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A Cafecito Story

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  246 ratings  ·  26 reviews
"A Cafecito Story" is a story of love, coffee, birds and hope. It is a beautifully written eco-fable by best-selling author Julia Alvarez. Based on her and her husband's experiences trying to reclaim a small coffee farm in her native Dominican Republic, "A Cafecito Story" shows how the return to the traditional methods of shade-grown coffee can rehabilitate and rejuvenate ...more
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published October 1st 2001 by Chelsea Green Publishing Company (first published 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-29 of 450)
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Matt
I love some things more than others. Among those things: steep green slopes; knock you down strong coffee; community that exists solely to support its members. This had all three, with some solid writing to boot... so of course I loved it.

[4.5 stars for making me want to consider a move, to grow coffee in the sun.]
Joan
This short work, is the story of coffee, "a social beverage that bridges nations and unites people in trade, in words, in birds, and in love . . . through the eyes of Joe, a man with farming in his blood but an increasing sense of dislacement from the natural world."

Joe is the son of Nebraska farmers. He loves to farm, the small farms go under, and he winds up teaching, though he still yearns for a connection with nature. Then, he takes a vacation in the Dominican Republic. Escaping the gated r
...more
Carter
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Betty Fermin
Gosh, this made me want to go back to D.R. and just get lost in the fields. It has been over 8 years since I've been, might be time to plan a trip. :)
Jenn
This is an odd little book—simple, and written deliberately simplistically to feel like a fable, the moral of which is . . . buy organic, shade-grown, fair-trade coffee. If the message is a little heavy-handed (or just blatant), the story is also lovely—the theme of the birds resonated with me, especially, and I can't imagine a more compelling advertisement for visiting the Dominican Republic. The physical book is a keepsake, designed with great care and illustrated with gorgeous woodcuts. This ...more
Kristin
Anyone who enjoys coffee must read this book prior to the very next sip they plan on taking. It's a true story of how coffee is made and how it should be made; of following one's true path in life; and of the myriad and deep ways in which our individual actions affect the well-being of Everything. It's also written by Julia Alvarez, so is thus lovely to read, essentially prose poetry, with the original Spanish alongside its English translation and pretty woodcuts. Well before you finish these ap ...more
Phyllis
I'm back to Julia Alvarez. She wrote this short story to illustrate what she and her husband are doing in her native country -- Dominican Republic -- to help the organic coffee industry battle the unhealthy agri-business way of growing coffee (in the full sun without benefit of natural shade and native birds). At the end, there are resources to put one in touch with fair trade organizations. At the same time Ms. Alvarez was planting her coffee farm, she was teaching her workers and their childre ...more
Diane
This is a sweet little 50 page story about the importance of shade grown coffee. My first reaction was that I wanted to buy a copy to give to our local coffee shop - they serve and promote shade grown coffee. I also liked the resources listed at the end. Two of the organizations are based in Seattle and work with song bird habitat, an important aspect of shade grown coffee - interesting possibility for a program for our local Audubon group.

Story is in both English and Spanish.
Kerri Stebbins
This story is: a) simply told, but beautifully so;
b) small in size while simultaneously being large in scope;
c) stunning in the way sitting beneath a shaded tree on a sultry day is;
d) exactly what I needed to read the morning I poured it over my eyes and
soon thereafter garnished my cafecito with happy tear water;
e) all of the above.
Susan
This is a quick read, almost a short story. Julia Alvarez's prose is beautiful, as is the story. It really left me wanting more details - a novel, so I could learn about the characters, the hardships they endured and the successes they celebrated.
I definitely wanted to drink a cup of coffee after reading it and I will always think about this story when I buy some.
Julianne
I was supposed to get this book in Spanish, but that's not what I got delivered through inter-library loan. However, after having read it in English, I'm not sure if all the book's nuances would come through in an all-Spanish text--part of its soul is the interplay between English and Spanish, north and south, the world of mechanization and the world of nature.
Nicole
This is a fabulous short story/picture book/social conscious fiction book that tells the story of Fair Trade Coffee. It tells it in a way that draws the reader into how they, the birds, the land and the coffee farmers are all intimately connected. Alvarez and her husband own a Fair Trade Farm in the Dominican Republic, where she is from.
Leah Feliz
Inspiring story of how Alvarez and her husband were able to help the Dominican people save their coffee plantations, faced with huge companies taking over their land and resources. This is happening all over the world and it is important to see how the efforts of just a handful of people can have such a significant impact.
Joy
Beautiful. Very short, only about 45 pages. I don't even drink coffee but this really made me think. I had no idea how much time, love & attention go into creating a perfect cup of coffee made from organic beans raised on a cooperative farm in the Dominican Republic. The book's artwork is lovely, too.
Maeve
After meeting Julia in person and corresponding with her via email about her work in the Dominican Republic, I used this book for a final paper in graduate school. Julia & her husband's efforts to create a library and educate the children of the coffee farmers is an inspiration. Buy fair-trade coffee!
Kristine
Besides the beautiful woodcuts, there is really nothing to this very, very short story about shade-grown coffee in the Dominican Republic. It's much too short to be a book; it would be better suited as an informative pamphlet on sustainable and responsible coffee farming and buying.
Skylinebal
A quick fable by one of my favorite authors. Her story makes me even more committed to shade-grown coffee.
Steven
This was a decently good story, very short and not quite what I had anticipated. But it is worth the read.
Garrett.k
Quick read. Cute story with a nice message. I need a cup of coffee now.
Eglee Rodriguez
cute litlle story that can be read in one seating. it promotes fair trading
becky
beautiful text, illustrations, ideas... a wonderful book
Lisa
Dec 19, 2009 Lisa marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
A Cafecito Story by Julia Alvarez (2004)
Angela
a beautiful, artistic book with a message
pjr8888
Jan 25, 2011 pjr8888 marked it as to-read
Shelves: mexico-latin-am
my copy is without the dustjacket.
Kimmy
Picture book, more or less.
Jessica Richards
Jessica Richards marked it as to-read
Dec 16, 2014
Tania
Tania marked it as to-read
Dec 11, 2014
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Julia Álvarez was born in New York City. Her parents moved back to the Dominican Republic when Álvarez was 3 months old and she was raised there until she was 10, when the family moved back to NYC.

She is currently writer-in-residence at Middlebury College and the owner of a coffee farm named Alta Gracia, near Jarabacoa in the mountains of the Dominican Republic. The farm hosts a school to teach l
...more
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