Sunday, September 16, 2018

Falsified foods

The recent news that honey is not always honey reminded me of some South American olive oil I bought from a well known purveyor of organic foods a while back.  I discovered it was not olive oil only after I had used most of it (olive oil solidifies in the fridge) and since then I have bought Australian Olive Oil with a definite use-by date. 

Today I discovered that coffee can also be dodgy. I am one of those smallish percentage of the population who can't digest coffea robusta beans so I always ask before ordering if the coffee is 100% arabica. I can tell if there are robusta beans in the mix as it has metallic taste.

This morning I dropped my car off for a service then made for the cafe selling Campos coffee down the road. It has changed hands and now it sells ' leaf and berry' brand coffee. I asked if the coffee was 100% arabica and the owner said very forcefully that "he wouldn't sell any of those other floor sweepings', by which he meant robusta beans. I said some people liked a bit of robusta in their coffee but he was adamant it was rubbish. I was still doubtful as 100% arabica was not written on the coffee packet so he checked with the agent who replied it was 100% arabica. So I ordered my coffee.
I took a sip.... it didn't feel right.  I looked up the coffee bean online and there was nothing about it being 100% arabica in the bean description. The metallic taste developed as I researched and I wondered who was telling fibs, the coffee company, the agent or the cafe staff?  The cafe manager had checked and shown me the agent's reply on his phone so it wasn't him. As left, coffee un-drunk, I told him I was certain there was a % of robusta in the mix. Arabica beans are more expensive and if he is paying for them, he should get them.
In checking online I had discovered that the firm selling 'leaf and berry' brand also sells the Gusto brand. I used to drink a daily cup of coffee at my local cafe, but they switched without notice to Gusto coffee and after a particularly bad reaction I decided to buy my own coffee machine. The cafe was sold shortly afterwards. A European cafe owner had told me that coffee firms offer large inducements (white goods etc) for  multi-year contracts and I felt sorry for the new owner.  The cafe changed hands a third time and now it sells 100% arabica coffee again - but I have my own machine and hardly visit.

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