Coffee Roasting in Desarmes
I have a life goal to eat ice cream on every inhabited continent. I made this goal back before I really appreciated coffee. I do love ice cream and have happily eaten ice cream (or some kind of similar frozen treat) in every country I've been in. (Continent wise, I'm still 4/6). However, coffee would've been an easier goal, I think. And potentially way more regionally interesting.
Ice cream side bar: there isn't any dairy in Haiti, unless it's imported. And you have to be a baller to buy it. I think they told us that butter is like $12 at the grocery stores. (But I did get a chance to eat mango sorbet while I was there, which was delicious and totally counts).
Back to coffee:
When we were in Desarmes, Haiti, we got to visit a coffee roasting demonstration courtesy of Mary Ann Belena who roasted the beans over an open fire. It was beyond impressive (and smelled like heaven). We sat in her Lakou as she roasted the beans, taking turns getting close to the fire to see the beans up close turn from brown to black.
|Isaac Marie Denise (sitting) also joined us. She is a MCC argoforestry technician in Desarmes|
Even though Haiti is in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, we (or at least I) don't typically think about coffee growing in Haiti. But it's there and women like Mary Ann have been making a living from it for years. It is a very rich roast and one that is utterly important in the food culture of Haiti. It was so cool to taste and see it for myself.
|This is me in front of a mapou tree, which is this massive tree that is scared in Haiti. Mary Ann's neighbors had one in their back yard.|