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A Cafecito Story

af Julia Alvarez

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1282162,284 (3.6)11
A Cafecito Story is a story of love, coffee, birds and hope. It is a beautifully written eco-fable by best-selling author Julia Alvarez. Based on her and her husband's experiences trying to reclaim a small coffee farm in her native Dominican Republic, A Cafecito Story shows how the return to the traditional methods of shade-grown coffee can rehabilitate and rejuvenate the landscape and human culture, while at the same time preserving vital winter habitat for threatened songbirds. Not a political or environmental polemic, A Cafecito Story is instead a poetic, modern fable about human beings at their best. The challenge of producing coffee is a remarkable test of our ability to live more sustainably, caring for the land, growers, and consumers in an enlightened and just way. Written with Julia Alvarez's deft touch, this is a story that stimulates while it comforts, waking the mind and warming the soul like the first cup of morning coffee. Indeed, this story is best read with a strong cup of organic, shade-grown, fresh-brewed coffee.… (mere)
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A Cafecito Story is a story, a very very short one, about growing coffee naturally. Somehow it was published as a hardcover book, despite the fact that the story itself is only a little over 30 pages, and that's with huge text, massive spacing, and several full page illustrations. The book is then padded with a big Afterward and some other environmental cattle-prodding so it almost feels like a full-length book. That is, if you don't mind paying hardcover-price for a 58-page book.

The story itself is, ummm, well there isn't much there. A man drink coffee, it tastes good, he goes into the mountains, learns how to make coffee 'the natural way,' then...well, that's it. There, I spoiled the whole thing for you. Now you can spare yourself and not bother with it.

The story has good intentions, and it is interesting that the book is somewhat auto-biographical. There just isn't a whole lot of substance here. There's a skeleton of the story here but not a whole lot else.

Not recommended. ( )
  Ape | Jul 9, 2012 |
This short work, is the story of coffee, "a social beverage that bridges nations and unites people in trade, in words, in birds, and in love . . . through the eyes of Joe, a man with farming in his blood but an increasing sense of dislacement from the natural world."

Joe is the son of Nebraska farmers. He loves to farm, the small farms go under, and he winds up teaching, though he still yearns for a connection with nature. Then, he takes a vacation in the Dominican Republic. Escaping the gated resort where he is staying, he goes into the mountains and discovers coffee and the coffee growers. They, too, are threatened by agribusiness, companies that spray the coffee with veneno (poison).

Joe buys a parcel of land, and, with another grower, forms a cooperative. Others join them. But they do more than grow coffee the "old-fashioned" way. They promote literacy, and sustainability.

There is also a love story here, not, they are careful to say, the story of Alvarez and her husband, but I think there is something of them in Joe and "the woman behind the counter".

There is an afterword by Bill Eichner about their coffee farm, as well as a list of resources.

The woodcuts by Dominican artist Belkis Ramírez are wonderful. I especially like the one of "the woman behind the counter", as she sits with the steam from the coffee rising, and her hair, flowing out and upwards, has visions of a coffee farm in its curls.
  lilithcat | Oct 25, 2005 |
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Julia Alvarezprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Eichner, BillEfterskriftmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Ramírez, BelkisIllustratormedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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A Cafecito Story is a story of love, coffee, birds and hope. It is a beautifully written eco-fable by best-selling author Julia Alvarez. Based on her and her husband's experiences trying to reclaim a small coffee farm in her native Dominican Republic, A Cafecito Story shows how the return to the traditional methods of shade-grown coffee can rehabilitate and rejuvenate the landscape and human culture, while at the same time preserving vital winter habitat for threatened songbirds. Not a political or environmental polemic, A Cafecito Story is instead a poetic, modern fable about human beings at their best. The challenge of producing coffee is a remarkable test of our ability to live more sustainably, caring for the land, growers, and consumers in an enlightened and just way. Written with Julia Alvarez's deft touch, this is a story that stimulates while it comforts, waking the mind and warming the soul like the first cup of morning coffee. Indeed, this story is best read with a strong cup of organic, shade-grown, fresh-brewed coffee.

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