The mother country of coffee is Ethiopia, to be more exact, its southern mountainous province of Kaffa. From this comes the name of the drink. The history of coffee travelling from its motherland to Europe and the countries of the New World via Arabia and the Middle East is rich in fabulous and dramatic events.
First coffee as a drink came to Europe in the 15th century and was used as a remedial medicine. Later, when the Pope himself appreciated its value and blessed it, coffee was quickly spread all over the Catholic world. Beginning from the first half of the 17th century it was drunk everywhere. Venice was the first city where a sack of exotic beans was delivered to.
Peter I did a lot for the popularization of coffee in Russia. He even established a custom to drink coffee at his assemblies. Moreover, after the war of 1812 the consumption of this drink was considered to be a sign of a good form. Today it is impossible to imagine the life in some countries without a cup of coffee. However, the Swedes, the Finns, the Norwegians, and other northern people drink coffee more than others do. On average, each Swede drinks about five cups of coffee a day. Why do the Swedes like this southern drink so much?
The old chronicle of the 16th century says, that Gustav I, the king of Sweden, once changed a death penalty to a life imprisonment for twin-brothers who had been accused of treason on condition that one of the brothers would drink a large portion of tea every day, the other would drink the same portion of coffee. He did it in order to find out the influence of tea and coffee on a human being. Weeks and years, passed the brothers grew old, the kings changed each other, and the experiment was going on. At last at the age of 83 the brother who drank tea died and in four years the other brother, who drank coffee, died. Since that time, as the Swedes assure jokingly, coffee had become a national Swedish drink.
What is coffee? A coffee tree is one of the most beautiful plants in the world. It has juicy evergreen leaves and bright red berries, gathered in bunches, resembling cherries. The plant is a kind of a bush or a rather small tree. Its delicate white flowers have a wonderful jasmine scent. After ripening of the fruit, there are two coffee beans under the cover of the pulp. For production of a kilo of roasted coffee about 10.000 green beans are needed, that is why its production is very labour-consuming and the high quality coffee is expensive.
More often, for commercial purposes, two types of a coffee tree are used. They are an Arabian (Arabica) tree and “a graying” (Robusta) tree. All the coffee plantations are in the tropics that is more than in seventy countries of the world. In the places, where coffee trees have never been grown, they are planted and in the places where there are natural thickets, beans are picked up. Annually in the world, about eighty million sacks of coffee are exported. Each sack contains sixty kilos.
Brazil traditionally is the largest coffee exporter. Colombia steadily takes the second place. These two countries together produce more than a half of an annual export of coffee in the whole world. Important coffee producers are also Indonesia, Venezuela, Mexico, Ethiopia, India, and other countries.
Coffee trees are grown from both beans and cuttings. The first coffee berries appear by the fifth year of the life of the plant, and it bears fruit for 20-25 years without any breaks. Coffee trees bloom constantly and do not ripen at the same time. On a branch, one can find some flowers as well as green and quite ripe berries. Every year they gather in two main and some intermediate harvests. The berries are picked up by hand.
Harvest carrying is quite a complicated task, because on the same branch there are ripe and green berries. They are picked up and put into a basket. A daily work quota is about 100 kilos. Moreover, they must be sorted and green and overripe berries must be removed.
After that, a labour-consuming processing of the harvest follows. That is drying or a wet treatment for separating beans from pulp. The beans are dried in the sun during three weeks. A wet treatment is a more expensive method as more complicated equipment, more quantity of water, and more efforts are needed.
Next stage is sorting and classification of coffee beans. Any country that exports coffee has standards on the quality of the produced and sold products. These standards are worked out and approved by the governments of the countries-exporters of coffee. With the help of the standards the quality of the coffee and its trade are controlled. However, up to now they have not had international standards on the coffee quality. Experts check the flavouring qualities of the product twice. That is in the country-producer and in the country-importer. The sort and the brand of the product are determined according to the rules and regulations taken in the country-producer. The evaluation is carried out in compliance with the following aspects:
- the exterior of the beans (shape, uniformity, and colour),
- the number of damaged beans in the lot,
- the quality of the drink (tasting of its flavour, aroma and thickness) ,
- the quality of the roasted beans (degree and homogeneity).
It is understood, that professional tasters, trying the samples of the brewed coffee in a special way, give the final verdict to the coffee drink. The taste an aroma of the coffee are interdependent very much and they cannot be examined separately. Of no small importance are the thickness, density and strength of the drink. As it is well known, the less the coffee is roasted, the more its taste is natural, and the stronger it is roasted, the easier to hide its defects. That is why the taste of all strongly roasted coffee beans is alike, because such a component like acidity disappears. Moreover, the quality and the price of coffee depend on its quantity. The sum total of these factors finally determines the quality and the market cost of coffee.
ILKO CORPORATION uses the most modern technologies for the production of food products guided by the whole previous experience of many generations of predecessors. It inherited from lord Helsy the aspiration for investigation and innovation. However, at the same time to the Company’s spirit English pedantry is peculiar that makes people pay attention to the minor details of the production for getting the high quality products, their flavouring and useful characteristics.
Nowadays the production under cover of the trade mark Helsy is delivered to many countries of the world, like the USA, Great Britain, France, Germany, the Baltic countries, the FSU countries, where it has found love and gained popularity among the consumers thanks to its high quality.
The managers of the companies that promote the products of the Helsy trade mark have necessary professional qualities and offer a high-level service to both big trade companies and small retail enterprises. Helsy trade mark – IS FAITHFULNESS TO TRADITIONS AND INNOVATION, QUALITATIVE RAW MATERIALS AND HIGH TECHNOLOGY PRODUCTION, PROFESSIONAL MANAGEMENT AND SINCERE INTEREST TO EACH CUSTOMER.