The Birth of Coffee Tour

If you happen to be a coffee nerd, geek or just someone who’s fascinated with where your brew comes from, other than the coffee shop or grocery, there is an exhibit running now at LA’s Craft and Folk Art Museum. (aka CAFAM) The current Birth of Coffee exhibit began in September and runs through January 9, 2011. It has visited over a dozen cities already and moves to Miami in February.

Part of a multi-platform project which includes the exhibit, a book, website and an international tour, the project spotlights the life of coffee growers in parts of Central and South America, Africa, and Yemen and Indonesia. The stars are the photographs, which are black-and-white and actually enhanced by coffee; accompanying anecdotes and facts enliven the stories of the people who bring coffee from field to production.

As an example of facts, the book states that 400 million cups of coffee are consumed daily, made possible by 25 million workers. From the workers’ lives to coffee’s place in the political, economic and cultural realms, the story illuminates coffee’s place in our world.

Since the show is running during the holidays, anyone visiting LA during that time might want to check the exhibit out. If an added attraction of historical coffee artifacts from coffee’s main regions doesn’t entice you, maybe the final draw, “a bit of coffee”, will.

The exhibit sounds like an enjoyable way to learn of coffee’s history and journey from plantation to cup, if only to gain an appreciation for what goes into our share of the 400 million daily cups. Whether geek or nerd or not, we should all know the work involved to bring the foods we eat to our tables.

If you won’t be able to attend an exhibit, you can visit the project’s website at . While you visit the site, why not try one of ROASTe's coffees from one of the featured countries? Several are below.

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