I was born and spent my pre-teen years on the island of Trinidad, in the Caribbean, and I have fond memories of coffee. Not the beans, the fruit.
For some reason, we never had real coffee in the house. My mom drank something called POSTUM, which was a kind of fake substitute made from ground-up car tires, or something like that. At least it sure smelled like it. With apologies, of course, to the POSTUM people, because I believe it's still on the market.
Anyway, as kids probably do everywhere, my friends and I would look for weird things to nibble on in the jungle. And tropical jungles are a GREAT place to find weird things to nibble on. Coffee plants grew wild here and there around our home, and we used to pick the red-ripe beans (only the ripe ones were edible) and eat the fleshy part before spitting out the seeds. There wasn't much to eat, but we weren't doing it because we were hungry. It was just fun.
By the way, we also did the same thing with cocoa beans, and they were actually tastier. The pods turned yellow or red when they were ripe, and were easy to crack open. The procedure was the same; eat the fleshy coating on the beans, and spit out the rest. Little did we know in those early years that we were throwing away the best part!!
So, there are other ways to enjoy coffee without brewing a cuppa joe.
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