Mystery Revealed: White House serves an intimate brew

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Matt Viser of the Boston Globe finally cracked the case. Just over a week ago, Viser unearthed a mystery that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. In an attempt to report on the source of coffee served in the White House, Viser was met with no answers. Instead he reported that, "They’re just not saying, citing 'security of the White House food supply.'" Despite learning that President Barack Obama in fact prefers a cup of tea, I was left just as curious as Viser. Yesterday, he broke the silence reporting the Hawaii-based Kona Rainforest Organic Coffee Company as one of the coffee suppliers to the White House.

There are only 600 farms in the Kona region, many of which do not exceed seven acres, Viser reported. To be considered part of the brand, Hawaiian law requires blends to label the amount of Kona coffee included. Only 100% Kona is considered the real Kona Coffee.

Like any good mystery, it was in front of us all along. President Obama was born in Hawaii and spent many formative years on the island. In fact, he has said of his home state:

"The opportunity that Hawaii offered—to experience a variety of cultures in a climate of mutual respect—became an integral part of my world view, and a basis for the values that I hold most dear."

In communications with the White House sommelier who is responsible for ordering the Hawaiiian beans, Viser reported that the Kona Coffee was used for more intimate gatherings. This conjures a nice image how coffee has a place in a world that can sometimes feel too big and more recently, too violent. However on small Hawaiian farms in the same culture where the President learned about mutual respect, you can at least imagine coffee being served in private meetings to world leaders who might for a brief moment get grounded together in a cup of Kona.

Photo (cc) by Growing Kona Coffee and published under a Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved.