Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Secret Life of Coffee 2021 Tasting

A coffee tasting event at the end of the spring semester is a second-year seminar tradition that predates the seminar requirement. Every spring since 2007, students in The Secret Life of Coffee have served up coffee and knowledge from around the world, in something like a science fair of coffee

In 2020 and 2021, these are virtual events -- presentations to be enjoyed online. We offer a pre-tasting buying guide for visitors who wish to prepare something appropriate to sip while enjoying the presentations.

Before you go, enjoy this light-hearted take on coffee and justice:
Dean Cycon is a roaster and coffee activist based in Orange, Massachusetts. His book Javatrekker is one of the main texts used in this course.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Qahua to Coffee

Thanks to everyone who attended my presentation "Qahua to Coffee: Ancient & Modern Geographies of MENA's Signature Drink." I was pleased to be invited to speak as part of MENA Awareness Week at BSU, sponsored by the Middle East and North Africa program and the U.S. Department of Education.

Meanwhile: spotted on the Internet, so it
might be true.

I am especially grateful for the questions and comments from colleagues that were offered at the end of the presentation. If you missed the program, I hope you will take the time to watch and to stay for the contributions of these colleagues -- it was very much a cross-cultural and interdisciplinary exchange.

In addition to the video, you are invited to view the slides -- anything on a slide that looks like a link is a link that leads to further information.

During the talk I mentioned three books. In honor of National Library Week, I offer links to my reviews of these titles: Javatrekker, Uncommon Grounds, and Where the Wild Coffee Grows.

Among other things, "Qahua to Coffee" touches on the significance of the café shown below, which is situated in a neighborhood known as "Paris on the Nile." Café Riche has been serving coffee and conversation in Cairo since 1908.


The MENA program that sponsored this event has also provided a small research grant for me to learn more about coffee in the region. Stay tuned: the Coffee Maven will have more to say on this subject!

After I gave this presentation, I turned to our copy of Yashim Cooks Istanbul in order to prepare a MENA-themed dinner. The resulting Hazelnut and Lemon Pilaf (findikli ve limonlu pilav) scored very high on our nutritious-delicious-easy-cheap trade-off matrix.