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
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