With a heritage of growers, exporters, importers, and roasters, Orinoco Coffee & Tea has produced and sold the finest coffees and teas since 1909.

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The origins of tea – all tea – can be traced back 5,000 years ago to China. All the Tea in China History tells us tea was discovered by botanical explorer and Chinese emperor Shen-Nung in 2737 B.C. According to legend, while purifying water under a tea tree, some leaves happened to blow into the emperor’s pot, resulting in an accidental – but fortuitous – brew. He named the brew “ch’a,” which is translated as “to investigate,” as the emperor perceived the beverage spread throughout his body – investigating it – as he drank. Between 202 B.C. and 206 A.D., Chinese farmers developed cultivating, drying,

A Massive Continent Yields Multiple Teas Africa is a relative newcomer to the tea industry, and has used its late arrival to its advantage, building on the experience of those who came before to emerge as a world renowned, tea-producing powerhouse. In fact, Kenya stands as the third largest producer, globally, after China and India. Additional tea-producing African countries include Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe, which combined produce nearly 30% of the world’s exports – or roughly 514,000 tons of tea. Africa’s Top Producers • Kenya: In 1903, the first tea seeds from India were planted on two Kenyan acres. From that legacy,

Did you know? According to The Tea Association of the U.S.A., more than half of the American population drinks tea on any given day. While there is no “best” tea delivery method, so to speak, knowing more about the way tea is packaged and processed can help to ensure a positive drinking experience. There are three main delivery methods for tea: • Loose: For many connoisseurs, loose tea is the only kind worth brewing. Placed in a strainer or an infuser, loose tea leaves are enveloped by the water, which results in maximum expansion of the leaves and a full-bodied flavor. Loose tea

Meet the World’s #1 Coffee Producer Brazil, the largest country in both South America and Latin America, is also the top producer of coffee worldwide. And with 98% of its households drinking coffee, it is currently the #1 consuming market, as well. A Brief History Coffee is believed to have come to Brazil in 1727, having been smuggled out of French Guiana. European colonists were early adopters of Brazilian coffee, but as interests grew worldwide – so did the country’s exports. By 1820, Brazil was producing approximately 30% of the world’s crop. In the late 19th century, Asia’s coffee market was nearly wiped out by

The Independent State of Papua New Guinea inhabits the eastern half of the world’s second largest island, New Guinea. The western half, known as West Papua, is a province of Indonesia. The coffee produced in Papua New Guinea, however, is quite different than the Indonesian product. A Brief History Papua New Guinea was not colonized until 1885. While coffee was not native there, Germany and England had established neighboring colonies, and brought Blue Mountain arabica plants from Jamaica. By the 1920s, commercial exports had launched around the coast. A decade or so later, the Australian discovery of the island’s fertile land helped to

Abyssinia – also known as present-day Ethiopia – is widely considered to be the birthplace of coffee. Today, it is also the 5th largest coffee producer worldwide. Ethiopia is known for its diverse typography, geography, and climates. Altitudes can range from 100 meters below sea level to 4600 above in the Semien Mountains (the roof of Africa), and environments can range from dry deserts to the lush tropics. These ideal conditions yield a coffee that is renowned for its low acidity and fruity flavors. The Legend Continues An Ethiopian legend tells of Kaldi, a goat herder in the Kaffa Highlands, circa 850 AD,

With a population of 50-million people, Sumatra is the sixth largest island in the world, and one of the three main islands that form the Southeast Asian country of Indonesia. Dutch colonists initially brought coffee to Indonesia by way of Yemen in 1699. It wasn’t until more than a century later that the crop arrived in Sumatra, and by the late 19th century commercial production had begun on the island. Sumatran Coffee at a Glance Sumatra is located in Indonesia on the equator, which splits the island into two equal zones, each with its own unique climate. The fertile volcanic soil and lush

When you store tea it is important to remember, whether loose or bagged, that tea is highly susceptible to five main factors: • Air • Moisture • Heat • Light • Odor Contact with oxygen will cause tea to turn brown and lose flavor over time. Additionally, moisture of any kind will ruin tea (steer clear of storage spots near the sink, dishwasher, or microwave). To aptly safeguard from both conditions, an opaque, airtight container is the best method to store tea. Glass containers may be attractive but are discouraged because exposure to light can degrade your tea leaves over time. Metal or ceramic containers are ideal. Likewise, tea

Today’s coffee farmers are aging out of the workforce as they begin to move from middle age and into, what should be, retirement age. Most smaller farms are family businesses and the younger generations are finding farming to be a high-risk and low-status vocation. As these young people head off to the city to find jobs that require less labor and offer more security, it then falls to the older generation to struggle and maintain the family farms with little or no help. These younger generations are not wrong about the need for change in order to make coffee farming a

Located in Western South America, Peru often gets lost in the shuffle when people discuss coffee origin, but it was actually one of the first countries in the Americas to be introduced to the crop. With a highly diverse climate that swings from tropical temps in the east to the dry desert conditions of the west, as well as high elevations provided by the Andes mountains that cut through the country, Peru provides optimal conditions for coffee production. And, in fact, Arabica beans are grown in most of the country – from the peaks to the coasts to the jungle. A Brief

Colombia is the world’s third largest coffee producer, trailing only Brazil and Vietnam. Unlike those countries, however, which also farm Robusta coffees – Colombia produces only 100% high-quality Arabica beans, and is responsible for approximately 12% of all coffee production worldwide. Without question, Colombian coffee has become world-famous, and is perhaps the first nation that springs to mind when people think about imported beans. You can probably thank Juan Valdez for that. A Brief History Coffee is believed to have been introduced in Colombia in the early 1700s, perhaps brought there by Jesuit priests. The first documented shipment occurred in 1835, when 2,500 pounds was

Every day, auto drip coffee makers are sold by the scores for their pre-programmable, time-telling convenience, but are largely derided by those who take their coffee seriously. It’s true – there are bigger, better, faster, more furious methods of making coffee available. We’ve profiled many of them in this space. And a good argument can be made that the lion’s share delivers a richer, more satisfying cup of java than the countertop auto drip that occupies countless shadowy kitchen corners and appliance graveyards throughout the country. BUT! Making a satisfactory cup of coffee using an auto drip coffee maker isn’t a fool’s errand.

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