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Topic: Did I get a good deal on green beans? Or not? (9 msgs / 218 lines)
1) From: Frank Parth
Listees,
I'm spending a few days teaching a management class in Qatar. I'm in a town called Masaieed, about 40 klicks outside Doha. Someone gave me a ride into Doha today and I did some shopping at a mega-mart called Carrefour's (like a French-based version of Walmart, but with better quality). While shopping I found a bag of green coffee beans and couldn't resist buying them, even though I have no clue what they are. They're sold by the Al-Ansari Trading Establishment and there's no indication of what type of bean they are, the bag only says Coffee seed #2. The beans are on the small side and light green/tan in color. The price was 18 riyals for a kilo, or about US $2.25 a pound. 
Does anyone have an idea where they might be from? Can I safely assume that they're from Yemen if I'm on the Arabian Gulf coast? Or is that too much to hope for?
Frank Parth

2) From: Sean Cary
Wow - I spent about 5 months in Qatar in 2004...
Get to the Mall if you can - there is a 5 story mall with an ice rink and
bowling alley.  Qatar is pretty nice downtown, especially by the water -
really ugly in the industrial area where Camp As Sayliyah is.  
There was a decent Mexican restaurant in the Marriot or the Hilton - fuzzy
which one it was.  
The traffic circles are neat also - there are some really great souqs and
gold is CHEAP.  They sell jewelry by the gram - I had some nice stuff made
for my wife and daughter, and they have cheap pearls from Bahrain.
Can't say much for the beans - but will be an interesting experience huh?
Sean M. Cary
Major USMC
Tempus Fugit Memento Mori

3) From: Andy Thomas
--- Frank Parth  wrote:
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[snip]
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By your description they could well be Yemeni. As for
the quality, you are in a better position than we are
to determine that! So, roast 'em up and report back.
Andy
Do you Yahoo!?
Everyone is raving about the all-new Yahoo! Mail beta.http://new.mail.yahoo.com

4) From: raymanowen
The best is #1 in that part of the world. #2 could be ... Feline excrement
or Camel Scheisse. I'm on a certain dietary restriction and have to avoid
that  stuff.
My doctor said "It's not right for me."
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
"I may be drunk, Miss. In the morning, I shall be sober. You'll still be
ugly" - -Winston Churchill

5) From: Frank Parth
Sean,
I did make it to the mall. Both in Dubai and in Qatar they're very impressed with their indoor shopping malls. Prices are really good because there's no sales tax and the import duties are very low. Living in southern California I'm not overly impressed by malls, but these were pretty interesting. 
Almost the entire city of Qatar is being rebuilt, not as fast as Dubai is, but there's a lot of building going on. Anything more than 3 km out of town turns very quickly into desert.
There's a souq in a relatively new set of buildings that are designed to look like they're from two hundred years ago. Really impressive and fun to walk around. Tiny stalls selling fabrics, clothing, rugs, spices, gold, shoes, everything you would have expected. I bought some  coffee beans out of one that the owner said were from Yemen. I'mjust now roasting them and we'll see how they taste.
Frank Parth
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6) From: Sean Cary
Qatar was funny - we could go to town, but had to bomb check our vehicles
when we departed and we had RPG's launched at us from outside the wire.  
You would have stretches of endless desert and camels, and then come up on a
golf course with lush green grass.  With Al Jazeera HQ in downtown Doha it
makes for a really odd place.  
The Russians also assassinated a Chechen rebel at the Marriot by blowing up
his car when I was there - needles to say we got locked down to As Sayliyah
for a few days.
Sean M. Cary
Major USMC
Tempus Fugit Memento Mori

7) From: Frank Parth
About 6 weeks ago I went on a trip to the Mid East and found that I could buy kilos of green beans OTC (over the counter) at many small markets. I bought a bag of generic beans from India and haven't tried those yet.
I also bought a bag of beans from Yemen. After three weeks of playing with different levels of roast, and resting anywhere from zero to five days, I have to admit that the price was cheap, but the quality isn't nearly what I get from Sweet Marias. I was never happy with the beans. They were best after a City+ roast and 2 days rest, but at that they were only average. 
Good thing I've still got a few pounds of SM's beans so that I can have good coffee again.
Frank Parth

8) From: Scott Marquardt
Someone making it that far around the world has to go the extra 200 miles or
so and get to an actual farm.
;-)
On 12/26/06, Frank Parth  wrote:
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9) From: raymanowen
Or not!!!
Of course, you already knew that the coffee you get from Sweet Maria's
is a lot more than just ISO 9001 certified. That would Guaarontee it
wouldn't be one speck better than the ISO standards.
"This good and No Better" is the best you can hope for at some of the
good shops. The Yuppies love to extol it.
As Tom Owen says, "If he just can't live without it," he buys it. He's
the final arbiter. Otherwise, he pans it.
If you buy outside the SM supply chain, you bypass all the safeties,
and you are the cupper.
Do you have the option of rejecting one lot in deference to something
outstanding? I sure hope you really enjoy cupping on your own nickel.
Keep us posted on the successes.
I help this hopes-
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
-- 
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the
Mighty Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976


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