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Israeli Coffee Stories
Israeli Coffee Stories
Posted January 7, 2003 12:20pm
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Click for larger image
Landwer's Coffee
Part of the nice "care" package that Landwer's Coffee Ltd. sent me, direct from Israel.

So I've come to the conclusion that everyone in Israel is cool.

After all, far too many of us tend to make generalizations, and only make them one way (read: bad impressions), so I've decided to make a massive, sweeping generalization, but in a good way: good impressions.

Last year, I was contacted by a web designer in Israel about a new coffee website they were building for a client. They asked if they could use some CoffeeGeek and CoffeeKid photographs (photos I took, and put on the websites). Now normally I charge for this kinda stuff, but I made a judgment call - you never hear about quality coffee in Israel, and who knows, maybe I could leverage the free photos in return for an article or something about specialty coffee in Israel. So I offered the photos for free. I think I even sent the original big photos for use.

The site was a long time coming, but eventually launched around September, 2002. The Site is Landwer's Coffee Ltd. I got an email from one of the fellows working the company thanking me for the photos - it was a very nice email some many months after I gave over permission for the photo use - and to be frank, I had completely forgotten about it.

They asked me if I wanted anything in return, and I wrote a general type email back saying what I usually say to people I've helped who want to help me back: well, I collect espresso cups, if you happen to see any cool and unique ones, maybe send me one or two? I also said that if they had any products totally unique to Israel and their company, I'd be interested in buying some. And I hinted at an article possibly in the future :)

I wasn't expecting anything... I don't want to demean the folks I've helped who then offer up something back to me, but I actually rarely receive gifts - and that's okay - seriously!!! I don't mind helping people out, and lemme tell you, spending 10 minutes researching the net, tooling through my old archives of writings, and formulating an email response is a HELLUVA lot easier than spending days or weeks tooling around town looking for some unique espresso cups for the demanding-coffeekid!

But today, I got a package from the fine folks at Landwer - something again, totally unexpected.

Inside was 2 kilos of their own custom roasted coffee. 2 packages of preground, and six beautiful and functional (read: good size and weight) espresso cups and saucers with their logo on it. Also in the box were a bunch of sugar sticks (we rarely see these over here!), and a calendar the company puts out.

Extreme coolness! All with Hebrew writing!

Anyways, this first post of 2003 is actually meant for a reason. I don't delve into the politics of the middle east that much. To do so would probably drive me insane. But I know and can only imagine how tough it is living there, day to day, where there's real possibilities you could be dead from a stray bullet or a suicide bomber. Everytime I see the news about Israel and the Palestinians, it makes me want to cry.

I have some coffee-related friends in Israel, and everytime someone does die, I frantically check the names to make sure someone I know didn't die. So far, I've been "lucky", and wow, is that shallow: after all, lucky for me is not losing someone I know via email. Lucky for someone in that region is dodging a bullet.

And now I have yet another tie to that country - more people that I want to be happy, to be prosperous, and to be safe.

I just hope all of this violence and bloodshed ends soon. I hope that the Israelis and Palestinians can finally live in peace. I mean, in Canada, we have quite divergent cultures between the English and French - after spending Christmas in Ottawa, I was constantly reminded how different the two cultures, the two solitudes are. But the two cultures do live in peace (with a few tragic exceptions). Other parts of the world are learning to live together in spite of wide ranging differences in cultures and religious beliefs. I hope that this peace will come to Israel as well.

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