Laurie amidst the coffee plants

I got married during a time when I had been deeply immersed in setting up a coffee store called Kaldi’s (see Monday’s post.) Our honeymoon was an academic journey into the South Pacific, eight months through Papua New Guinea, the Australian outback, and island-hopping across the ocean from Tonga to Easter Island.

And in many of these places, coffee grew. Not in the Outback, of course, and I didn’t see any in Easter Island (both are places with few shrubs and fewer trees) but in the PNG highlandsScan 153080001-1

and in Tahiti, generally beneath the light shade of trees such as the casuarina.Scan 153050001

coffee grew all over. Often it’s grown in small plots.  Farmers clean it, dry it, and squat with their little sacks along the road, waiting for the buyers’ trucks.   The small bags of green beans are collected, sorted, and sold it in larger quantities–Scan 153080001

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–or roasted, ground, and sold in smaller quantities.

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Interestingly, many of the small farmers clean their beans by giving them to their kids to chew off the husk of the berry. Fortunately, the heat of the roaster gets rid of any of the kids’ germs.

We drank some lovely coffee, there in the South Pacific.  Some pretty mediocre coffee too, it must be admitted.  But on the trip, I did say hello to many plants.Scan 153050001-1

So, what about you?  Any coffee adventures?

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  1. Kate Martino on November 6, 2015 at 7:16 am

    Wow, 8 months in the south Pacific. I can’t say my honeymoon was as long or as adventurous. We simply went to Florida for 2 weeks. But then again, its a lot harder these days to take a vacation when all occupations expect you to work work work. My coffee adventures usually consist of trying a new coffee shop that simply sounds appealing or out of the ordinary. And each time the coffee tastes different because each place has its own method of preparing their coffee or combine this or that beans into an individual home brew. Each place has its own charm and I always look forward to going back again when the opportunity arises.

  2. Annette Lessmann on November 6, 2015 at 7:17 am

    Traveling through the desert in Arizona, long before the time when all cars came equipped with air conditioning, I had a headache from the heat. The water jug was dry. The only liquid left in the car was a few swallows of cold coffee in my daddy’s thermos. Mom gave me an emprin (itself filled with caffeine as well as aspirin) and some coffee to wash it down. I was 6. She did warn me that I would probably not like the coffee. My headache grew to monster proportions and I learned how to dry swallow pills as a result. Fast forward 12 very non coffee years to a trip to the Disneyland. Figuring the headache was just a fluke from my childhood, I bought a cup of coffee in New Orleans Square to ease my way into adulthood. Two swallows later I was getting rid of not only coffee but also lunch into a garbage can. I love the smell of coffee brewing especially over a campfire. According to my hubby I make a great cup of coffee. I wouldn’t know as I never, ever taste it. Talk tea with me and we can talk taste!

  3. Bill Edwards on November 6, 2015 at 9:15 am

    I began drinking coffee seriously as a watch officer in the Navy, in the 60’s, on Treasure Island, California. Coffee was made in a large percolating pot, usually by the junior enlisted person on watch. It was very strong and got stronger as it aged in the pot. I have enjoyed many kinds of coffee since then, and rarely complained!

    By the way, who is the cute flower child in the last picture?

    • Laurie King on November 6, 2015 at 9:45 am


  4. Sabrina Flynn on November 6, 2015 at 11:57 am

    Not as exciting as yours! But when I was 17, one of my friends made me my first cup of coffee. For the next two hours, I felt like ants were crawling all over my bones, and I yawned non-stop and couldn’t think straight. When I finally stopped shaking, I fell asleep. That was also my last cup of coffee.

  5. TheMadLibrarian on November 6, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    My current favorite is Kauai medium roast single estate, available at Costco locally in a 1.5 pound bag, which I can eke out for 3 months. Rich without the acidity I often associate with Kona (I find Kona to be overhyped), I usually adulterate it with a couple of tablespoons of milk, but it is nice enough to drink straight if you find yourself caught short.

    One of my friends lives in Iao Valley. His rental cottage has a number of volunteer coffee plants growing nearby, or maybe they are leftover from someone’s failed venture. When he can beat others to the harvest, he brings his ‘Jungle Roast’ coffee to our weekly gaming group for all to enjoy.

  6. Nora on November 6, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    How wonderful for you!! Is that you in the last photo? Very nice!

  7. Storyteller Mary on November 7, 2015 at 11:00 am

    Jamaica, Blue Mountain coffee — I taught there for a few months, and became aware that it was a luxury export, helpful in balancing the island economy, not regularly consumed by residents . . . seems quite unfair.

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