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Following up briefly on our “Nathanael May In India” feature from earlier this week – the folks at Portland Roasting Coffee will be hosting a very special event on Thursday, May 2nd, in which members of the public are welcome to come cup and learn about 17 different lots of rare Indian coffees. It's uncommon in North America to see coffees from India, aside the infamous “Monsooned Malabar” – but beyond that, a whole delicious world of coffees await for those lucky enough to get to try.

This will be the first time many of these coffees have been offered publicly in the city of Portland, or in the United States for that matter. The event begins at 3pm and is hosted at Portland Roasting Coffee's roastworks in SE Portland at 540 SE 7th Avenue. For more on coffee and travel in India, part 2 of Nathanael May's Indian coffee travelogue is now up on the Portland Roasting blog. An excerpt:

Up to this point, the only driving I’d witnessed was to and from the Bangalore Airport, and around town in Bangalore. Hectic, to be sure, but hectic at low speeds. From Visakhapatnam to Araku, it was hectic at high speeds on narrow roads. It was while we were weaving in and out of buses, brightly painted trucks, and motorcycles ridden by entire families that I finally figured out that honking in India is not the expression of anger and frustration that it is in the United States. It’s a form of very important communication.

“I’m here!”

“I’m passing you!”

“If you move over, I’ll die!”

Each honk of the horn and flash of lights means something, and the drivers in India have the experience on the roads to know what they all mean. That doesn’t mean there aren’t harrowing moments. Passing an auto-rickshaw on a blind corner on a mountain road, speeding through a roaming herd of cows at 120 KPH, and squeezing between a bus and a wall with less than inches to spare are particularly frightening. Like the rest of India, though, you become used to it surprisingly quickly, and the novelty of your own impending death wears off.

Read the whole thing here via Portland Roasting Coffee.