When coffee reached North America during the Colonial period, it was initially not as successful as it had been in Europe as alcoholic beverages remained more popular. During the Revolutionary War, the demand for coffee increased so much that dealers had to hoard their scarce supplies and raise prices dramatically; this was also due to the reduced availability of tea from British merchants, and a general resolution among many Americans to avoid drinking tea following the 1773 Boston Tea Party. After the War of 1812, during which Britain temporarily cut off access to tea imports, the Americans' taste for coffee grew.
The concept of fair trade labeling, which guarantees coffee growers a negotiated preharvest price, began in the late 1980s with the Max Havelaar Foundation's labeling program in the Netherlands. In 2004, 24,222 metric tons (of 7,050,000 produced worldwide) were fair trade; in 2005, 33,991 metric tons out of 6,685,000 were fair trade, an increase from 0.34% to 0.51%. A number of fair trade impact studies have shown that fair trade coffee produces a mixed impact on the communities that grow it. Many studies are skeptical about fair trade, reporting that it often worsens the bargaining power of those who are not part of it. Coffee was incorporated into the fair-trade movement in 1988, when the Max Havelaar mark was introduced in the Netherlands. The very first fair-trade coffee was an effort to import a Guatemalan coffee into Europe as "Indio Solidarity Coffee".
Thrift stores and flea markets are your friend. Lots of vintage coffee tables have great lines and sizes, and definitely fall under $500. Consignment stores might work for you, too. I have a vintage art moderne glass, leather, and brass with a great patina coffee table in my LR that was $25 at Goodwill. And a danish modern side table that I use as a coffee table between the chairs next to the fplace that was $10 at Goodwill. They were scores, but I am sure you will find a great piece at your price point if you explore the world of second hand coffee tables.
The best (but least used) method of drying coffee is using drying tables. In this method, the pulped and fermented coffee is spread thinly on raised beds, which allows the air to pass on all sides of the coffee, and then the coffee is mixed by hand. In this method the drying that takes place is more uniform, and fermentation is less likely. Most African coffee is dried in this manner and certain coffee farms around the world are starting to use this traditional method.
But wait! This is a water-based finish, and walnut grain has a tendency to raise up when it becomes moist. So apply a fine mist of water to the wood surfaces you want to finish with a spray bottle. Wait 15 minutes and feel the wood. Chances are it won't feel smooth anymore. The wood grain became moist, expanded, and raised up out of the surface. If you sand the surface again now, you'll sand off the grain that raised up, and there shouldn't be any more grain to raise up when the wood gets wet! To be safe, wait until the wood dries, and repeat this process. There shouldn't be much grain which rises up, and the surface should be smooth after this step.
Once you're comfortable everything is in its right place then you can drill a couple of small holes to mount the power supply inside the table edge using small bolts. I chose to mount the Arduino outside the table so I can reprogram easily if I want to but it is mounted upside down to the bottom of the table and is not easily visible. I also mounted the potentiometer through the bottom of the table so that the brightness control looks nice and professional.