Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The World is Our Village---Coffee is the Elixir of Joy and Prosperity---Happy New Year

Where would we be without coffee? There’s a reason that it’s a cultural icon. During the winter months, coffee takes on an even more vital role. It energizes us, warms us, and can even decrease inflammation in the body---that’s because of its ability to decrease insulin and uric acid levels in the body over the short-term, according to an article published in Arthritis and Rheumatism.


That’s why we all take it so seriously. Turns out that folks at Villa Vosilla in the Catskill Mountains are very serous about coffee consumption, as is Maggie, owner of the Krooked Café in Tannersville. While hanging out at Villa Vosilla, I experienced coffee-related kindness around the clock. In the morning, we were offered a carafe full of coffee to take back to our rooms while we dressed for a day on the slopes. Later, during the après-ski, pre-dinner, post-appetizer phase of the day, I requested darker coffee than I originally got—and to my utter delight Bart the waiter showed up with dark, steaming hot, completely aromatic Italian coffee. Later on, he brought more coffee—and canoli to boot. (Thank you, Bart!)


But, the real surprise came from Maggie’s coffee. The Krooked Café is a Main Street must-visit, with a full menu and the most amazing coffee ever! Plus, she has skim milk. Beyond the coffee, there is the art that hangs on the wall. It literally captures the exuberance of the Hunter region and the tremendous amount of creativity, idealism, and sheer technical prowess that characterizes the people who make their homes there.



Finally, stepping away from Hunter for a bit (though the snow falling outside is beckoning us back…), I’d like to give a shout-out to One Village Coffee. It's an amazing story! A group of people in Pennsylvania went to Nigeria, created a team, and started a roasting company. Their commitment to helping a community in Nigeria was extended to their ongoing work in Honduras and Egypt. They are literally making good on their resolution to transform communities through business. Everything started to unfold in 2007 when Steve Hackman (President/CEO) and Scott Hackman (Sales Director) and their team met Bala, a local coffee farmer, in Nigeria. Bala was determined to use his coffee farm to bring jobs, education, and income to his village. Steve and Scott were determined to create positive change, so they worked with Bala to start a specialty roasting company---and WOW, is the coffee amazing!


About the coffee: It’s dark, smooth, without any bite or aftertaste. It’s mellow and invigorating at the same time. It plays on the palate on its own, or with a sweet or savory treat. Please try One Village---and while you’re at it, think of Steve, Scott, Bala, their friends and family, and all of our coffee-growing brothers and sisters around the world.


When the clock strikes midnight, I will be drinking coffee in the company of those I love most.

Happy New Year, Everyone!

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