The Soul of Men

20/08/2018

“Men were the ones who discovered, promoted and changed coffee from a simple beverage to a product that has spiritual values, led to an awakening way of living.”

According to Eastern philosophy, Men are sons and daughters of Father Sky and Mother Earth. In other words, the Sky and the Earth mated with each other and gave birth to men. Father Sky is Yang, and Mother Earth is Yin. Thus, Men aren’t just a link between the Sky and the Earth but also a combination of Yin and Yang, a liaison between materials and spirits. Men are the central of all activities. When the Sky, the Earth, and Men combine, success will be achieved, bringing good fortune.

Men take advantage of the harmony of the Sky and the Earth to plant coffee all around the world, especially in countries along the equator like Ethiopia, Yemen, Indonesia, Vietnam, Brazil, and Jamaica etc. Countries that plant coffee – though have different regions, ethnicities, languages, cultures – are all united, love nature, have high sense of responsibility and creativity, all thanks to coffee.

Ethiopia, located at Northeastern of Africa, is the birthplace of Arabica coffee. From long ago, native Ethiopians already used coffee leaves and beans in their food and drinks. According to Ethiopian myths, coffee beans were God’s tears dripping on shamans’ corpses. To this today, the Oromo people still keep the tradition of planting a coffee plant on the grave of their shamans.

In Egypt, gender and marital customs are also reflected by coffee rituals. Women are carefully taught barista and how to serve coffee to guests.

In Brazil, diversity and interracial marriages have made for a society of many different cultures. There are three main ethnic groups in Brazil: Amerindian, African, and Caucasian who intermarried with each other and a new race was born which is referred to as “brown people” (Pardo or Moreno in Portuguese). They compare the skin of Caucasian to milk, of African to black coffee and brown people to milk coffee.

In Vietnam, 1857, Catholic missionaries tried to grow coffee trees in the North, then the Central (Quang Tri, Bo Trach etc.). After one year, in 1858, coffee trees were grown in Central Highlands, particularly in Lam Dong and Buon Ma Thuot in plantations that belonged to the French who used this region’s local people as labors. Before that, the French had carefully examined soils and climates, altitude and alluvial sediment, before choosing Buon Ma Thuot as a place to build their plantations for Robusta coffee. Everywhere in the 10-kilometer radius of Buon Ma Thuot can be used to grow healthy Robusta plants, such as Ea Kao, Etam, Tan lap, Tan Hoa, Tan An, Tan Loi, Cu Ebut, Cu Mgar, Krong Ana etc. especially Cu M’gar (a prefecture at the North of Buon Ma Thuot city) which means “an upside down mountain”. It is an extinct volcano which gives 70% of the land of Cu M’gar fertile red soils. According to the 2015 census, there are 67,000 Ede people living in Cu M’gar, takes up to 37% of the population of the prefecture and 20% of the population of Ede people in Vietnam.

Other than Ede people, Buon Ma Thuot – the coffee capital of Vietnam – also attracts a large number of people from other ethnic groups. There are representatives of almost all of 47 ethnic groups in Đăk Lăk living here. This is a land where people of different races and religions live in peace.

Coffee plants are the most important crops of Buon Ma Thuot. They transferred Buon Ma Thuot from a small town in Central Highlands to a hectic urban city. Other than coffee, Central Highlands also farms cacao, pepper and fruit trees like avocado and durian, all of which have high commercial values.

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