Sunday, May 17, 2009

Coffee domination is in Guatemala! For 10 weeks!

Well, it has finally happened, coffee domination is finally visiting origin, in this case, Guatemala, particularly, the Antigua growing region. I am studying Spanish and taking a class on immigration and transnationalism for 5 weeks, then will be continuing Spanish class and working at a coffee museum/roastery/processing facility/plant nursery for another 5 weeks. With a lot of practice and a little luck, coffee domination will be conversant in Spanish and well-versed in coffee production by the end of the summer!

Typing this post, I realize that somehow it doesn't seem right to call what I'm doing in Guatemala "coffee domination"...In a country whose populace has been abused and oppressed by various governments (some put in place by United States agencies and corporations) and by its own citizens (military leaders and property owners, sometimes, one-in-the-same), I feel the term domination is ill-advised...Maybe the mission, while I'm here, should be called Sharing in Coffee, which will encompass both my objectives: learning more about coffee production, marketing, and history; and contributing my technical knowledge on roasting, grinding, and packaging. I regret that I left my espresso science book at home, but will likely retrieve it if necessary.

As far as the traditional objectives of coffee domination go, I will continue to visit cafes in Antigua, writing about both the good, the bad, and the interesting, in order to provide a resource for other people to visit Antigua and make their own opinions about the coffee here (as available in roasted bean, and brewed form). I realize the long standing paradox, that the hardest place to find good coffee is in a producing country, but I will strive to find exceptions in exceptional coffee, available to Antiguans and the many tourists, businessmen, and others who live or pass through here.

I realize that this will likely entail lots of less than stellar coffee, however, I realize, my green coffee collection and roaster is in the United States and I am here...Wish me luck :)

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