Two Years in the Kingdom- Coffee

January 18, 2019

Hello All, and thanks for following me. Todays topic is Coffee

Since I began this blog, I’ve covered a number of agricultural commodities that Cambodia is known for including rice, sugar cane, silk, salt, and pepper. Another is coffee although I’ve read that the number of coffee plantations in Cambodia are in steep decline. Throughout the country, coffee shops are everywhere. In Phnom Penh, there is one on just about every street corner. This country drinks a lot of coffee, usually iced. The coffee plantations in Cambodia are located in the higher elevations of the northeastern highlands of Mondulkiri Province. Coffee plants are not native to Cambodia but were introduced to the country by the French. Cambodia, like much of SE Asia, was occupied by the French for almost 100 years from 1863 to 1953. The French referred to its colony of SE Asia which included Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam as Indochina because it sits between India and China. The type of bean that is raised in Cambodia is robusta. There are many different types of coffee plants but robusta is one of the more popular ones being second only to arabica and about 40% of coffee production overall. Robusta grows well in the Cambodian Highlands due to the elevation and climate. Robusta is also the preferred type of bean bv connoisseurs of espresso. So in the pictures are what is known as the berries which are picked by hand. The workers picking the berries were shy and asked that I not take their picture. Inside of each of the berries are 2 coffee beans which are roasted and ground into coffee. I was never a really big coffee drinker but have found a nice cappuccino in the morning gets the day off on a good note.

Disclaimer: The content of this website is mine alone and does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government, the Peace Corps, or the Cambodian Government.

This is a short description of one of my books called Azaleas Beyond the Prison Walls. This is my favorite book filled with twists and turns to keep the reader guessing.

It’s 1930 and Carson Jones is a prison guard at the notorious Eastern States Penitentiary in Philadelphia where some of America’s most violent inmates and gangsters are serving time. Amidst the desperation of the Depression and a crowd of hostile convicts, Carson finds solace in an azalea garden behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art and in helping an inmate he believes has been wrongfully accused of murder and sentenced to death. Carson’s life begins to take a turn when he meets a beautiful young woman through a coworker. Her father is a judge and agrees to help him, but at a price. Carson is forced to choose between a life of meaning and purpose and leaving his friend at the mercy of a threatening warden who is becoming increasingly more unhinged. Though the life he has always dreamed of is finally within reach, is it worth it? In a novel chock-full of history and suspense, James Rizzo crafts a suspenseful narrative full of real-life history and page-turning intrigue.

This is the book trailer for my novel Azaleas Beyond the Prison Walls. Book sales are increasing so I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all those that have supported me by purchasing my books. Although I’m no longer with Smart Cat Publishing, all my books are available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Links are on this website. Hope you will take a moment to listen and enjoy.


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