Sunday, April 4, 2010

Excuse Me While I Kiss The Sky and One More Cup of Coffee For The Road

I love coffee. Nectar, dark, hot, smoky, slightly bitter ... not the double non-fat soy extra foam, no. Just coffee. I remember sitting on my grandfather's very well-padded lap when I was little, licking a spoon he'd dipped into Turkish coffee dark and moody. Sometimes there's the surprise of coffee with heavy cream in London, or the sultry monsoon flavor of a cup of joe on the side streets of the Ginza, or Thai sweet iced coffee.

Flavors and moods and tastes change, and there's a vacuum pack everywhere, lovely beans gleaming in colors of healthy earth. Beans grown in exotic places with pronounced aromas and taste; when you take a closer look there's battles in coffee growing. Estate coffee grown in the beautiful sun quickly and depleting the earth, priced as just a commodity (I know, it is but there's more). The photos show the other way, a better way for the collectives that farm this looking for a way to keep the growing fields healthy and have a living wage.  Birds, flowers, life, happiness and oh the coffee.

The indigenous Mayan people have been caught in a battleground for survival, a beautiful place of suffering. Change is coming and there are small collectives that tend the small plots of shade-grown, organic coffee that may be the best in the world. The beans are grown to maturity, capturing all nuances and subtleties. 

My favorite, Mexican Yachii Dark Roast, come from Higher Ground. It's about the same price as estate coffee. It's a very good thing.


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