For coffee drinkers in Ireland and around the world, their daily brew may be tasting a bit smoother these days.
With the fall in the price of the high quality bean arabica relative to its lower quality counterpart robusta, coffee roasters are increasing the amount of arabica in their blends for the first time in a decade.
This is great news for coffee specialist roasters and coffee shops that only serve 100% Arabica Coffee, says Jennifer Ryan of Ponaire Coffee, who has pioneered the use of the higher quality arabica coffee bean in their Annacotty roastery in Limerick.
“Now more and more coffee shops will be able to afford the higher quality coffee and avoid the bitter low grade Robusta”, she says.
A big premium for arabica over robusta two years ago led to the big roasters adjusting their blends to reduce the more expensive arabica and add more robusta beans. That meant a fall in demand for arabica and greater consumption of the bitter tasting robusta.
However, the demand for better tasting coffee has been on the increase in Ireland and other countries in recent years with an upsurge in Artisan coffee roasteries, like Ponaire.
“Ireland has become such a mature coffee market and we’ve seen a growing demand for new coffee experiences,” says Jennifer.
Ponaire has become one of the cult brands in Irish speciality food in recent years. Jennifer and her husband Tommy have been working steadily since they first started roasting their selected Arabica coffee beans back in 2006.
They first opened their Annacotty shop beside the roastery, followed by an outlet at the Limerick Milk Market and all the while infiltrating their high grade coffees into restaurants and speciality shops throughout Ireland.
With the current price difference between the two beans almost on a par, coffee traders are speculating that the premium is now low enough to entice the big roasters to increase the ratio of arabica beans again.
“This is only good news for the smaller specialist roasteries like Ponaire as more and more consumers realise the difference between the two and demand the better tasting Arabica blend”, exclaims Jennifer.
Ponaire have this week announced that The Woodpecker in Ashford has been added as the latest outlet to serve their award winning organic coffee.