Friday, 29 July 2011

Maragogipe coffee

William H. Ukers wrote in his book All About Coffee:

Maragogipe. This is a variety of Coffea arabica first observed growing near the town of Maragogipe on All Saints Bay, county of Maragogipe, Bahia, Brazil, where it is called Coffea indigena. The green bean is of huge size, and varies in color from green to dingy brown. It is the largest of all coffee beans, and makes an elephantine roast, free from quakers, but woody and generally disagreeable in the cup. However, Dr. P.J.S. Cramer of the Netherlands government’s experimental garden in Bangelan, Java, regards it very highly, referring to it as “the finest coffee known”, and as having “a highly developed, splendid flavor”. This coffee is now found in practically all the producing countries, and shows the characteristics of the other coffees produced in the same soil.
I don’t really know what Ukers meant under “elephantine roast”. Maybe it was a joke of some sort: Maragogipe (also spelled Maragogype) is sometimes referred to as the “elephant bean”, but this is due to the size of the bean, not its taste. (I never tried a roasted elephant though, so I may be wrong.) I discovered Maragogipe coffee a few years ago, thanks to Chisnall’s Delicatessen in Saffron Walden. It quickly became my favorite variety. I bought a kilo of beans from Chisnall’s just before I went to Fuerteventura. This packet should last for a while, hopefully until I find a source of good coffee beans here.

More photos of coffee @ Shutterstock.

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