January 22, 2009

What is all this buzz about Coffee?

Posted by: Karin Hoffman, Communications

I am so hyped about the new exhibit that’s opening here at the Burke this weekend! Maybe it has something to do with the amount of coffee I’ve been drinking lately (which is hard to resist when it’s everywhere and it’s free) but I think it has more to do with the amazing job the exhibition design crew (and for that matter everyone else who has had a hand in making this exhibit a reality) has done with creating this remarkable exhibit.

Coffee: The World in Your Cup presents the story of one of the world's most widely- traded commodities and how it has affected cultures, economies, and environments across the globe. As you enter the exhibit, burlap coffee bags tower over you, as you learn about coffee's early controversial reputation as a "revolutionary drink.” Live coffee plants and beautifully composed videos walk you through the biology of the coffee plant and the different stages and techniques of processing. The exhibit leads you through an exploration of the environmental and social impacts of the coffee industry and recommends ways for consumers to make socially and environmentally responsible coffee purchases. There’s even an espresso cart in the exhibit where vendors from around the Northwest will be on-hand throughout the run of the exhibit to provide information on brewing methods, roasting techniques, social and environmental impacts on farms around the world, and much more.

Coffee opens Saturday, January 24th at 10 am. We’ve got a great program planned for this weekend including exhibit tours, talks with Edwin Martinez, a third-generation Guatemalan coffee grower with ONYX Coffee; David Griswold, the founder of Sustainable Harvest; and Max Savishinsky, leader of numerous UW student Exploration Seminar courses to Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Oh, and don’t forget the coffee – formal cuppings and informal tastings are happening all weekend long. Check out the full schedule for details.