The bonanza bean

The National Geographic’s coffee pages contain a few interesting things: legends page with fascinating historical tidbits, a map of coffee-producing nations , and their The Bonanza Bean article. From the latter, here is a bit of weirdness for you:

The Japanese gentlemen buried me up to the chin in a shallow grave and left me to compost in 13 tons of soggy ground coffee. Fermentation, induced by pineapple pulp, had heated my pool-size percolator to a barely tolerable 140°F [60°C].

For 2,000 yen ([U.S.] $9.50) and 30 minutes, I steamed in some $10,000 worth of the world’s most popular beverage component, perhaps the best buy in today’s Japan. Billed as an antidote for almost everything, this featured attraction at Nishiarai Kouso Sauna Center in suburban Tokyo merely left me limp. And somewhat immodestly clad in a dissolving paper bikini.

If the unique bath did little for me therapeutically, it surely showed how tastes have changed in this land of traditional tea drinkers. A generation ago few Japanese had sampled coffee by the cup, let alone by the tubful. Now Tokyo alone has [continue]