I am not a coffee connoisseur but as a world traveler I have had the wonderful pleasure of tasting coffee on various continents and prepared various ways.
In the Dominican Republic and in Peru coffee is served more like thick congealed syrup with water then added to taste. For me in the Dominican Republic it was about 1/8 coffee to 7/8’s of water. It was also there that a friend showed me the consequences of chewing coffee beans… an endless amount of energy, energy to an extreme. Sadly in Peru there just wasn’t enough water to help me get their thick coffee down!
While in Costa Rica a country well known for its coffee I couldn’t understand why the coffee was never ready when the restaurants opened in the morning? Didn’t the locals know North Americans can’t function without their morning coffee? When it was finally brewed it was rich and flavorful. While there I also purchased a traditional wooden coffee maker just in case they never got around to making the morning coffee!
In Bali while visiting one of several coffee plantations I had the opportunity to assist with the roasting process, stirring beans in a cast iron pan over an open aired wood fire. It was hot tedious work and made me appreciate my coffee all the more!
While in Bali I also paid for a sample cup of Kopi Luwak, AKA Civet coffee, Ca-ca coffee, Monkey Butt coffee or Cat Poo coffee. Kopi Luwak, is known as the world’s most expensive coffee is made from ripe beans that have passed through the digestive system of a civet. And yes it was good, exceptionally good, so smooth but far too expensive for my lowly budget to purchase a measureable amount. (Kopi Luwak is mentioned by Jack Nicholson’s character in the movie “The Bucket List.”)
Another interesting point about Balinese coffee is that it is generally served as a powder. Coffee powder is poured in to a cup, hot water is poured in and you swirl the two together to brew your coffee. It is not like instant coffee where the coffee essentially dissolves. Needless to say there is always coffee powder at the bottom of your cup.
Sadly much of the coffee served and sold in Bali is grown on the nearby island of “Java,” hence the nickname!
While in Australia I needed to order a “long black” or in other words American coffee. If I only wanted the small size I ordered a “small long black.” (Got that?)
My favorite coffee thus far is Coban; it comes from the highlands of Guatemala. In Guatemala we watched as coffee beans were laid out on the ground on tarps to dry before it was shelled and shoveled into bags for export.
On our trip to Africa we had a layover in Addis Abba Ethiopia, now talk about coffee! Some people say that Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee. According to the National Coffee Association, an Ethiopian goat herder named Kaldi was the first to realize coffee’s wonders: “It is said that he discovered coffee after noticing that his goats, upon eating berries from a certain tree, became so spirited that they did not want to sleep at night”, so it is not surprising we might find some “good stuff” there. We were only in the airport but that was all we needed to experience their coffee. The entire airport was filled with the aroma of coffee; you could just breathe to get your coffee fix! I did however purchase a kilo and it was magnificent, rich and full bodied. It is running nose to nose or taste bud to taste bud with my beloved Coban. And of course in Kenya I also bought Kenyan coffee, it too has a rich deep favor.
As a coffee drinker, local coffee from where ever, Costa Rica, Brazil, Guatemala, Panama, Bali, Africa or Ecuador must be tried during your travels. Most recently I brought home coffee from the small South Pacific island of Atiu and my daughter brought me home coffee from Italy from her trip there. Both coffees were flavorful, dark and robust. When I am at home and have run out of my favorite coffee or need a hit of a travel memory coffee that I have brought home with me I look to Windward Coffee.
You too can find your favorite coffee with Windward Coffee in Westlake Ohio. Contact Dave, http://windwardcoffee.com to keep you in supply! If you live locally Dave will deliver it…it may not be freshly brewed but it will be freshly roasted!
“Life without coffee is like sleep walking
through your life!” ~Unknown
P.S… A new study says coffee can help women lower their risk for depression by as much as 20%, but then world travel helps with that too!!
P.S.S … And I must confess, I have never liked instant coffee, even when I was desperate, but now that Starbucks has VIA I do travel with at least two packets for emergencies! Hey Dave can you supply me with that?