Augee grew up on a farm in the Philippines where each day started with the smell of coffee. The smell signified that it was time to get up and the first sip fortified all the farmers for work before the sun was up.
The coffee was freshly made with coffee grown on the farm but harvested differently than what we are used to. Rather than harvest the fruit and wash it once it was a ripe cherry red, they allowed the fruit to wither on the tree, exposing the coffee bean pit. With a dried bean, roasting and grinding are not necessary. Instead they boiled the bean with the withered fruit still on it to enhance the already bold flavor to create a cup of strong, sweet, nutty, and chocolatey coffee. This perfection is what Augee wants to create everyday and with every cup at Kabisera.
The regulars at Kabisera and the baristas that help make it all happen have become like a family to Augee. This sense of family is why she is so excited to pair with ARK for the Kamayan event. To Augee, when we eat with our bare hands and share the food, it breaks down barriers, creates a sense of openness, and makes us one.
In ARK, Augee gets to do what she has been dreaming to do - solve at the root of the issue. For farmers who feed us - whether in the Philippines or other parts of the developing world - it is hunger and poverty. For Augee, food is the start in addressing the problem. She says it nourishes the mind and it bonds the family. She truly believes in the saying that: “if your cup is full, your mind is full”.
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Ayesha: How do you feel about residing at Day’s Inn for the night in Ithaca?!?