Less Sweet Chocolate Biscotti

Traditionally, biscotti were dunked in wine – but their pleasing crisp texture is also delightful with a cup of coffee or glass of milk.

Less Sweet Chocolate Biscotti


1/3 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup toasted hazelnuts (filberts), chopped
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 ounces special dark chocolate or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 teaspoons shortening


1. Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet; set aside. Beat butter in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and cocoa powder. Beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour, the hazelnuts, and 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate with a wooden spoon.

2. Divide dough in half. shape each portion into a 9-inch-long roll. Place rolls 4 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet, slightly flatten each roll to 2 inches wide.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool on cookie sheet for 45 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325F.

4. Cut each roll diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices, slicing carefully with a serrated knife. Place slices, cut sides down, on cookie sheet.

5. Bake in 325F oven for 8 minutes. Carefully turn slices over and bake for 7 to 9 minutes more or until dry and crisp. Transfer to wire racks and let cool, about 1 hour. Makes 2 dozen.

6. Microwave chopped chocolate and shortening in a small microwave-safe bowl on 50 percent power (medium) for 1 to 2 minutes or until melted., stirring twice. Dip one end of each cookie into melted chocolate; let excess drip back into bowl. Place cookies on waxed paper; let stand until set.

Note: To toast nuts, spread them in a single layer in a shallow baking pan. Bake in a preheated 375F oven for 4 to 5 minutes or until nuts are slightly golden brown, stirring once or twice. Wrap warm nuts in a clean kitchen towel. Rub nuts in towel to remove any loose skins; cool completely. Chop nuts and set aside.


Waka Coffee & Tea Revamps Its Premium Instant Brand

Instant, freeze-dried coffee and tea company Waka Coffee & Tea is expanding its staff, distribution, and of most interest to consumers their product line as they come into a fresh $725,000 investment.

The Cali-based coffee concern is going to release a refreshed brand with new packaging marketing lingo usually reserved for specifically coffee and not instant. Waka does this in hopes of finding some space both on typical grocery store shelves as well as pantries across the U.S.

Waka was founded in 2018 by David Kovalevsk. So far, they’ve mostly had success through Amazon sales but recently brought their products to the international market through the California online health and wellness retail platform iHerb.

Waka isn’t the only company in recent years that made a go of making specialty coffee instant coffee. Other companies include Swift Cup, Sudden Coffee and Voila. Unfortunately, both Voila and Sudden are no longer in operation.

Waka founder Kovalevski stated that around the world instant coffee maintains its popularity, it is in the U.S. market where consumers are only familiar with sub-par legacy brands of instant coffee. Kovalevski said it is an opportunity to show U.S. consumers that “specialty” and “premium” coffee can be instant coffee.

Waka’s package redesign has several purposes. First, they are making the new packaging as light weight as possible for shipping purposes. Using new, simple graphics reinforce the effortless nature of the premium, instant coffee brand as well as strongly highlighting Waka’s promise to donate 4% of their profits to clean water projects.


New “Beanz” Platform from Breville to Offer Curated, Small-Batch, Bean Subscriptions

Breville, Australian consumer coffee equipment maker, will launch an online platform, www.Beanz.com, where coffee connoisseurs can purchase whole beans and subscription whole bean packages.

Breville’s Beanz service has brought together a team of quality-focused, specialty bean roasting companies from all over North America leaving consumers with a wide variety of options to chose from.

This veritable bevy of roasters will provide the Beanz platform with 200 some options for beans, blends and roast profiles. Breville stated that there didn’t seem like a better time to offer such a service.

The platform will also launch in the Unite Kingdom. There Breville sells under the brand name Sage. Breville has found 20 roasters based in the UK for their launch in the same country.

This is not a Breville product based platform, all members of the general public are able to purchase individual orders and subscriptions. The Beanz platform will ask new users to take a quiz about their coffee preferences so the system can make suggestions on products. While the platform will encourage subscriptions, induvial purchases are possible.

Breville has been working for over a year to build a great menu, but one that doesn’t stress the already thinly-stretched supply chain, according to the company. They stated they were confident that working with small batch roasters and being a great partner to them will bring a unique menu of specialty coffee to their discerning customer base.


The Future of Coffee Growing Land

New research from Switzerland brings new evidence to the conversation about the land coffee is grown on—the study found that climate change will reduce land suitable for growing coffee by 50% by 2050.

Specifically, the researchers’ analysis found that land with the best suitability for coffee growing in the world’s five largest coffee-growing countries will be reduced by 50% by climate change under all scenarios. Moderately suitable land will be reduced by more than 30%.

The new study repeats, almost exactly, the warning a 2014 study made, that lands for growing coffee will be cut in half by the middle of the new century. This is a serious warning about the sustainability of the coffee industry.

The study comes from Zurich University of Applied Sciences. It was led by Roman Gruter. The study used data from fourteen global climate models and three scenarios of future emission predictions. It estimated the effects on the land and soil for crops. It considered things like slop, texture and pH.

The study also looked at the future land availability for crops like avocados and cashews. However, the study found that coffee lands happen to be in the most danger from climate change.


First Ever Cup of Excellence Auction, Indonesia

At the first ever Cup of Excellence auction in Indonesia, buyers from all over the world to turned up. Bidders paid up to $30USD a pound on average for 26 different varieties of Indonesia’s best coffees.

In total bidders paid out over $360,000 for the 26 micro-lots available at the auction. Wataru, Japanese coffee trader, made the winning bid for six of the choicest lots. This included an $80 per pound pledge Wataru made on behalf of their client Yamatoya Coffee for the most valued lot at the auction.

This highly valued coffee is a honey-processed product. It is a blend of the Ateng, P88 and Gayo 1 varieties grown by Dilen Ali Gogo on the Aceh island. Yamatoya, the purchasers, plan to promote it as the best Indonesian coffee.

A Wataru representative stated that Indonesia is a favored country of origin for coffee connoisseurs in Japan. He said that their coffee has a special sweet and earthy flavor that is also spicy. While Sumatra is the most well-known, there are many islands producing very good coffee.

The five most cherished lots were bought from representatives from six different countries. The organizers of the auction also noted that Indonesia’s own roasting company and coffee supplier called Kopikina Coffee was represented at the auction as well. They purchased a lot from Java Bawat, grown by Saeful Hadi.