It's the Richest Kind
Dive dive dive, it's what we do, but before the dive....coffee.
There is no getting around it, Honduras has great coffee, and we drink a lot of it.
Like all people, one gets used to their surroundings and blessings that are received routinely and on a daily basis. There is no novelty for those living next to Niagara Falls, it's just what happens over there in the river. Those living near Mt Everest probably find no wonder in a mountain range. How many New Yorkers visit the Statue of Liberty, or Parisians climb the Eiffel Tower? We get numb, and used to what is around us.
I don't remember when I started drinking coffee, but it was a while back, like well into the last millennium. The coffee advocate promoter at the time was a Swedish woman named Mrs. Olson (actually actress Virginia Christine) who would admonish her associates on the TV that they must use Folgers Coffee "because it's Mountain Grown, Aye, that's the richest kind". This was the American gospel on coffee, because how can you argue with a "Swedish" actress using pirate idioms to praise the mountain grown qualities of a tropical plant while portraying herself as being from an ice bound country that is as flat as a piece of lefse? It worked for us, and we drank a lot of Folgers.
The nineties, again the last millennium, brought forth organic feelings in the populace and promoting coffee went from Scandinavians waxing orgasmic over the smell of a freshly opened industrially packaged tin can, to Juan Valdez and his burro getting up early in Columbia to hand pick coffee beans in the mountain groves of South America. The next scene would show an American housewife opening her pantry first thing in the morning (dressed to the nines), and there would be Juan and his burro handing her a package of coffee from her closet! You know it had to be fresh, and it was Folgers, and we drank a lot of it.
I moved to Honduras ten years ago and my coffee habit followed me. It is part of my daily routine. I get up, deal with that mysterious gravel that shows up in the corner of my eyes, feed the cats, and make a cup of coffee. Slowly but surely the sky begins to brighten, the birds sing sweeter and life is worth living.
I no longer drink Folgers. As fate would have it I live next door to the family who imports Monticello's coffee from the mainland to Roatan. About twice a week a truck shows up with a shipment from Honduras' Marcala region, where coffee has been grown since the 1860's, carrying a fresh batch of coffee. Seriously fresh! It seems the bags are still warm from the roaster. I've been living in this coffee heaven for three years now, and I guess I am a little jaded with the constant quality of excellence I receive.
This was never more apparent than on a recent holiday to Australia. Coffee there arrives at your table as a cup of hot water and a jar of what resembles brown aquarium gravel. You spoon as much into the water as you can gag and compromise your values on the whole taste experience as you wait for the caffeine to kick in. At least there is that. Dear reader there is a whole continent there that deserves our sympathy.
On a lay-over in the USA, where they literally have Starbucks across the street from Starbucks, the television was reporting that nine out of ten dentists surveyed preferred Dunkin' Doughnuts coffee to Starbucks! It so happens that we were left some of the Dunkin' Doughnuts ambrosia by a guest who deemed it necessary to have their usual morning cup or four while traveling. Yes, I am jaded. To me this brewed example of America's finest tasted stale, with overtones of old cardboard, and subtle hints of entirely too much travel.
But back at home in Honduras we proudly serve Monticello's coffee here at West End Divers. It is local, fresh, available for purchase, we drink a lot of it, and I appreciate it all the more.