Morphine - Like Swimming
Tim : I think Mark Sandman is cooler than John Lennon.
Me : Me too!
A friendship was born!
That is the first thing my friend Tim ever said to me when we met back in the summer of 2000. For some reason it stuck with me. Probably because no matter what I’m currently into musically, I never tire of Morphine. In fact, the more music I hear, the more I LOVE Morphine. It could be their unique sound that would be so impossible to mimic - that sweet slide bass, the darkness of Dana Coley’s sax and the tender emotive drumming of the late great Billy Conway. Or maybe it is the cool factor. It might be just that Mark Sandman’s undeniable coolness would suck you in like a whirlpool no matter what his music sounded like. When I was a sophomore in high school my dad took us to see Pavement at the Middle East in Cambridge, MA. When we arrived at the club there was Mark Sandman just using the payphone at the club. I was starstruck. I waved to him like I knew him and he waved back. Wow. At that moment I knew I had to move to Boston - the place where you might just run into Mark Sandman on the street! I kid you not - proximity to Morphine played a deciding factor in where I went to college. 2 years later - about a month before I was to finally move to Boston - I got a call from my friend telling me that Mark Sandman had died on stage in Italy. I was beyond devastated. I can only compare it to how my mom has told me she felt when she found out that John Lennon died. She had to pull her car over to the side of the ride and cry hysterically. Yeah, I just brought this blurb full circle. Anyway, here’s some Morphine. My favorite band. Enjoy!
Mauricio Jimenez - Tarrazú, Costa Rica
Nestled in San Martin, Mauricio's farm stands as a stunning masterpiece, perched 1800 meters above sea level amidst the clouds. The journey to this breathtaking sanctuary, an exhilarating yet slightly unsettling 45-minute drive from San Marcos, unfolds along steep and winding roads. We had the good fortune of being escorted by Maurico himself, comfortably seated three abreast in his sturdy 4x4 pickup. En route, we shared tales of work, family, his years as a roofer in the United States, and of course, we talked a little coffee coffee. We often feel a bit like we are intruding when visitng producers during peak harvest (their busiest time of the year) but Mauricio welcomed us with open arms. His genuine eagerness to connect with those who roast and serve his coffee mirrored our own excitement to meet him. Mauricio's penchant for innovation led him to diversify his farming endeavors, dedicating portions of his land to cultivating the coveted granadillas, perhaps as the world's greatest fruit. On our way back to town we even stopped and tasted the wares of his fenced in strawberry patch, cohabited by the most endearing and gregarious cow we've ever met – a testament to Mauricio's distinctive charm. San Martin's coffee beans, nurtured at such high elevations, embody an unmatched sweetness and clarity. Following the coffee harvest on the precipitous slopes, the beans make their way back to town for meticulous processing and drying. Raised beds in Mauricio's front yard serve as the final stage for this intricate choreography.