Brazilian poet, children’s literature writer and speech therapist Marismar Borém has authored a new children’s book about coffee called “Koffy Kid.” The book is a collaboration between Borém and her brother Flávio Borém, a coffee agronomist and professor at the Federal University of Lavras in Brazil.
The siblings were inspired to utilize their very grown-up talents and knowledge to entertain future generations of coffee drinkers, reminding us all in the process that the fascinating journey of coffee through history is, if nothing else, fully deserving of childlike wonderment.
Flávio Borém — who specializes in coffee processing, drying, storage, and quality — presented the book at the World of Coffee in Amsterdam last week before heading into a science-heavy lecture on coffee fermentation. Originally written in Portuguese and translated into Spanish and English by Lloyd Friedrich, the book is now available through publisher Editora Cora. With illustrations by Mathias Townsend, the colorful book guides readers through a brief history of coffee, from when it was first discovered to present day.
Having grown up on a farm in the Minas Gerais countryside, the Boréms drew inspiration from their adventures as children. The child protagonist of the book, a boy named Koffy, loves coffee so much that he dreams about it, wondering about who was the first person to drink coffee and where it originally came from.
In Koffy’s dreams, a nanny goat appears to help guide him through the story of coffee, taking him to Abyssinia, before it was known as Ethiopia, and introducing him to the young goatherder Kaldi. According to the well-known fable, Kaldi discovered coffee when his goats began acting strange after snacking on the leaves of an unknown tree.
Koffy’s coffee dreams transport him to Yemen, where Islamic monasteries grew coffee for the first time. As coffee books tend to do, this one also includes some basic information about harvesting, roasting, and brewing coffee. It’s a well-rounded tale of coffee for the young — and young at heart — coffee lovers among us.