The Complete Coffee Guide: Everything you Need to Know

Happy Fair Trade Month & Belated International Coffee Day!

October 1st was International Coffee Day, and October is Fairtrade Month. While we might be a little late in honouring it, it is never too late to celebrate such a beloved beverage across the globe. Not to mention all the people involved in coffee production, from farmers and roasters to baristas and coffee shop owners!

Where did coffee come from? What is the history of coffee?

No one knows exactly when coffee was initially founded and how it came to be. Still, there are many legends and stories told about this.

We know when and where it started to be cultivated and traded in the 1400s on the Arabian Peninsula. Coffee was enjoyed back then in your own home and coffeehouses (much like today). They were known as “qahveh khaneh,” where many social activities took place in addition to the consumption of coffee.

By the 17th century, coffee had made its way to Europe due to European explorers finding it on their travels. It was brought home with them. Over the next centuries, coffee eventually made its way to the Americas. It is now most commonly grown, specifically in Brazil.

It is one of the most consumed beverages across all continents, nearly 3 billion cups a day.

How is coffee grown, harvested, and processed? How long does it take to produce coffee?

Coffee beans come from the berries that belong to Coffea plants and are actually the coffee berries’ seeds. These berries are grown on bushes and are grown for upwards to 6 years before they can be harvested. Next time you’re sipping on a cup of java, take the time to appreciate how long it took for that cup of coffee to make it to your hands.

Where does the world’s coffee originate from? Who produces coffee?

Coffee beans are green until they are roasted. The majority of coffee comes from what is known as the Coffee Belt. The Coffee Belt near the equator includes parts of North and South America, the Caribbean, West & East Africa, parts of Asia and the Arabian Peninsula. This region has the best growing conditions of rich soil, mild temperatures, frequent rain and shaded sun.

The Benefits of Coffee

According to John Hopkins Medicine, the following are all potential benefits of drinking coffee in moderation (up to 400mg of caffeine per day):

  1. Could help you live longer
  2. The body may process glucose better
  3. Less likely to develop heart failure
  4. Less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease
  5. Protective effect on your liver
  6. Decrease breakages in DNA strands
  7. Reduce the odds of getting colon cancer
  8. May decrease risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease
  9. Lowers stroke risk in women

The Social Considerations of Drinking Coffee: Is drinking coffee considered ethical?

While there may be many benefits to drinking coffee, there are definitely some issues that arise when talking about coffee – specifically its production.

Oddly enough, International Coffee Day also falls in the same month as Fair Trade Month, which is an essential factor when talking about coffee production. Fair Trade policies ensure that a farmer is paid fairly by contributing an additional fee for the goods (known as a Fairtrade Premium) to support their family and invest back in their farm to develop better farming practices and support their community.

Due to the fluctuating global coffee pricing, there is also something known as the Fair Trade Minimum for coffee, which guarantees stability in pay for the farmers. This isn’t just the case for coffee. There are many other crops, including bananas, chocolate, herbs & spices, teas, wine and many others.

In addition to the additional fees, fair trade also requires specific environmental and social standards to be met. These help better the lives of the farmers and the communities in which they live. Workers are treated better through safe work environments and the right to unionize. Child labour is forbidden, and protection of the environment is of high importance.

For these and many other reasons, it is crucial to look for the following symbol when purchasing coffee (among the other above mentioned products) that certifies a product is Fair Trade.

The FAIRTRADE logo to look for on packaging.

Coffee Recipes

Most people indulge in this bitter beverage by enjoying a simple cup. Still, there are so many ways to include coffee into your day! We have a few recipes to get you started and creativity in the kitchen flowing.

We started off with a Mushroom Latte!

Mushroom Latte

Including a latte with functional mushrooms is an excellent way to amp up your coffee game in the morning or your afternoon pick me up beverage. With a variety of functional mushrooms included in this rich beverage, you'll be doing your body right in many ways, including supporting your immune system, focus, energy and overall health due to each mushroom's individual properties.
Course Beverage
Keyword Dairy Free, Gluten Free
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 1 cup
Calories 182.9kcal
Author Sabrina Cellupica & Nicole Ensoll


  • High-speed blender


  • ¾ cup Foursigmatic Coffee THINK with Lions Maine brewed and hot
  • ¾ cup Silk Coconut Milk warmed
  • 1 tsp Nature's Emporium Maple Syrup
  • 1 tbsp Nature's Emporium Cacao Butter
  • 1 pinch Nature's Emporium Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Harmonic Arts 5 Mushroom Blend Cocoa Powder
  • 1 pinch sea salt


  • In a high-speed blender, blend together all the ingredients until frothy.
  • Pour beverage into your favourite mug, sit back and enjoy!


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 182.9kcal | Carbohydrates: 6.6g | Protein: 0.3g | Fat: 16.1g | Saturated Fat: 10.8g | Sodium: 38.7mg | Sugar: 5.9g

Cinna Cocoa Coffee-Roasted Nuts

Coffee doesn't just have to be enjoyed as a beverage. It can also be included as an ingredient in snacks, like these deliciously indulgent Cinna-Cocoa Coffee Roasted Nuts.
The coffee flavour pairs perfectly with Cinnamon and Cocoa. It can also be mixed with your favourite nut combination to create a perfect fat-filled snack to munch on throughout the day!
You can also add them to salads or incorporate them into desserts for more flavour.
Course Snack
Keyword Dairy Free, Gluten Free
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12 servings
Calories 253.1kcal
Author Sabrina Cellupica & Nicole Ensoll


  • 3 cups Royal Nuts Mixed Nuts or a combination of your favourite nut
  • 2 tsp Ethical Bean Sweet Espresso Coffee or espresso of your choice, ground
  • 1 ½ tsp Nature's Emporium Cinnamon
  • 1 Nature's Emporium Egg White
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt


  • Preheat the oven to 275° F and prepare a lined baking sheet with parchment.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the egg white and vanilla extract until frothy.
  • In a small bowl, combine coconut sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, cinnamon, and salt until smooth.
  • Add the nuts to the egg white mixture, then add the cocoa and sugar mixture until evenly coated.
  • Pour the nuts onto the prepared baking and cook for approximately 45 minutes, turning every 10-15 minutes.
  • Cool on the baking sheet while continuing to stir until completely cooled.
  • Enjoy this delicious snack any time of the day!


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 253.1kcal | Carbohydrates: 12.2g | Protein: 8.7g | Fat: 18.8g | Saturated Fat: 2.7g | Sodium: 81.1mg | Fiber: 3.3g | Sugar: 5.5g

BBQ Coffee Pulled Jackfruit Sliders

Coffee can even be included in savoury meals as well, like our BBQ Coffee Pulled Jackfruit Sliders!
This meal will be loved by both meat-eaters and vegans since the jackfruit is a great meat replacement in terms of texture and taking on whatever it is flavoured with. The coffee flavour and traditional BBQ flavours blend perfectly together but still have a unique spin, different from conventional BBQ sauces you will find on the shelf.
Don't forget to pick up your Nature's Emporium Coleslaw to make this a meal you won't forget!
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch, Side Dish, Snack
Keyword Dairy Free, Gluten Free
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 servings
Calories 311.8kcal
Author Sabrina Cellupica & Nicole Ensoll


BBQ Pulled Jackfruit

  • ½ cup Miyokos Butter
  • ½ cup onions chopped
  • ½ cup Nature's Emporium Ketchup
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp chili powder
  • 3 tsp The Wizard's Worcestershire Sauce
  • 3 tbsp Ethical Bean Sweet Espresso Coffee or espresso of your choice, brewed
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 cans Cha's Organic Young Jackfruit brained, rinsed, thoroughly dried and cored

Bun & Toppings

  • 8 Little Northern Bakehouse Dinner Rolls
  • Nature's Emporium Coleslaw


  • In a saucepan, melt the butter and add onions until tender and light brown.
  • Stir in the ketchup, coconut sugar, chilli powder, Worcestershire sauce and the brewed espresso. Simmer for approximately 15-20 minutes.
  • In a separate skillet over medium heat, add the avocado oil and jackfruit.
  • Evenly coat the jackfruit in oil and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add BBQ sauce and reduce heat to low-medium and cook for approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the sauce is too thick, add water or coffee to reach the desired consistency.
  • Once cooked, assemble into sliders by cutting the dinner roll in half, place the jackfruit mix onto the bottom, top with coleslaw (or toppings of your choice, see notes) and the top of the dinner roll and serve. Enjoy!


You can also use Asain slaw, broccoli slaw, sauerkraut or your favourite toppings instead of Nature’s Emporium Coleslaw


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 311.8kcal | Carbohydrates: 40.3g | Protein: 2.8g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 8.5g | Sodium: 562.6mg | Fiber: 4.6g | Sugar: 12.6g

Nicole Ensoll, CNP

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