Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting

Brazil 2004 Cerrado Coffee Competition, Coffee Tour

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A plaque on a coffee trading/banking office building.
The front entrance of the Bolsa Official de Cafe. In this case Bolsa means "trade" not "bag". This was it, the building that housed the coffee trading pit for Santos, for all Brasilian coffee, actually.
Another view of the Bolsa Official de Cafe, which now houses the Coffee Museum in Santos. Yes, one thing has changed ... they don't trade in this building anymore.
And here is the actual trading room for coffee, with these remarkable upright chairs, each numbered so that every coffee trader had a particular spot assigned.
The chairman's place at the head of the trading room. The building is incredible, the floor is beautiful marble and intricate in design and their are huge allegorical frescos on the walls.
Above is a massive stained glass, backlit by the sky, with a narrative depiction of greed, gold, man extracting the riches of the earth, natives, Europeans ... actually, it sort of made me ill. It was an ideology of expansion, of the human right to dominate the land and other people, that (with a bit of caution) exploitation fit into a clear plan that served a greater good: progress. It's a beautiful glasswork, but creepy too.
The museum is not complete. The upstairs is still closed and they have plans to open an exhibit that is much more thorough next year. If you like coffee, if you are in Brasil, don't miss Santos and the Coffee Museum. Also, they have a cafe with an in-shop roaster. The espresso was the best I had in Brasil!
Looking out from the main entrance of the Santos coffee museum, down the Rua XV.
All of the district reminds me of the oldest urban areas in Central America, in the Caribbean, in old S. America. Here is a wedge-shaped corner building ...
... and here is a very old printer's workshop. Tulio noticed how the spelling of Typographia was very old ... that it was more old-world Latin than new world Portuguese.
I liked this cartoonish truck; I had seen similar types in Nicaragua, left over from the Sandinistas ... but those were all Russian. Tulio tells me these were Brazilian made after WWII, the first attempt at a domestic car industry. Now a LOT of cars are made in Brasil - GM, VW, Fiat, Peugeot, etc. etc.
More great buildings in the coffee district. This one reminds me of the time I lived in New Orleans...
There is a street car system, mostly for tourists I believe, in Santos. It doesn't seem that touristy to me though ... well, all the tourists seemed to be from Brazil! It is surprising how many people from Sao Paulo have never been to the ocean in Santos, a mere 45 minutes away. And so we basically returned to Sao Paulo the next day to fly home ... after I had the chance to get every futebol jersey I had ever wanted...
A funny footnote - I brought 1/2 lb of espresso I had roasted, our Monkey blend that has about 50% Brasilian dry-processed coffee as a base, and I carried it around the entire time. I told Neto and Bruno and Tulio about it, and we all wanted to try it at different times. But remarkably, it never worked out. So I cam back with this unopened bag of 2 week old coffee, coffee that had been chilled at night and cooked in the trunk of the car every day, hauled on 4 flights, carried in my bag to every cupping, up dusty roads to farms, and out onto the sandy beach at Santos. So when I returned to Emeryville, I hastily tore it open and fired up a shot. It was good to be home, and you know it was a damn fine espresso too.

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Also see my Brazil Movie! - Go to our Brazil Coffee Offerings Page - Go to our Coffee Library

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