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Explore the Magical World of Caux

You know the old expression, pick your poison? Well, in addition to our two cups of java a day, we pick The Poisons of Caux: The Tasters Guild by local author Susannah Appelbaum, the paperback edition of which hits books stores today!

The second installment of The Poisons of Caux trilogy continues 11-year-old Poison Ivy’s quest to fulfill her role as the prophesied “Noble Child” and rescue good King Verdigris from  a deathly illness. In the first book, The Hollow Bettle (Knopf, 2009), Ivy defeated the evil King Nightshade, good King Verdigris’s usurper, an evil man with a taste for poisoning the oppressed masses. Those with money in the land of Caux are forced to hire Tasters, lest their next bite of food be their last.

Book Two finds Ivy, along with her friend Rowan, an outcast Guild-trained Taster, racing to save King Verdigris while avoiding those in power who seek to destroy her. When Ivy’s exposed to a deadly weed that  transports its victims to a dark realm, she’s not sure if she’s strong enough to battle her way back.

The wonderfully inventive world of Caux is full of of strange and mysterious characters living in a magical world where good and evil, beauty and decay  battle for the soul of Caux.

The series has been met with wonderful reviews and a large and diverse fan base. The November issue of Booklist said of “The Taster’s Guild”, “Here is an imaginary place to stand alongside Harry Potter’s world, replete with tasty villains and true-hearted heroines, and a worthy next step from Kate DiCamillo’s Tale of Desperaux or Brian Jacques’ Red Wall series.”

Although the books are written for  young adults, this is one of those series that appeals to both kids and adults. The depth of the story and the literary artistry will hook you no matter your age.

We are excited to announce that Susannah will be coming to HCT early in the fall for a book signing. Stay tuned for more details!


Polly Law: Bricoleur and Mythologeinist in the Round Room

We are so very happy to welcome Polly Law to the Hudson Coffee Traders Round Room! Polly’s  beautiful, whimsical and erudite work combines odd, obscure but real words and images rife with visual/verbal puns, mythological references and some sheer leaps of fantasy. The pieces adorning the round room walls are all featured in her book, The Word Project which is happily also for sale here at the shop. Polly’s criteria for the inclusion of a word in the project is twofold: that they have to be new to her and the must stir her imagination. Oh what imagination! Polly developed her style after years of working in advertising and illustrating children’s books. She began to focus on shape, pattern and color and developed a technique using frisket and stencils. She began working on the dolls by chance with a portrait of Vita Sackville-West, an English poet, novelist and garden designer/writer of the first half of the 20th century. She applied the collage techniques and aesthetics she’d been using to the dolls but her next big leap came when she began thinking about how to articulate them.  Eschewing the usual brass brads her eyes lit upon a jar of buttons on her sewing table. She decided she would “sew” the figures together. While she does use buttons on occasion, for the smaller and more delicate pieces she hit on using wire and waxed line thread. After the first piece she was hooked and this “bricolage” style has been developing further since then. (Why call it bricolage? Bricolage is the artful use of what’s at hand and that was the perfect description of how she came to her technique.) The Word Project was born one spring day in 2002 when Polly was inspired to combine her life long love of odd, obscure and archaic words with her bricolage style. The natural evolution of this work was to publish the Word Project and lucky for us a second book is already in the works! Stop in, cool off an let your mind wander through the rich and vivid world of Polly Law!

Meet the Purple Princess

The Purple Princess has arrived at Hudson Coffee Traders. Straight from her home in the La Paz region of Honduras she brings with  her a luscious, bright crispness and fruity notes of dried plum and pear.

No, we haven’t started selling  fruity smelling dolls for the Pre-K set. We’re talking about our new micro-lot coffee from Counter Culture, Finca El Puente.

The brain child of  husband and wife team of Marysabel Caballero and Moises Herrera, Finca El Puente earned the nickname Purple Princess when Peter Guiliano, co-owner of Counter Culture Coffee, first met her in the cupping room of a contest. The name stuck.

This prize winning coffee has placed at the top of every coffee contest it has ever entered and enjoys an unrivaled winning streak. Revered for its silky body with well balanced notes of blackberry, blackcurrent, dried plums, white grape and pear the juicy body of this coffee will have you at Hello.

The Purple Princess owes her sultry sweetness to many factors. Grown at a high elevation in a dry and dusty region amidst pine trees ( a rarity in a tropical climate) the beans are fed by pristine natural springs.  The beans are then exposed to an experimental post-fermentation soak  developed by Moises. They rest underwater for 24 hours following fermentation and washing in a special tank. In side by side tastings, every coffee produced in this manner had overwhelmingly better response than those that were not. The contribution of Marysabel’s warm and funny nature can’t be downplayed in the development of this wonderful coffee either.

Bright, fruity and seductive, the Purple Princess just may heat your summer up a bit more.

Want a chance to win a bag of HCT coffee? All you have to do is leave a comment here, retweet or re-post this blog to Facebook and your name will be entered in the monthly drawing. Winners are announced at the beginning of the month.

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