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The bijou bean with a big, Big Easy backstory
New Orleans has a storied coffee history. According to “Coffee: The Times-Picayune covers 175 years of New Orleans History,” in the 19th and 20th centuries, New Orleans was the biggest coffee port in the country and for decades home to countless companies, roasters and distributors. As the nation’s premier coffee handling port, New Orleans has “14 warehouses, more than 5.5 million square feet of storage space and six roasting facilities within a 20-mile radius, as well as the world’s largest coffee silo,” per the Port of New Orleans website. From famous coffee houses, such as Café du Monde, founded in 1862, to roasters, such as the 30-year-old, certified organic and free trade Orleans Coffee, it’s no surprise that the beloved bean’s “third wave” has in the last few years hit the city with a jolt. Third wave refers to artisanal beans produced, imported, roasted, crafted and consumed with quality, sustainability, innovation and the customer experience at the forefront. Spitfire, HiVolt, Cherry Espresso Bar and French Truck are a few of my regular haunts, but I also love to brew — or press — a cup at home. Lately, that has meant a hot, fragrant mug of New Orleans Roast’s Southern Pecan or French Truck’s Big River. Sipping a cupful while curled up in a fuzzy throw blanket on the sofa reading is an essential part of my morning ritual. I read on thevintagenews.com that coffee “became so deeply incorporated into Turkish culture, a law was created that gave any woman the freedom to divorce her husband if he didn’t provide her with the necessary amount of coffee.” We keep an extra pound on hand to ensure it never comes to that.