Friday, July 14, 2017

Grazie, Agricoltori!

When the alarm sounded this morning -- ever-so gently -- I was tempted to roll back over. But I pushed through, knowing that in order to have the coffee, I would need to make the coffee. Most of the steps had already been taken care of by others -- planting the tree, tending the soil, harvesting, drying, milling had been done in East Timor, on the other side of the world. I had taken care of the roasting a couple of days ago, so all that remained was the grinding and brewing, which I would do with the accompaniment of Morning Edition.

After a few short items about the latest political fiascos, the hosts got my full attention by admitting that on many days, the program seems as if it is hosted by a giant cup of coffee. These people get up even earlier than I do, after all!

As I continued to prepare the Chemex, my industry was rewarded by the mellifluous voice of Sylvia Poggioli intoning on the virtues of Italian coffee culture.
In five minutes, she explains a lot about the geography of coffee shops in general and of Italian shops in particular, along with some interesting insights into some of the varieties of espresso drinks and the time of day it is considered appropriate to drink each. 

Poggioli's reporting draws on the expertise of the Coffee University, also known as the Illy training center. It was in the U.S. training center of Illy's rival Lavazza that I first became acquainted with the rudiments of caring for coffee at the brewing stage. I believe some of the voices I heard from Illy are also featured in the film Black Gold, a bold documentary that contrasts the refinement of coffee consumption with the destitution of coffee production in Ethiopia.

I enjoyed this report as much as I enjoyed the coffee in my favorite (and now twice=emptied) cup. But the report lacked one idea that I think should be part of any coffee discussion, so I supplied it in the title of this post: #thankthefarmers 

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