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The exclusive Jamaica Blue Mountain, DNA tested by the Sandalj Trading Company for the first time
This year the company will present the Jamaica Blue Mountain at the TriestEspresso Expo. The representatives of the Jamaica Industry Coffee Board, together with the Blue Mountain Coffee (Europe) Ltd., will be at the Sandalj stand (Hall A, Stand no.3), the official distributor of Jamaican coffee in Italy.
The Jamaica Blue Mountain is one of the most valuable and sought after coffee varieties in the world: it is grown in limited quantities on the Blue Mountains of the Caribbean island between 2000 and 2500 meters. Hand-picked, carefully selected, it is preserved in traditional wooden barrels by the few local farmers and estates.
It is a high demand coffee on the market, and then much appreciated by connoisseurs for its aromatic notes. During the TriestEspresso Expo, isitors can enjoy espresso prepared exclusively with the grains of this native variety: in the cup, it gives off a unique and unmistakable flavor, whose viscosity shows a soft scent of sherry liquor poured out in delicate notes of vanilla, chocolate and cream.
The DNA test
The Sandalj Trading Company of Trieste certified the batches of Jamaica Blue Mountain conclusively, DNA testing the coffee, which revealed its complete correspondence with the DNA of the reference sample of the Jamaica Blue Mountain in the database of DNA Analytica.
The Sandalj turned to the foremost expert on coffee genetics prof. Giorgio Graziosi, University of Trieste, founder of DNA Analytica srl, a spin-off of the University carrying out these analyzes. Professor Graziosi explains the fingerprinting technique that has been used to certify the JBM through DNA:
“Fingerprinting means a particular type of DNA analysis aimed at conclusive identification of a given biological sample and it is normally used for the diagnosis of paternity and personal identification based on traces of blood, hair, saliva and so on, in court cases. This same technique can be applied to any product derived from living organisms, including food, provided that we have the necessary knowledge of the DNA of the organism itself. When we buy fruit or vegetables, we usually assess the quality of the product according to aesthetic aspects such as color, shape and size, but doing this is very difficult, if not impossible, in the case of coffee. Normally, this product is sold already roasted and ground and we have to trust the label to know what we are buying.
Fingerprinting can dissolve any doubts with absolute certainty, especially since also the judiciary recognizes this type of test.
The DNA Analytica Srl has a DNA database of 320 varieties of Arabica coffee, including the only possible genetic codes of JBM. After extracting the DNA from the green coffee and comparing it with the DNA samples stored in the database, we can determine whether a particular kind of coffee actually corresponds to what is stated”.
An exciting new book by Fulvio Eccardi: Coffee, The Wonder of Chiapas, Mexico
This year, the Sandalj Trading Company promotes the publication of a new photographic book, thanks to the travels of the great photographer, as well as collaborator and friend, Fulvio Eccardi. Coffee, The Wonder of Chiapas, Mexico, is a piece of work that offers the opportunity to discover the great secrets of the major coffee region in the country.
A decade after the volume Coffee, A Celebration of Diversity by Vincenzo Sandalj and Fulvio Eccardi himself was published and translated into eight languages, with a total circulation of 20,000 copies, comes this mature reflection on the cultivation of coffee in the Mexican state of Chiapas, a place where the author has returned many times to discover and make known its natural beauties.
In this work, the great Trieste born Italian-Mexican photographer, takes a rigorous approach that sees coffee within an environmental, historical, scientific and human context, harking back to the original features of an area of the American continent, which contains enormous richness and natural, as well as anthropological, diversity.
The route winds through the regions of Altos, Selva, Fronteriza, Frailesca, Sierra and Soconusco, each of which contains very different aspects both for the history of its people, mostly indigenous, and for the land, nature and agriculture that characterizes it.
Coffee arrived in Chiapas at the end of the nineteenth century, brought by German colonists, who bought large plots of land from the state, destined to become model plantation that sold the product throughout the world. Later on, social and political upheavals changed this situation, breaking up the property and establishing the state monopoly on exports, a practice that only ceased in the early nineties of the last century.
The basis for the rediscovery of local specificities was thus created, stimulating the producers to improve the level of their crops on the market and offering the best that the soil of Chiapas could offer. From this state today come exceptional washed Arabica coffee varieties with an extremely valuable aroma, many of which are equipped with organic, fair trade or geographical traceability certifications.
The purpose of this book is to present to the public the great diversity of the region that produces these coffee varieties, as well as bring to the consumer the landscape, nature and people living around the plantations. Some may fall in love with the places and want to know them better, others may decide to enjoy a good cup of Mexican coffee, but all readers will feel nostalgic and passionate about these rugged mountains which can give us so many emotions.
At the TriestEspresso Expo 2012, the Sandalj Trading Company will officially launch the Italian and English edition of the book and will provide an opportunity to make a great “journey” to Mexico, thanks to the story of Fulvio Eccardi and the coffee that will bring us the taste of those distant lands.
The expected return of Cuban coffee
After a prolonged period of absence from the market, the Cuban coffee is back to be imported and distributed by Sandalj for its fans around the world. This variety is mainly grown in the Sierra Maestra in the eastern part of the island, where it was brought by French settlers escaped from Haiti, at the end of the eighteenth century. This is predominantly one of the finest Arabica Typica varieties, also known as criollo and is related to the other wonderful coffee varieties of the Caribbean. Cuban coffee varieties present in the cup significant fullness expressing sought after aromas of cocoa beans, tobacco and walnut.
Sandalj Traceability Project
The Sandalj Traceability Project, which opened a few months ago, includes a series of microlots traceable throughout the supply chain, up to the farmer. The company chooses them for their excellent quality, after careful evaluation and analysis in the laboratory. The price is paid directly to the producer and, for each purchase; the buyer receives a certificate with all the information about the plantation and coffee.
Within this traceability project, the company has also organized the Sandalj Farm Experience, during which a group of customers spend a week together with farmers and learn about all the processing steps necessary to produce a high quality coffee, as well as sharing a work day with the laborers.
Among the traceable coffee proposed by Sandalj Trading Company stands the new Maracaturra variety grown in Nicaragua. A hybrid between the Maragogype and Caturra varieties, it has a more important screen (20/21) compared to other coffees from the same lands.
To the taste, the espresso develops an interesting and pleasant fragrance of mountain herbs, and leaves an aftertaste of candied orange peel.
Mexico, Chiapas, Finca Nueva Linda
Still in connection with traceable coffee, Sandalj Trading Company brings to TriestEspresso Expo also a Mexican specialty, from the beautiful lands of Chiapas. It is a washed Arabica of the Mundo Novo, caturra and catuaì varieties, carefully selected and with an evident homogeneity also roasted. In the cup, the crema has a good formation and shows a consistent full-bodied taste. The high, pleasant initial acidity gives us hints of fruit and citrus that soften in memories of orange jam. The aftertaste amazes us with traces of nuts and cocoa.
Sandalj’s organic and sustainable coffee
Mexico, Chiapas, Union Ramal from Santa Cruz
Sandalj Trading Company will also offer the cup tasting of another coffee from Mexico, this time, part of the organic and sustainable coffees, certified by renowned international agencies and selected from the Sandalj laboratory ensuring ethics and quality.
Coming from a cooperative bordering the national park of El Triunfo, where the quetzal dwells, this coffee surprises us with a delicate acidity that reminds us of berries and ripe tangerine. The aftertaste reminds us of citrus caramel and hints of cocoa.
The Sandalj Blends
In addition to the proposals presented exclusively at the TriestEspresso, the Sandalj Trading Company is able to provide its customers with an extensive range of blends ready to be roasted. These blends are ideal for espresso, cappuccino, mocha, filter, pods and capsules. The composition is carefully prepared by Edy Bieker, quality manager and trainer at the Italian Coffee Academy.
The main advantages of these blends are:
- The components are chosen so as to be roasted together and guarantee a constant sensory profile over the years.
- All coffees are cleaned and sorted before being mixed via computer control.
- The Sandalj Blends saves roaster from the need to purchase and store batches of different qualities.
- They are packed in 30kg jute bags, easy to handle.
- The Coffee Academy helps customers taste and choose every blend for the right market.
- The blends can be further customized by the individual roaster.
- The Sandalj Blends participated in many National Championships and were also presented at the World Barista Championship
Each buyer receives a certificate of authenticity signed by Sandalj Trading Company and by the Coffee Academy.