Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Coffee Country

I'm not a coffee drinker, but living in coffee country, I am often tempted. Today, for instance, when I went to the sort-of secret place to buy coffee for friends. Secret in that someone has to show you where the place is or you'd never find it.

You drive into a huge compound and a guy at the gate holds out a sheet of paper for you to sign -- and then he raises the bar and you drive through and it's nothing but dilapidated buildings and weed growing everywhere. Then -- you smell it. Fresh ground coffee.

As I pulled up today, a guy was loading three large sacks of coffee into the trunk of his car. I walked in to the run-down building and the manager said -- "ground or beans?" The roaster was going full steam and, man, was it hot in that little building. In what was the lobby -- the thinnest man in Timor was placing a sack under the grinder. The sack was bigger than he was -- he was wearing shorts in a room that must have been close to 100 degrees.

A sauna with a coffee smell.

One kilo of coffee is five US dollars.