Posted in Kafevend Blog

Cafédirect have been making life better for coffee growers and drinkers alike for over two decades. The company was founded in 1991 by a collection of philanthropic groups- Oxfam, Traidcraft, Equal Exchange Trading and Twin Trading- in response to the collapse of coffee prices two years earlier. The idea was to cut out the middle man when buying coffee so that more money went to the growers, and to establish cooperatives within the growers' communities to promote development. Cafédirect has a number of accolades, such as being the world's first mainstream Fairtrade coffee brand, being the first Fairtrade coffee brand to carry the Fairtrade mark in the UK and also the first Fairtrade product sold in supermarkets. Quite the list! Since then it has gone on to become the UK's largest 100% Fairtrade drinks brand, and has also branched out into tea and hot chocolate.

I have recently tried their Machu Picchu origins coffee, which I can report as being very good indeed and even my amateur tasting skills were able to detect the chocolatey notes it says it contains. Having looked at coffee in Peru last week, I thought I might take a look at the coffee's namesake. Machu Picchu, meaning old peak, sits almost 8,000 feet above sea level. It was built at the height (no pun intended) of the Inca Empire in 1450, but was abandoned only a century later at the time of the Spanish conquest. There are several theories as to the use of the site, including being a royal retreat, the site of a religious sect or to honour the landscape, though the true meaning is yet to be discovered.

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