Birth of Coffee Exhibition a Wake-up Call to Protect Trees
BIRTH OF COFFEE EXHIBITION A WAKE-UP CALL TO PROTECT TREES
Exhibition At The Morton Arboretum Features Images Toned With Actual Coffee
LISLE, IL (September 24, 2009) - For many of us, getting a cup of coffee is no harder than deciding if we want the latte or the mocha. Grande or venti. Iced or hot. But for 25 million people around the world, producing coffee involves many difficult steps, starting with caring for and cultivating trees that yield the coffee bean.
A new and remarkable exhibition illustrates, with photographs and text, the arduous process of producing coffee, from seed to cup, and points up the need to protect trees. The Birth of Coffee goes on display at The Morton Arboretum October 1-November 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and a special, free presentation about the exhibition's creation occurs October 10 from 10 a.m. to Noon. The photos represent every step of the production process, says Daniel Lorenzetti, exhibition photographer.
"I think that when most people sit and have a cup of coffee in the morning, they don't understand what it takes to get that coffee to the table. It's important to make those connections," he says.
Says Anamari Dorgan, Arboretum Manager of Interpretation and Exhibits, "as we develop a deeper understanding of the people who actually grow coffee, we find compelling, new reasons to care about trees, which support the lives and livelihoods of so many." Millions would be seriously affected if the trees that provide coffee beans were not nurtured, protected and conserved, she says.
Lorenzetti and his wife, writer Linda Rice Lorenzetti, traveled more than a quarter of a million miles, interviewing and photographing residents in eight major coffee producing countries: Ethiopia, which Linda says is thought to be coffee's birthplace; Yemen, Indonesia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Kenya. Forty photographs selected from the Lorenzetti's book, The Birth of Coffee, along with narrative text, are in the exhibition-black and white images that are toned with actual coffee!
As coffee trees grow and are nurtured, they produce white flowers, and then "cherries" containing the seed that's called the coffee bean. Cherries are harvested, dried, raked, turned, sorted, and categorized by weight, color, and size, then bagged stacked, and stored for exportation. After they're transported to a consuming country, the bags are opened, the beans are roasted and ultimately brewed and enjoyed.
Coffee is harvested in 50 countries, and is the world's second-largest traded commodity, according to Linda. But the Lorenzettis were surprised to discover that the people doing the work are typically in small, hillside towns, with little or no mechanization. The Lorenzettis also learned that picking coffee is a social activity. "It is not uncommon in any of the coffee growing countries to find a large coffee field filled with many people...working, playing, or watching. Laughter and loud conversation can be heard from far away..." Linda says.
Arboretum visitors can learn more by hearing from the Lorenzettis directly in their illustrated talk on October 10. The program is free with Arboretum admission. Registration is required and is open to the general public on September 26, by calling 630-719-2468.
This exhibition is organized by The Image Expedition and sponsored by Caribou Coffee Company.
The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized 1,700-acre outdoor museum with collections of 4,117 kinds of trees, shrubs, and other plants from around the world. The Arboretum's beautiful natural landscapes, gardens, research and education programs, and year-round family activities support its mission - the planting and conservation of trees and other plants for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world. Conveniently located at I-88 and Rte. 53 in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, from 7 a.m. Central Time to sunset. The Children's Garden is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., March through October, and 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., November through February. Visit Press Room at www.mortonarb.org, call to learn more.