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The Curious Tale Of Frog Quaffer And His Quest For The Finest Cup Of Coffee

Arabica or not Arabica

For years Frog Quaffer had searched for pure Arabica coffee, not always meeting with much success. Whenever he found it he purchased the beans. Frog Quaffer felt he was now an enlightened coffee drinker. He knew about Arabica and Robusta and had had many a conversation about the differences with fellow quaffers he happened upon. Then one day he happened to call in at a fresh produce market.

At the market he noticed a store selling coffee in bean form. Always looking for a good supply of coffee in bean form, he hopped up and spoke to the gentlelady who was tending the store. Little did he know that this lady would help him on his quest for the perfect cup of coffee!

“Is your coffee made from Arabica beans?” Frog Quaffer asked, as he now did each time he found a bean merchant.
“Yes it is” the gentle lady replied, “not only are the beans Arabica but it is proper Arabica
(or Arabica typica), freshly roasted.”
“Proper Arabica?” Frog Quaffer asked anxiously.
“Yes. You see my dear frog, there is Arabica and Arabica. Most Arabica available has been modified
in some way by man and is mostly grown in Brazil and North Korea. And then there’s the original Arabica” she replied smiling.
“Please, do tell me the difference?” Frog Quaffer asked, with growing excitement.
“Well this modified Arabica - the most commonly grown is catura - is popular with coffee growers. Unlike the original Arabica bush, which needs shady conditions and an altitude of at least 1500 feet, these man made varieties grow easily, can be planted in rows, fruit up to four times a year and produce more fruit on a tree. This therefore means much higher production - more quantity at the sacrifice of quality.” she replied
“Is it like Robusta?” he asked
“No, not purely”, she replied “man used robust crops similar to coffee like Robusta and cross pollinated, grafted or used other methods to make new varieties of Arabica, which still has a good enough taste, but is nothing like the proper Arabica I serve.”
“Would you like to taste some?” she said, “I have some freshly brewed.”

Frog quaffer meets the Arabica lady

Frog Quaffer tentatively sipped the coffee, just like years ago when he tasted the espresso that first sent him on his quest. And once again he was amazed! Delicate flavours danced on his tongue. And frogs, let me remind you, have very large tongues.

“Gadzooks I have always bought Arabica beans, but this is different. This is marvellous – oh please, can I purchase some”
“Of course!” the gentlelady beamed at him. “I have a variety - all are coffees from Ethiopia, the birth place of true Arabica. Our most popular ones are a mostly wild coffee from Limu in the West of Ethiopia and a sweeter one from the highland area of Sidama called Yirgacheffe”
“I’ll take some of both! I’ll taste them both!” said Frog Quaffer, jumping for joy!

Frog Quaffer returned home, used the beans in his one button espresso machine that he had bought a few years before so that he could have freshly ground and freshly brewed coffee. He was amazed at both the Limu and the Yirgacheffe, finding that each had its own special uniqueness.

Up until now Frog Quaffer had been on a rather informal quest but, armed with this new knowledge, he decided to get to the bottom of this coffee thing, once and for all. After all these years of drinking Arabica, believing it was the best he could get and having tried Italian, French, Austrian and Portuguese coffees, only now does he find out that there are many different Arabicas!


Read the section before on Frog Quaffer's discovery of Arabica OR Read more on Frog Quaffer's Quest: The Oracle next...

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