Monday, February 27, 2012

Church of Kaffa: Praising Reason, Coffee, and Parrots

After posting our tribute to Garuda, King of the Birds and Messenger of the Gods, we decided to stay on our religion kick this weekend. Every god and minor deva needs a religion, and we've got one in offer: The Church of Kaffa. Worshiping the Elixir of Life, Coffea arabica, or just plain Joe to some people!

We admit it. We worship coffee. We also worship parrots. So we wanted to create a church combining worship of coffee, parrots, and enlightened reasoning, something in critically short supply these days. Needless to say, this is not something we just dreamed up this weekend. The Church of Kaffa has been around for some time, enjoying a very small but dedicated cult following on Facebook.

Coffee is truly the Elixir of the Gods, and the Fount of the Enlightenment! Certainly worthy of worship and a church of its own. Just the very nature of drinking coffee suggests you are probably not a Mormon or Seventh Day Adventist. Therefore already up the ladder of enlightenment.

Because it is becoming increasingly clear that coffee itself gave birth to the Enlightenment and lifted mankind out of the Dark Ages.

Just think about it: Before coffee and the Enlightenment, the drink of choice, morning, noon, and night, throughout the Middle Ages, was BEER! Peasants and masters throughout Europe were shitfaced drunk day in and day out! No wonder it took 200 years to build a gothic cathedral! People were too drunk to function.

Along comes coffee. Discovered in Ethiopia (we'll get to that story), coffee was traded to Yemen. By the middle of the Fifteen Century coffee reached Aden. One early coffee disciple, the Mufti of Aden, reported in 1454 that coffee drove away fatigue and lethargy, and brought to the body a certain sprightliness and vigor!

The Turks discovered coffee and opened the world's very first coffee house in Istanbul in 1554. Coffee was not well received by the conservative establishment. Conservative imams feared coffee's stimulating effects. Prohibition was instituted, but to little avail. The popularity of coffee among the masses was so great that the Ottoman Turkish Sultan Selim I issued a celebrated fatwa allowing the consumption of coffee!

Once established in Africa, the fabled merchants of Venice imported coffee to Europe. Venetian coffee houses became the first coffee emporia to jack up the price of coffee. Just as in Africa, the conservative establishment in Europe feared the stimulating effects of coffee and tried to ban the drink. Ultimately Pope Clement VIII in 1600 sanctified the use of coffee by Catholics everywhere, leading to the drink's acceptance across Europe.

Ottoman Coffee Server in Cairo

Come coffee, come the Enlightenment! Suddenly people had energy and vigor. Coffee houses encouraged thinking, writing, and the debate of new ideas. The Enlightenment was born! You get the gist of the story. We could go on and on. But don't take our word for it, even though we do have a Ph.D. in history. Read philosopher Stephen Hicks on Coffee and the Enlightenment.

Every religion needs its saints and devas. The Church of Kaffa certainly has its own. Starting with the King of the Birds and deva Garuda, and the prophet Kaldi.

Kaldi was a lowly Ethiopian goat herder, who in about the Ninth Century, discovered the Tree of Life, the Coffea arabica or Coffee tree. Kaldi noticed that his goats became unusually energized after eating a certain local berry. He sampled the berry with the same effect. Excited about this miracle, he rushed to share the berries with his local Muslim holy man, or imam. The holy man was so disgusted with the berries he tossed them in a fire and stormed away. Kaldi however noticed an entrancing aroma coming from the berries in the fire, so he recovered the burnt berries and tossed them in some water, thus creating the world's first cup of coffee. The foundation myth for the world and religion of coffee.

The Church of Kaffa boasts many other devas, all saints of the Enlightenment

Leonardo da Vinci

Charles Darwin
John Muir

Alex the Congo African Grey Parrot

Honest Abe Lincoln, the last honest Republican

Sojourner Truth

Mark Twain

Albert Einstein

Marie Curie

Sinclair Lewis

W.E.B. DuBois

This is just a quick short list. Intellectuals and elitists all. Even an intellectual parrot! Certainly others can be suggested.

So by now you're probably wondering: How do parrots fit into the Church of Kaffa? Well, when we're not drinking coffee, and even when we are, we're living and breathing parrots. We have eight of our own, plus we're constantly searching for new homes for unwanted parrots through our charity Northwest Parrots.

Parrots and parrot people are different. If you have parrots your friends and neighbors probably talk about you behind your back. You're probably know in your neighborhood as the parrot lady or that parrot guy. You have to be a bird person to like parrots. Cat and dog people just don't get the idea of birds. And parrots are as avian as avians get. Parrots are among the oldest of the avians. Parrot fossils have been found in Cretaceous Period rock dating back 55 million years. Parrots not only lived with the dinosaurs. Parrots are living dinosaurs. Parrots are one of the few species on Earth to survive the great Cretaceous extinction event.

Cretaceous Period parrot named Danish Blue in honor of Monty Python's infamous Norwegian Blue ex-parrot

Of all the avians, parrots are the most endangered, primarily because of their beauty and intelligence. Plus they can talk. Try talking to your cat, and see if your cat talks back! Parrots deserve a guardian angel as powerful as Garuda, King of the Birds.

Birds also figure in an alternate foundation myth for coffee. One account of coffee's origin involves a Yemenite Sufi mystic Ghothul Akbar Nooruddin Abu al-Hasan al-Shadhi (we just love Arabic names). When traveling in Ethiopia, the legend goes, he observed birds of unusual vitality, and, upon trying the berries that the birds had been eating, experienced the same vitality. The birds of course were feasting on the coffee bean.

And the name Church of Kaffa? Kaffa is the region in Ethiopia where coffee was first discovered by the goatherd and prophet Kaldi. Some believe that Kaffa is the root word from which the word coffee is derived. So, the next time you enjoy a cup of joe, turn to the East and bow toward Kaffa in homage to the prophet Kaldi, the discoverer of the Tree of Life.

Last but not least, every religion needs a Satan that embodies everything it stands in opposition to. Here's the embodiment of this church's Satan:

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Our God Can Kick Your God's Butt!

Garuda, King of the Birds and Messenger of the Gods

If you're like us, you're probably disgusted by now with the Hypocrite Republicans and Radical Right Wing Nut Religious Bigots trying to force their theology down our throats! Well, we're fighting back. We want Religious Right Wing Nuts to know that our god can kick their god's butt any day of the week.

Garuda is depicted as having the golden body of a strong man with red wings and an eagle's beak, and wearing a crown on his head. This ancient deity was said to be massive, large enough to block out the sun. Garuda is invoked as a symbol of impetuous violent force, of speed, and of martial prowess. Garuda is so powerful that even Krishna carries the image of Garuda on his banner. According to the great Sanskrit epic Mahabharata, when Garuda first burst forth from his egg, he appeared as a raging inferno equal to the cosmic conflagration that consumes the world at the end of every age. Frightened, the gods begged him for mercy. Garuda, hearing their plea, reduced himself in size and energy. Even in Buddhism Garuda is a feared deva or deity. In Buddhist myth Garuda's wings are said to have a span of many miles. According to Buddhist lore when Garuda's wings flap, they create hurricane-force winds that darken the sky and blow down houses. A human being is so small compared to Garuda that a man can hide in his plumage without even being noticed.

All we can say is Garuda is one Bad-Ass deity we want on our side, battling for Truth, Justice, and the American Way!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Grafffiti Needs a New Seattle Area Home

Graffiti is an approximately eight year old presumed female Goffin’s Cockatoo parrot. Graffiti’s mom adopted Graffiti from her daughter who bought Graffiti as a pet. Graffiti can not fly, due to her biting her feathers. Apparently the feather destruction started about two years ago when Graffiti’s mom got a roommate. Graffiti is very sweet and loves to be close and cuddle under coats and blankets. Unfortunately Graffiti can not stay with her mom because of squawking issues. Graffiti comes with a large cage. Graffiti currently lives with her mom in Redmond, Washington. Her mom would like her to stay in the Greater Seattle area so she would have the opportunity to visit her after adoption.

If you are interested in adopting Graffiti, or are able to provide a foster home for Graffiti, please contact Northwest Parrots FundGraffiti is available for adoption Free to the Right Home.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Just How Would a Parrot Do in a Poker Game?

Parrots would make great poker players due to their complete lack of facial expression.

Thumbing through Twitter yesterday we came across this post from a well known parrot writer and blogger. Being a macaw person ourselves, we have five macaws, as well as three other parrots, we knew this assertion to be nonsense. Our macaws have incredibly expressive faces. Our female Hyacinth macaw Princess Tara can crack a smile that puts Mona Lisa to shame. Our female Blue and Gold macaw Miss Bubba Boy blushes crimson red when she's excited or embarrassed. Our foster Ruby macaw Mr. Cracker can give one the evil eye when he wants to protect his space.

Hyacinth Macaw Princess Tara Doing Her Mona Lisa Imitation

This Twitter post got us to thinking. How about our other, smaller parrots? In addition to the macaws, we also live with two African greys, both female, a Congo named Arua, and a Timneh named Tillie. And one Goffin's cockatoo, Kid Kadra. A juvenile delinquent if ever there was one!

Congo African Grey Parrot Arua Expressing Pleasure at Taking a Bath

Our female Congo African grey parrot Arua can certainly be stone-faced if she chooses to. But can she show expression on her face? We think so, to some degree. Our little Timneh African grey parrot Tillie clearly shows expression on her face, especially when she's excited. Or just plain horny! And our Goffin's cockatoo, Kid Kadra? His face is harder to read, being covered in feathers as it is, but he turns decidedly pink when he gets excited. That's a form of facial expression.

Greenwing Macaw Roxanne Luxuriating in Her Cookie

How about you and your parrots? Do you discern emotion and expression on their faces? Let us know if you do, or don't. And if you have any photos, please share. We combed through our photos and videos today searching for examples. That was a pretty thankless job, since we couldn't find a whole lot of photographic evidence. We've posted a few of the best examples of our parrots we could find.

We just don't think our parrots would do all that well at poker. They'd probably end up losing their lunch money. Except maybe our Congo African grey parrot Arua. She might just do all right for herself.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

What Kind of Parrot Behavior Are We Looking At Here?

Our female Congo African grey parrot Arua has recently engaged in some unusual activity, for her. We're guessing this activity is hormonal:

Do any of you parrot people have any thoughts about this behavior? Please let us know what you think, and we'll share your thoughts on this blog. Have you witnessed your parrots doing anything similar? If you have, is it an occasional occurrence, or frequently recurring?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Caffeinated Parrot: Useless Information You Don't Really Need to Know

The Caffeinated Parrot

Introducing our new website, The Caffeinated Parrot, designed for coffee addicts, caffeinated parrots, and trivia fans. Daily tidbits of totally useless information you don't really need to know, and probably wish you didn't!

Be sure to check the site every day for more useless knowledge of the day. Like they say: Knowledge is Power. Or is it: Ignorance is Bliss?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Parrot Paradise Coffee

In our continuing quest to find a coffee that we are not only pleased to offer for sale but to actually drink ourselves, we have decided to create our own line of 100% Parrot Friendly USDA Certified Organic, Shade Grown coffees. Our very first offering is currently available online at as well as our Facebook store The Parrot Cafe,

100% Parrot Friendly USDA Certified Organic, Shade Grown, Kosher Certified coffee: Parrot Paradise Blend is a unique blend of light roast and dark roast 100% Arabica Shade Grown coffees from Guatemala. Medium roast. Medium body. This mix of Guatemalan specialty coffees creates a rich caramel, sweet chocolate flavor, resulting in a well-balanced and hearty cup. Low acidity with no bitter aftertaste. We can safely say: One of the smoothest coffees we have ever tasted.

Additionally, we will soon release our second offering: Blue Tara Velvet Soul Blend, a mellow mix of Organic Shade Grown coffees from Central and South America.

Blue Tara Velvet Soul Blend mixes 100% Arabica Central and South American beans for an end result that offers smooth mellow brightness with hints of dark chocolate, caramel, berries and a touch of citrus. Great any time of the day: morning, afternoon, or night! These coffees stand up well in either a drip coffee maker or a home espresso machine.

All proceeds from The Parrot Cafe support Northwest Parrots Fund, a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity registered in the State of Washington.