Gastronomy speaks about history, culture, tradition, and food- ways, to name a few of its vast relationships; I would not question its infinity. However, it is for the Gastronome to use the concept and make the connection. On October 1st, 2020, we celebrated International Coffee Day.
Coffee, in my belief, sails in the same boat with oil and gold, and the impact and what can be examined on coffee is no less measurable.
The iconic berry noted by (NCAUSA, nd) made its way from Ethiopia across the globe. Thanks to a goat farmer who discovered his goats’ energy level and little sleep when they consumed these berries. In my community, Southfield St Elizabeth, coffee drinking mimicked a ritual when I was a boy. Individuals and districts earned bragging rights on whom and where had the best quality. Every yard had a plot of coffee that was prided.
I recall picking the ripe coffee berries, which were then pulped to remove the red skin, exposing the whitish-grey beans stuck together like twins facing each other.
These beans were then placed on a sheet of zinc or crocus bag laid out on the ground for drying in the sun. After dried, beans were placed in a crocus bad to mimic a punching bag and beaten with a stick to extract the beans from this whitish-grey shell. This process was called “thrashing.” The beans were now separated and silver-grey. The next step was to roast the beans in a shallow Dutch pot or a broad pot cover. The roasting quality determined the beverage quality; hence, care was taken not to burn the beans. The Parching stick resembled a mini cricket bat. At the end of this process, you now had your dark, sometimes dark-golden roasted beans, which were pounded in a mortar.
You now have your ground coffee that was ready to be percolated in a coffee bag.
Randie Anderson Executive Chef, CEC, CCA,WCEC, MSc Gastronomic Tourism.
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