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I read the letter from Fr. Maurice Foley (Irish Examiner, July 3) and the effect agri-science may have had on the aroma of coffee. I am fortunate in that I visit most of the growing regions of the world to buy coffee, and have observed many coffee-cultivation developments over the last 25 years.
Most of the world’s quality coffee is grown at altitudes of between 1,000 and 1,500 metres, and in many regions it is grown on steep inclines. Shade trees are planted to protect the root system and to protect against soil erosion. Indeed, many of these shade/canopy trees also produce fruit, such as banana and cacao, and provide a diversity of income for the producer.
The wonderful aroma that we associate with coffee comes from the roasting of the beans. That was the spell that was cast on Fr. Maurice, from his memories of Bewley’s of Westmoreland Street. Indeed, many people who walked Dublin up to the 1970s will tell you about the warm, beautiful, rich and comforting aroma of a freshly roasted coffee from Bewley’s. It provides a memory that they describe so well that you can almost touch it.
The aroma of Dublin, and of most cities, has moved on, mainly due to environmental legislation, but also economic imperatives. The aroma from Bewley’s of Westmoreland Street has moved to our modern roastery on the Malahide Road, in Dublin, which employs 170 people. The ‘spell’ remains in every cup of great coffee.
Master Coffee Roaster
Bewley’s Tea & Coffee Ltd
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