The Aliveness of a Fleeting Century

I grew up in New Hampshire, and about the age (3rd grade) that I realized what New Hampshire was, and that there were places that were not New Hampshire, I wanted out. Everything around me seemed very unalive. Stoic granite. Frozen soil. Leafless trees naked for months on end. Small, quiet knots of people who … Continue reading The Aliveness of a Fleeting Century

Nomad Notes: The Spanish Rules

Part 2 of 3 in a series less about coffee and more about travel, culture, and living abroad. In "Pen on Page" I mention rules for traveling and living abroad that I developed during my year as a high school exchange student in Alicante, Spain. The Spanish Rules I describe are: 1. New day new … Continue reading Nomad Notes: The Spanish Rules

Nomad Notes: Pen on Page

Part 1 of 3 in a series less about coffee and more about travel, culture, and living abroad. Written Monday, December 2. Back in high school, during my year as a foreign exchange student, I developed several rules to live by. One was the "new day new place rule," which ruled that every day I … Continue reading Nomad Notes: Pen on Page

The Book: “When Coffee Speaks: Stories from and of Latin American Coffeepeople”

ORDER THE BOOK HERE Back cover reads: Whatever your sentiments towards or knowledge of coffee, the stories coffee has to tell are surprising, intriguing, and always human. Part travelogue meets anthropological field notes, part industry review meets food sourcing exposé, When Coffee Speaks is a collection of interviews with all kinds of coffeepeople in Nicaragua, … Continue reading The Book: “When Coffee Speaks: Stories from and of Latin American Coffeepeople”

Secret Coffee Garden

The term agroforest is decidedly vague; to the delight of marketers and spinmen and to the dismay of people trying to standardize sustainability terminology in the pursuit of meaningful certifications and measurable environmental change. Like so much in coffee, when I think of agroforests I have to go back to Judge Potter Stewart’s ruling. I … Continue reading Secret Coffee Garden

Double the Process

Coffee and cacao are the only two commodities that need intensive long term care just to be produced, but then also need intensive processing post harvesting before the raw products are ready for consumption. When coffee speaks it’s out of breath; it’s been burning the candle at both ends. Some agricultural products demand time and … Continue reading Double the Process

What It Means to be a Gringa

  I I can pick coffee every day for the rest of my life, but I will never know what it's like to be a coffee picker. In response to the Huffpost article Peace Corps Guilt I am not a Peace Corps Volunteer, and probably never will be. I have a personal aversion to participation in … Continue reading What It Means to be a Gringa

This Week in Coffee, Edition 3

Pride Monday I picked coffee. The men working on the house on the property I was picking on were eager to see how much I picked in my 4 hours of work. I didn’t even clear 2 cajuelas. For anyone who’s worked as a coffee picker, the only measurement that matters is cajuelas. How many … Continue reading This Week in Coffee, Edition 3

Measuring Up

A bilingual evaluation of coffee measurements. How many manzanas fit in your hectare? When did acres turn into hectares? Maybe when the almacigo was planted. Apurate! You better fill that canasta pronto because anyone who picks less than 3 cajuelas is una tirade. Put your boots in a row and your sacks in line for … Continue reading Measuring Up