Caffeine Free Logo

The process of turning regular coffee into decaffeinated coffee is a simple one. The beans are repeatedly rinsed until nearly all the caffeine has been removed. It will still retain some levels of caffeine but at a much-reduced amount compared to regular coffee.

The drawback here for some of us, we can lose some of those positive health benefits that I mentioned earlier.

In a caffeine FREE conclusion.

Now, you know it is safe to have caffeine in your coffee. But, like everything in life always use a good degree of moderation. If you are unsure consult with your family practitioner.

If you are a diehard coffee fanatic like us here at Calibri. Tell us your reasons why you love coffee. We will print the best.

Click here and submit:       I love coffee because…..

Why not discover our other coffee induced posts:

An Englishman’s journey in the world of coffee.

What is coffee?

The incredible history of Coffee.

Image credits:



Mike’s Bio.

Mike Bowley is an Indoor Coffee Houseplant & Colombian Giftware Importer, SEO Content Writer, Baby Boomer, and published Author. He thrives on creating alliances with UK based Artisanal Cafe Owners and the UK Based Garden Centers with artisanal product makers in Colombia.

He enjoys helping “Newbie” website owners & fellow Baby Boomer Online Entrepreneurs to getting their organic and relevant content onto web pages and mobiles.

Mike has spent over 50 years in sales and marketing, and now shares his life and work between the UK and Colombia. He is also a regular writer on both Viviamaridi and WattPad.

Visit his author’s website here: mikebowley.com.

February 2019

History of Colombian Coffee and why it is famous?

A table loaded with Colombian coffee beans.
A table loaded with Colombian coffee beans.

What’s the history of Colombian Coffee and why is it famous? The chances are for all of us coffee lovers, is that we have most certainly sampled the delicious brew from South America.

Let’s deal with the history first. Colombian Coffee according to legend was introduced to South American by Jesuit Missionaries back in the mid-1700s. The powers that be had tried unsuccessfully to persuade their people to grow coffee.

Why was there so much resistance? Well, it would take 5 years for a coffee tree to produce its first crop. Understandably they were worried about how they were going to survive during that time.

From the very first penance the history of Colombian coffee began.

One particular Jesuit priest called Francisco Romero came up with a brilliant solution. Every time penance was required with a confession, he ordered each person to plant 3 to 4 coffee plants.

As soon as the Archbishop of Colombia heard of what Francisco was doing, he quickly ensured all the Jesuit priests did the same. This firmly paved the way forward for the history of Colombia coffee to begin.

It was not until 1835 that this delicious coffee started to make its way outside of the Colombian borders with its 2500 bags to the USA.

The next milestone for the history of Colombian coffee was not long in coning.

Twenty-five years later Colombian grown Arabica coffee, as opposed to the cheaper Robusta, became the number one exporting product with over 170,000 bags heading to the USA and Europe. The lucky & hardworking Colombians coffee farmers have never looked back.

Currently, they are exporting around 11 million bags per year.

Colombia has remained a firm favourite around the world for high altitude grown coffee and is only beaten by the mighty Brazilian and Vietnam output.

So what makes the history of Colombian coffee so famous and compelling?

Back in 1959, the National Federation of Colombian Coffee growers created a marketing campaign that was so successful the whole world stood up and listened to the message of their coffee through the eyes of their fictitious character known as Juan Valdez.

I must admit when I first heard the name Juan Valdez I had no idea he was not real. Six years ago I found out he was invented to promote Colombian coffee. In fact, I was amazed, and I became curious to learn more with regards to the history of Colombian coffee. I found it exciting did not stop me enjoying the richness of each cup I drank.

What else guaranteed the success of Colombian coffee?

The country’s perfect geography of being mountainous and tropical is the primary reason. Not forgetting, its endless volcanic soil and breathtaking elevations reaching as high as 1,800 metres. (6000 Feet)

If you are reading this article and living in Scotland, Ben Nevis is a toddler in comparison with its impressive 1,345 metres. I only mention this comparison to give you all an idea what Colombia has.

Its climate allows the coffee bean to flourish and grow into a rich, full-bodied taste. Not withstanding a perfectly balanced flavour.

The bean loves the volcanic soil and the bonus of growing inside of the coffee belt of 30 degrees North and 30 degrees South. You will see them shaded by vast communities of rubber trees and banana trees.

The majority of coffee farms and fields are outside of areas that are prone to frost. Coffee beans do not flourish in frost. In fact, they hate it, and will not survive.

They do enjoy the rain and never complain if there are 80 inches of rain in any one year.

Now compare that with the typical annual rainfall for various cities in the UK with Birmingham 26.8 inches and London at 23.3 inches. So the next time you guys start moaning about the rain, consider the inhabitants inside the Colombian coffee belt.

The nearest town in the UK that challenges Colombia each year is Princetown in Dartmoor Park with its average rainfall of 78.7 inches.

What areas and cities make up the Colombian Coffee growing region?

You will find the fincas (Spanish for farms) between the three large cities of Bogota, Medellin towards the north of the country and Cali in the southwest.

Locally it is known as Eje Cafetero or Zona Cafetero (translated as the Coffee Axel.)

If like me you feel the urge to learn more of the history of Colombian coffee, you will be pleased to know if you also love football there is a football team named oin honour of the delicious brew.

The name Los Cafeteros is also the official name for Colombia’s national football team.

National Federation of Colombian Football Logo.

As soon as you drive outside of any city. Head in the direction of Manizales. Salento, Cordoba or Armenia and you will find yourself in the rolling green hillsides. You cannot fail to see millions of coffee shrubs in every direction.

Even the farmers can be seen in their unique cowboy hats and ponchos that keeps them warm and dry.

It is accepted that the further up the mountains you go the higher the quality of coffee you will come across.

Colombian mountains in the background with two cups of coffee at the front.
Colombian mountains in the background with two cups of coffee at the front.

Thus, leading to the fact – with Colombia’s high altitude geography, blended with its tropical and wet climate, all cemented with mountains of volcanic soil all point to the ideal conditions for coffee growing.

How do the Colombian farmers harvest their coffee beans?

The inside of a coffee cherry and a coffee bean.

The majority of the fincas are small. Each farm will pick their coffee cherries, then separate the hard bean found inside of each cherry from the outside skin. They will wash and dry each bean and finally sell their produce to a local cooperative.

Each cooperative will then negotiate with leading names such as Starbucks, Costa Coffee and other leading household names. As well as artisanal cafes, grocery stores and superstores such as Tesco and Walmart.

At this point the beans sold are shipped overseas to be eventually roasted, grounded and brewed.

Does history show Colombians drink their own coffee?

In the coffee regions, the answer is an overwhelming yes. But in the cities, you can find many locals who have no idea what a cappuccino is.

The city dwellers drink gallons of black coffee known locally as Tinto.

Colombian Tinto.

I have been told the majority of Tinto is made from inferior beans that are rejected for exportation. There are many occasions I can vouch for this belief. But, I can also quote endless enjoyable moments supping a rich tasting Tinto.

I love partaking Tinto with no milk and no sugar. I accept that being served a cracking good Tinto is pot luck. But, when I compare the coffee, I have experienced from many well-known outlets in the UK.

I will always sing Tinto’s praises above the tasteless alternative often found in large containers back home.

As you can guess from my writing, I am Colombia’s biggest fan of their coffee culture. From my initial touristic visit of Parque De Cafe back in 2013 to sitting today in my home brewing my latest cup of Expresso six years later. I love everything about the history of Colombian coffee.

The famous Parque de Cafe in Armenia.

So much so that in the coming months I will be importing Colombian Indoor coffee plants to the United Kingdom. There I hope to share via Garden Centres and individual Artisanal Cafes the unique and rewarding aromas of Colombian coffee plants. You never know one day you may well find me on a page or two adding my Englishness to the history of Colombian coffee.

For more insights into the world of coffee, please click on the following articles and Mike would love to read your thoughts.

An Englishman’s journey with the world of coffee

What is coffee?

What is the incredible history of coffee?

Mike’s Bio

Mike Bowley is an Indoor Coffee Houseplant & Colombian Giftware Importer, SEO Content Writer, Baby Boomer, and published Author. He thrives on creating alliances with UK based Artisanal Cafe Owners and the UK Based Garden Centers with artisanal product makers in Colombia.

He enjoys helping “Newbie” website owners & fellow Baby Boomer Online Entrepreneurs to getting their organic and relevant content onto web pages and mobiles.

Mike has spent over 50 years in sales and marketing, and now shares his life and work between the UK and Colombia. He is also a regular writer on both Viviamaridi and WattPad.

Visit his author’s website here: mikebowley.com.

March 2019

Coffee Bean Growing Belt? What and where is it?

A map of the world's coffee belt.
A map of the world’s coffee belt.

The Coffee Bean Growing Belt spans right across the Equator line. Where the sea gives way to land you will find a coffee bean maturing.

As you can see from the map above, you can discover the coffee bean bean growing belt reaches out northwards to the Tropic of Cancer and downwards to the south to the Tropic of Capricorn.

The list of countries that make up the community of the coffee bean growing belt is vast. Just pause for a moment and picturew all those faceless individuals and their families who grow and harvest one of the top commodities in the world. I think you will agree with me, it’s impressive. Between them, they employ a workforce of over 5 million people and produce millions of kilograms of coffee beans every year.

Below is a list of the Top Countries producing Coffee Beans in Tonnes within the Coffee bean Belt.

South America
African Continent.Asian
Costa Rica
El Salvador
Trinidad &
Tobago      (720)
Ethiopia.      (384,000)
Uganda       (228,000)
Ivory Coast
of the Congo
Central African
Sierra Leone
Zimbabwe  (600)
Liberia        (360)
1. Vietnam
2. Indonesia  
3. India.
4. China
5. Papua New Guinea
6. Laos
7. Thailand
8. Philippines    
9. Timor Leste     

The table shows the Top and bottom 2 coffee bean producers in tonnage per continent.

Oil is the top trading commodity, followed closely by the coffee bean which can easily fill half a trillion cups of our favourite beverage per year.

It is easy to forget or maybe you may not know that coffee beans when decaffeinated provide caffeine for soft drinks such as Cola, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

Now let’s take a look at where the coffee bean growing belt Coffee Connoisseurs predominantly live.

Cups of various coffees
Various cups of coffee to suit many tastes.

With all the giant coffee and food brands on the high streets, shopping centres sporting venues, no wonder coffee has become a significant beverage no matter where we live in the world.

The amazing thing about the coffee bean growing belt is its globally reaching market place.

Because there are 195 countries in the world and nearly all consume coffee from the coffee bean belt. We thought it would be fun to list the Top 10 Seasoned Coffee Connoisseurs by country.

At Number Ten Canada.

Brearthtaking Canada.

With a population of 33 million and a climate of long freezing winters, frequently prevents them from popping out to their local cafe to socialise over a brew. Consequently, the only option is to drink their favourite coffee beverage at home.

At the same time, the Canadians who live in the cities have an abundance of Coffee chains and artisanal cafes to meet their needs. Coffee is considered the most commonly consumed beverage the length and breadth of Canada.

One step up at Number Nine Luxembourg.

The beautifully ruffled flag of Luxembourg
The beautifully ruffled flag of Luxembourg

Much smaller than Canada but per head consumes the same as our Mountie friends.

The good people of Luxembourg love their coffee bean, they even have their own espresso drink known as “Russian Milk.” It is as close to a latte as you can get. It originated from France and is often served with a dessert.

Blazing out in front at Number Eight – Belgium.

A typical sunny day alongside the river Ghent.
A typical sunny day alongside the river Ghent.

Belgium has long been recognized as having an advantage steeped in their history of once being a colonial power in many areas of Africa. With coffee beans being harvested in Rwanda and the Congo.

It was easy to supply the thirsty Flemish (Dutch-speaking Belgians) and Walloons (French-speaking Belgians.)

The Belgians love mixing their coffee bean beverages with chocolate and waffles.

Lucky for some number Seven – Switzerland.

A cup of coffee from Switzerland
A cup of coffee from Switzerland

These robust Swedes definitely love their coffee and socializing with their famous “Caffe Crema.” They are known for drinking a mouthwatering five cups of coffee per day and they do not come cheap either. Some of the most expensive cups of coffee can be found here in Switzerland.

Let’s take a look at who is number six – Sweden.

Building and bicycle in Stockholm.
Buildings and bicycle in Stockholm.

Have you ever visited Sweden? If you have, you would bound to have sampled their coffee, pastries and cookies. Drinking coffee is a way of life for the Swedes. They call it “Fika” when translated means “To have Coffee” and under this premise, any reason will do. Take it from me these guys are definitely serious coffee consumers.

We are halfway, and already you see the success the coffee bean growing belt has had on millions of people.

One of my favourite countries comes in at Number five – Holland.

A possible coffee drinker ona bridge in Amsterdam.
A possible coffee drinker ona bridge in Amsterdam.

Whenever, I think of Holland, I think of two things. Amsterdam and its nightlife and Max Bygraves who had a 1958 romantic hit called “Tulips from Amsterdam.”

I lived near Masstricht for a couple of years, and the coffee there is generally served with homemade cookies and cakes such as a pie.

I remember Marijuana arriving at the same time as I was there. But I was a coward and stayed clear. Nothing was going to ruin my experience of continental style coffee.

Skiing in at Number Four – Denmark.

Scenic copenhagen.
Scenic Copenhagen.

Like Switzerland coffee in Denmark will set you back. A typical price of a cup of coffee is ranked at the 6th highest in the world. But don’t let that put you off.

Drink a coffee with a handful of Danish cookies and one or two of their elegantly made sandwiches.

We have reached the Top Three and I bet you were expecting France, Germany, Italy, The USA and the UK to be fighting for one of these three places. When I asked my friends from the coffee bean belt area of Colombia, they too had no idea.

Coming in with the well-earned “Bronze – Number Three” position – Iceland.

The famous aurora Borealis above Iceland.
The famous aurora Borealis above Iceland.

IOur friends, you know the one’s who knocked us out of the world cup and deservedly so are listed listed as drinking per head 5.2 cups of coffee every month.

Wow, I beat them I drink a cup every day. Still, these impressive Icelanders consume over 9 kg of coffee per capita every year.

Well lets face it, they do need to keep warm. I have another question for them, apparently they consume a vast amount of sugar too. Do they put it all in their coffee?

Silver Medal goes to Number two – Norway.

Norwegian coffee bean connoisseurs like to drink their early morning Kaffe black. Later in the evening after dinner, they enjoy again their favourite beverage with dessert.

Socialising with family and friends is the norm, and Kaffe, pastries and cakes tops the menu in most Norwegian homes.

I was told turn left and the cafe would be on my right.
I was told turn left and the cafe would be on my right.

The next time you are visiting Norway, head into the rural areas and sample their mouthwatering “Karsk” – coffee and vodka!

Norwegian capital of Oslo.

Finally, let me reveal the champion for the coffee bean growing belt. The country who per head drinks more of the delicious dark brown nectar than all others.

Number One Gold Medal of Seasoned Coffee Connoisseurs goes to Finland

A correlation between living in cold climates and drinking a cup of coffee to keep you warm is clearly displayed with our worthy winners from Finland. These guys and girls drink coffee every day and all day.

Finnish Khavi.

Finnish “Khavi” can be found everywhere including all working break times. Like many countries, the churches celebrate and provide a buffet of various bread, cookies, cakes and cold sandwiches. Topped up with lashings of piping hot “Khavi.”

Should you be fortunate to be invited into a Finnish home, apart from the warm Nordic welcome you will receive pots of coffee. None will be decaffeinated as the Finns are not into this style of coffee.

It is definitely amazing for such a country who could never grow their own coffee should be the number one consumer of the coffee bean growing belt’s mouthwatering beverage. Their excuse is simple – “It suits all our customs, rituals and superstitions.”

Now, I may have the answer to why I drink so much coffee, maybe I have part Finn and part Colombian, and somewhere in my ancestral lifeline there is someone called Mikko Carlos.

Helsinki Capital of Finland.

What happened, did you forget the favourite coffee contenders?

No, I was surprised as you. They were in the top 25 of coffee countries but today we were covering the almighty top 10. For the record here are the positions that Italy, Brazil, Germany, France and The USA can proudly display:

  • Italy – 13th         (Personally, their way of making cappuccino takes some beating.)
  • Brazil – 14th      (Shock for me as they are the kings of production levels.)
  • Germany -16th (Yes, I do love their coffee, but their version of chocolate and Apple Strudel in the Winter months is still my favourite.)
  • France – 18th    (Knock-out by this result, I grew up, with the belief us Brits, were a nation of Tea guzzlers and France was the home of coffee guzzlers. But then I was forgetting the Vino.)
  • The USA – 25th  (Every time I have visited I have found coffee establishments everywhere. With such a diverse culture you can find every style of coffee available.)

What happened to my tea guzzling British counterparts?

Sadly, we did not make it into the top 25 coffee consuming nations. But we did make into the top 50 at 45th. That will change.

Head to London and see the trade that all the cafes are enjoying. Back in 2008 according to the British Coffee Association (BCA) we Brits were consuming 70 million cups of coffee per day.

Fast forward 10-years, and we are up a whopping 25 million more to an impressive 95 million per day. Soon we will be a top ranked Nation of Seasoned coffee Connoisseurs.

In the Coffee bean growing belt essence…..

Those 5 million hardworking and dedicated workers in the Coffee Bean Growing Belt are the source of the enjoyment for the 300 million or more seasoned coffee connoisseurs around the world.

Putting it another way, over 2.25 billion cups of coffee are drunk every day around our industrialised economies. Supplied by over 90% of our developing countries. The vast majority situated in the continent of South America.

In the final analysis, will this relationship ever end?

I think we all know the answer to that. “No, fancy a coffee?”

Image credits to:





Would you like to read more?  You can find previously published blogs and articles listed below.

What is Coffee?

The Incredible History of Coffee?

Caffeine and Coffee.

We had such fun creating this article on the subject of The coffee bean growers belt. To see how coffee has had such an impact on the world is a joy to behold.

Watch out, coming soon for all you readers:

What is the history of Colombian Coffee? Why is it so famous?

What are the 10 top benefits to drinking coffee?

Mike’s Bio.

Mike Bowley is an Indoor Coffee Houseplant & Colombian Giftware Importer, SEO Content Writer, Baby Boomer, and published Author. He thrives on creating alliances with UK based Artisanal Cafe Owners and the UK Based Garden Centers with artisanal product makers in Colombia.

He enjoys helping “Newbie” website owners & fellow Baby Boomer Online Entrepreneurs to getting their organic and relevant content onto web pages and mobiles.

Mike has spent over 50 years in sales and marketing, and now shares his life and work between the UK and Colombia. He is also a regular writer on both Viviamaridi and WattPad.

Visit his author’s website here: mikebowley.com.

March 2019

The Incredible History of Coffee.

Kaldi and his dancing goats

The incredible history of coffee & the drinking of it dates back to the 15th Century in Yemen. Its popularity spread and reached Europe in the 17th century.

Since then coffee has been consumed by as many as one-third of the world’s population. All that incredible history of coffee for all to see.

Other sources believe coffee originated as much as a thousand years ago in Ethiopia. Here a legend was born from a Goat Herder by the name of Kaldi. This man was the first to discover the potential of coffee beans.

The story tells us that I observed that when his goats ate berries from a nearby Coffea Arabica tree, the fortune “Capra Aegagrus” became so energetic that they could not sleep and frolicked all night.

Naturally, Kaldi tried the fruit, and much to his enjoyment experienced the same reaction.

The legend further tells us that Kahdi took his discovery to the nearby monastery. Here the beans were brewed. The Monks were indeed impressed with the evening prayers and how they had remained incredibly alert throughout. Coffee as a beverage had arrived. The incredible history of coffee had begun.

Whichever is accurate, and I suspect there is truth in both theories allowed for the roots for the introduction of the phenomenon term of those times Coffee Houses.

Cafe culture dates back to Mecca, and the successful route from Yemen is spreading its magic through all of the Arab worlds towards the European capitals such as London, Rome, and Paris.

But Where did the name Coffee originate from?

Not an easy one to answer, with time many theories have evolved. The one that appears to be the most plausible theory is that the term was derived from the Italian word – Caffe in the late 15th Century.

The Italian word “Caffe” is believed to be originated from the Ethiopian word for a coffee bean, “Bunna.” Later the word changed under the Turkish Empire to “Kahve.” Then, the Italians came and changed it to “Caffe,” and finally, the British Empire changed it again to “Coffee.”

Imagine if the name had changed in our local Bunna House and asking for the next decaffeinated Bunna!

Head now to Europe in the 17th century; coffee has conquered Cairo, Constantinople and the Middle East. European history has taught us that the very same stimulating effect from the coffee bean was a welcome alternative for all levels of European societies. Intellectuals could stay alert and think much more clearly.

Previously they only had the option of frequenting Ale Houses and drinking traditional alcoholic beverages. We all know what happens to an intoxicated mind.

With coffee and the growing number of cafe establishments, our ancestors could now enjoy socialising and exchanging political views, with the bonus of remembering what they said a few hours before. Within a century being served coffee in a Cafe House became a natural part of their lives.

To this day we happily arrange meetings in Cafes to either pass the time of day, or to discuss and exchange ideas. They are an integral part of our everyday lives. The incredible history of coffee continues with us.

Even the art of making coffee has an incredible story.

When coffee beans initially arrived in Europe, the ground beans were boiled with water together very similar to the way of the Turkish style of brewing. A drawback for the Europeans was coffee brewed this way tended to leave a coarse texture and not conducive to the palates of many.

So the cleverness of the people from Vienna came to our rescue and decided to filter the beans. Bingo, now coffee truly had arrived. This filtering process became an overnight success. Add the inventions of Filtered Coffee Machines and Pressurized Coffee Machines that use steam to moisten our grounded coffee. Our world of coffee as we all know it had arrived.

Here follows a list of famous names who had a part to play in the incredible history of coffee with their passion for the humble coffee bean.

  • Pope Clement VIII (Papacy from 1592 to 1605) is reported to have commented: “Why this Satan’s drink is so delicious, it would be the pity to let the infidels have exclusive use of it.” We will fool Satan by baptising it and make it a truly Christian beverage.
  • Louis XV (French king from 1710 to 1774) grew his coffee beans in splendidly designed greenhouses on his palace grounds in Versailles. I have even handpicked, grounded, and roasted them himself. He was famous for serving his coffee to his numerous guests.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Austrian Composer 1756 to 1791) lived in Vienna a hotbed of coffee shops. I have loved to socialise in many of the days. Soon coffee appeared in his works. “Cosi Fan Tutti” & “Don Giovanni” both leading characters were linked to either offering coffee in their imaginary homes.

A coffee drinker until the day he died.

  • Napoleon Bonaparte (Emperor of France 1769 to 1821) could not live without his coffee, nor his love for politics and beautiful women. He was known to have requested a small spoonful of coffee while lying on his deathbed. His parting words “I would rather suffer from coffee than be senseless.”
  • Johannes Sebastian Bach (German Composer 1685 to 1750) loved his coffee so much, in 1732 he wrote an opera to celebrate it. He called his creation “Coffee Cantata.” Its a story of a father whose coffee addicted daughter quarrels with him about her addiction. He commands she gives up her love for coffee. But she secretly hunts down another addicted coffee drinker to marry her. The ending song rejoices in the benefits of drinking coffee.

In Conclusion to the incredible history of coffee.

We have quickly discovered we could write forever on this remarkable history of coffee and the overall inspiration and creativity that has come from it. We suspect we could research hundreds of more cases of well known influential people who like loved coffee as much as we do.

Calibri thought it would be exciting to explore your stories of what coffee means to you. Have you an unknown quote from someone you have known that you would love to share.

Click on the link and tell us about your relationship with coffee. We promise to create a list of the best and soon will publish to you.


Throughout November and December, we will be publishing more Blogs/articles for you to explore. Why not sit with your favourite brew in one hand and your mobile device in the other hand.

Here is one that introduces the Englishman who loves coffee. But there was a time when he did not. Why not delve into the journey of this coffee drinker.

An Englishman’s Journey with the World of Coffee.

What is Coffee?

What is Coffee?

What is coffee? What is the definition of coffee? According to Merriam Webster, it is a beverage created by either infusion, decoction or percolation.

The source of coffee is the roast and ground seeds or beans, of a tropical evergreen shrub commonly known as a coffee plant (genus Coffea).

It is once described as “The gasoline of life” coffee can be served hot or cold.

The two most popular species of coffee plants are the Arabica and Robusta.

Coffea Arabica is traditionally grown and harvested in the Central and South America regions with other areas such as the Caribbean and Indonesia. These growers are responsible for up to 80% of the global production of coffee.

The Robusta or correct name Coffea Canephora can be found in many parts of Africa and produces the other 20% of global production of coffee. There are another 23 species of coffee plants, but the two I have mentioned will be the main ones you will be familiar with.

We all know making a coffee only takes a few moments, but the process before you see the final result takes a few years.

The seed of a coffee plant takes approximately 2 to 3 months to germinate from a seed to a plant. Like many young plants, they are fragile and are shaded, usually under a cloth to shield them from the natural elements.

Then follows 3 to 4 years of growth before producing those beautiful un-roasted green coffee beans.

During this same period, the plants bear small flowers. These are white with a hint of Jasmine-like fragrance. These same flowers eventually after a short period of approximately five months will develop into red cherries.

The cherries are generally ready to harvest once per year unless you happen to be a coffee plant in Colombia who have two flowering opportunities each year culminating in two harvests.

While the world modernises and evolves, harvesting coffee remains labour intensive and achieved by many hands.

Taking Colombia as an example, labour costs are low compared to many other countries. The prospect of transporting heavy machinery to replace the workforce will meet many difficulties.

In many cases, the terrains where the plants flourish will never allow for such machinery to be delivered or installed Mules in the wet seasons are still the normal mode of transport high up in the Andes.

As soon as the coffee growers have an abundance of bright red cherries, the harvesting begins. Some cherries will be selectively picked and many others by a stripping motion. The former method permits follow-up visits to a particular crop of plants a few days later. The Coffee Picker will harvest any additional cherries that were not ripened enough on the first visit.

This latter method is quick; the Coffee Picker runs his hand along the chosen branch. In doing so, he will pull all the beans to the ground. He will attempt to avoid the green ones as these will have a negative impact on the final taste of the coffee.

One to remember: The seed is referred to as the bean and the fruit is known as the cherry, due to their magnificent red outers when mature.

Now the cherry harvest has been completed; it is time to retrieve the coffee bean out of the fruit. It has to be achieved as effortless as possible to avoid spoilage.

To do this, the grower can opt for one of four processes known as Natural, Honey, Pulped natural, and washed. The final decision relies on where the Coffee farmer is located and what season he is harvesting in. Here I will explain the two most common methods briefly.

Chart showing 4 processes of coffee

  • Dry processing is the oldest process and done by hand. The cherries with their skins intact are cleaned and sorted to remove any damaged or unripe ones. The final crop is placed on brick or concrete surfaces to allow drying under the ever-present sun. This process usually takes up to four weeks, and the grower will be turning the cherries manually to ensure all are ready. 
  • Wet processing is where the grower submerges the cherries into large volumes of water — thus allowing the removal of the skins of the cherries before any drying process. Any rejected cherries are easy to detect as they usually float to the surface.

Whichever way the grower decides to harvest his cherries, at some point he will need to remove all the outer parts of each cherry.

Next, the coffee grower will concentrate on the silver coloured skin on the beans. Here he will remove the skin via polishing the bean. He doesn’t need to do it, but many growers around the world accept the belief that a polished bean is superior to an unpolished bean.

Finally, the coffee grower can sort and grade his harvest of coffee beans. Those that he deems to be too small or has blemishes will be rejected. He will also discard any beans that show signs of over-fermentation or insect damaged.

In conclusion to what is coffee?

So our hardworking coffee grower has a product ready to sell locally to his domestic market or export to a global market.

This export market is the ultimate goal for any serious coffee grower. The market is colossal. It is estimated that some 5 million people are involved in one way or another in the growing and processing of coffee worldwide.

One of those unsung heroes of mine. Used his weather-beaten hands and weakened back after years of bending and picking up the next bean for my morning coffee.

Let’s show our appreciation by sharing our new found knowledge with all the coffee drinkers you know by starting conversations with a question – What is coffee? You will be amazed at what more you now know.

The likelihood of this good-natured and humble man who has earned little to accommodate me and my morning thirst, knowing I appreciate him every day, I know it is shallow. But I do.

So remember. Next time you are visiting a busy street cafe. Bear a thought for the journey that bean has taken. The love it has received from the beginning of its life and the sheer pleasure you gain from that aroma of coffee.

Why not tell all who matter the most to you the ins and outs of what is coffee. Like me become immersed in this beautiful world.

You have undoubtedly heard of caffeine and coffee; wherever it is produced, it will have large amounts of caffeine.

Caffeine’s effects have most certainly had a significant part to play in the global popularity in the drink. I love that initial boost I experience each day with my first cup of almost black nectar.

Why not read my next articles on the subjects of caffeine and coffee & the incredible history of coffee.

The incredible history of Coffee.

 Caffeine and Coffee.

If you cannot wait, go and read my first published blog –

An Englishman’s Journey with the World of Coffee

Image credits to:


An Englishman’s Journey with the World of Coffee.

The World of Coffee and this Englishman’s journey with it began when I was a little boy. It was not a successful launch of a beverage product for me.

The strong acidic taste was a complete turn off for this little fella.

Camp Coffee’s concentrated coffee flavoured syrup first passed my lips back in the early 1960s. I thought “Hell No!” never again. You, the reader have to understand I was ten years old and submerged in the English culture of Tea.

My mother became my number one enemy. Every time she felt the need to poison me, out would come the bottle of poison. Camp Coffee came within a small narrow shaped bottle. Its Glasgow roots went back to 1876.

Its clean exterior hid its core of evil brown looking liquid. This consisted of water, sugar, caffeine-free coffee essence, and chicory essence. The later was the substitute for real coffee. Many years later, I still believe the chicory aftertaste destroyed my palate.

I have always wondered down the years how many others suffered as this Englishman with his journey with coffee.

Years later I prised myself away from my childhood home and enlisted into the Royal Air Force. I discovered Camp Coffee had missed me and followed me into the Mess Hall.

Later, I discovered the military was to blame for its success as it was looked upon as the quickest way to serve to its troops. Look at the label above; I admit they do look happy. But, I would love to know what their real thoughts were when of “camera” as we would say today.

Even the company slogan “Ready Always Ready” written as “Ready Aye Ready” sends shocks waves through my soul over fifty years later. I can still see the bottle at times in Supermarkets. Each was waiting for the next Home Baker to pick it up for directions in making coffee-flavoured cakes.

The missing Years Before Enlightenment.

Images of various brands of coffees from the 1960s.

Many of the Instand Coffee Brands above, I suspect I have tried. For many, I drank under duress with no real enjoyment. Tea for me at that time of my life always won the day.

Everyone including my Mother would serve me with the biggest mug they could find with piping hot liquid drowned in lashings of Milk and sugar.

I tried to savour and hid my discomfort but usually failed. Everyone could see by the amount I left in the dreaded mug on each occasion gave the game away. The excuses I would have to find got more feeble as time passed. I can honestly say I thought I would never love coffee.

Then came The High Street Giants of Coffee!

Image of Cafe Nero, Costa Coffee & Starbucks Brands in the 2000s,

Now fast forward to the 1990s, a time when I was working long hours at Heathrow Airport. Some of those shifts could last 18 hours or more. So coffee for me was the medication of choice each day that enable me to function.

Well, I did warn you that coffee has never been up to then my favourite tipple.

I tried the lattes and the cappuccinos, eventually realising coffee and milk does make me feel incredibly ill.  Drastic action had to be taken, and so I switched to Americano.

Now I was getting somewhere; those first few mouthfuls were delicious. The taste was finally telling me coffee could be a beverage to enjoy. But, my original feelings of dread returned, once I had drunk a tenth of the contents.

After that, the Englishman’s world of coffee was back to square one.

The portions were just far too big; I was destined to continue my struggle with drinking what millions of others found perfectly tasteful and pleasing.

Then came Cafe Mujer Colombian coffee to my Salvation!

The ladies from Cafe Mujer in Cordoba, Quindo, Colombia. 2018

In 2013 I decided to move to Santiago de Cali in Colombia and believe it or not I trained with my native Colombiana wife Cristina to become Baristas! We opened a cafe in the heart of the Coffee world.

The Englishman’s world of coffee had turned into an adventure and a business.

I soon discovered what a cup of Tinto was and I can assure you it should be called Nectar.

I fell in love with the Beautiful uniqueness of Tinto, and now I have to have a fix every couple of hours, teabags are but a distant memory for this Englishman.

All those wasted years not knowing Tinto existed. Then, one sunny afternoon we ventured on a day trip to a fantastic place called Cordoba.

There we discovered a tremendous community of ladies who had decided to go into business together and do battle with the Hombres by creating their brand of coffee.

Literally called Cafe Mujer, meaning Ladies Coffee.

We discovered men were not on their payroll, this coffee farm was a centre of ladies excellence, and after drinking just one small cup of their finest Expresso, I was hooked. We purchased 100 kilos and had it shipped straight to our new Euro-styled Cafe in the city.

Instantly we knew, we had discovered the jewel in the crown, we invited the local hotel’s squadron of Baristas to visit and savour the Sauve and gentleness of Cafe Mujer coffee, and the Baristas loved it.

The Baristas could not wait to show their magical skills. Both Cristina, and I had fun learning all the new ways of making, and enjoying coffee.

I have to say here on record give me a shot of espresso with one shot of brandy and topped up with one shot of Baileys, and I believe I am in heaven.

The evenings sharing ideas and stories with those beautiful Barista’s minds will always have a special place in my heart.

There was one minor detail that needed to meet, and that was for both Cristina and this Englishman to complete his journey with the world of coffee: –

The decision to become trained Baristas themselves.

So, Cristina arranged for us both to spend a day at a fantastic fun park called Parque de Cafe in Quindio. Our guide was full of information and his second language is English made everything on the day well worth it.

Not finished with their learning there, the next day they both enrolled as campersinos and had lessons in all the stages of growing and processing coffee.

Cristina and Mike in traditional coffee growers outfits

Cristina and Mike in traditional Colombian coffee growers outfits. Checkout the machete on his hip.

To ensure they could stand up in the middle of the coffee world and serve a decent latte or cappuccino they headed the day after to Bogota and enrolled in a Barista School. 

Finally, the Englishman’s world of coffee had reached Utopia for him. Now he was as one with all coffee connoisseurs around the globe. 


In the last ten years, there has been an enormous explosion of coffee drinking in the UK and coffee comes from all over the world creating a massive industry.

What the industry does lack is the introduction of Cafe Mujer, and we wish to invite all Lady owned Artisanal Cafe Owners to tell us their unique stories and order just one bag or two and test what I know to be the most exceptional coffee in the world.

A very happy couple with their ownartisanal cafe and sandwich bar in Cali
A delighted couple with their artisanal cafe and sandwich bar in Cali.

If you enjoyed reading this updated blog on the CEOs relationship with coffee over the years, click on the next blog. This one is his take on the future of Intelligent personal Assistants in 20 years when he is 83!

Mike’s Bio.

Mike Bowley is an Indoor Coffee Houseplant & Colombian Giftware Importer, SEO Content Writer, Baby Boomer, and published Author. He thrives on creating alliances with UK based Artisanal Cafe Owners and Garden Centers with artisanal product makers in Colombia.

He enjoys helping “Newbie” website owners. Plus, fellow Baby Boomer Online Entrepreneurs in getting organic content onto web pages and mobiles.

Mike has spent over 50 years in sales/marketing and shares his life and work between the UK and Colombia. He is a regular writer on both Viviamaridi and WattPad.
Visit his author’s website here: mikebowley.com.