by Dean Cycon
published by Chelsea Green Publishing
© 2007 by Dean Cycon
Click on image to purchase.
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. This surprisingly gripping travelogue is filled with
tales from the "coffeelands," barely-on-the-map locales in
Africa, the Americas, and Asia where coffee farmers struggle to survive.
Written with knowledge and good cheer by the founder of Dean's Beans
Organic Coffee, the book reads more like a trippy adventure than a business
trip, though the issues Cycon raises are vital, prescient and little
known ("99 percent of the people involved in coffee... have never
been to a coffee village"). While learning first-hand about the
hardships involved in growing and selling coffee beans-the world's second
most valuable commodity, after oil-the author finds himself in Guatemala
praying to an effigy in a Mickey Mouse tie and cowboy boots; eating
armadillo leg in Colombia; working to heal landmine victims in Nicaragua
and war widows in Sumatra; and meeting with all manner of farmers, bureaucrats
and dignitaries. His dispatches are highly enlightening, demonstrating
how few national governments provide coffee growers with water, education,
health care or even protection from harmful pesticides; further, coffee
growers' income is subject to the whims of financial speculators half
a world away. Reading this eye-opening book, it's impossible not to
reconsider-and feel grateful for-the myriad people behind your morning
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