Kilimanjaro Day 4

There has been a mosquito haunting me all day.  I woke up this morning at 4:45 am to him buzzing in my ear.  Taunting me, letting me know that he outsmarted my mosquito net and will soon be feasting on my ankles.  I managed to avoid him all morning, slapping my ears like a mad woman whenever he ventured too close.  He finally drove me out of bed at 5:30, when I decided to take a walk in the hazy morning light and attempt to spot a glimpse of the looming Mt Kilimanjaro. Read more »


Kilimanjaro Day 3

Today we spent the day in the city of Moshi, jumping off point for Mt. Kilimanjaro treks as well as the coffee center of Tanzania.  Annabel and I first visited the office of Tudeley Estates in Moshi, where a very kind Eric showed us Tudeley’s cupping lap and sample roasting facilities.  Although I wasn’t able to snap a photo, I was shocked to see that their sample roaster was the same Probat model as ours at Coffee Bean International, although with 6 drums instead of 3. Read more »


Kilimanjaro Day 2

Today I woke up to the sound of buzzing crickets and many other unidentified insects.  The sounds of Africa.  Looking out the window is breathtaking, all of the dark shadows I saw last night driving to Kibo Estates from Kilimanjaro airport have revealed themselves to be colorful flowers, tall, spindly trees, and the vast, towering Mt. Kilimanjaro. Read more »


Kilimanjaro, Day 1

Things I discovered today:

  1. Tanzania is really far from Portland. 
  2. The Sahara desert looks amazing from an airplane

CQI and Harvest Visit to Colombia

I just returned from a week in Colombia, attending a board meeting of the Coffee Quality Institute (“CQI”) of which I’m privileged to be deeply involved with as a Trustee and long time supporter. Hosted this year by the Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia (known to most in the coffee business simply as the “FNC”, or “Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia) our CQI group split its time in Colombia between board work and field work - with meetings held in Bogotá and Cartagena, and boots on the ground in the coffee regions surrounding the towns of Armenia, Manizales, and Pereira. Read more »


Direct Trade Coffee in Peru – Days 1 and 2

Day one in Peru was mostly spent getting to our final destination.  After yet another 5:30 am wake up call, Paul and I hit the road back to the airport and boarded our flight to Piura.  In the airport, our choices for coffee were Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts.  I’ll leave it a surprise where we went.  This was followed by the swift realization that in my sleepy haze I had left my ATM card in the machine after taking my money and receipt (and also lost my awesome traveler points).  No luck in recovering, it had already been eaten up.  Now the fun game begins of try Read more »


In Search of Direct Trade Coffee from Colombia - Day 3

We spent Day 3 in Colombia not visiting farms, but we headed back to Bogota to visit the FNC headquarters and cup the microlots from the farmers we visited over the course of the past two days.  Before that, however, we got a quick rest in and a trip to an artisan market.  Read more »


In Search of Direct Trade Coffee from Colombia – Day 2

It’s official, I both smelled and tasted the best things I have ever smelled or tasted before in my life today.  The smell: flowering coffee trees.  The taste: cacao fruit picked straight off the tree.  Actually, today was a full day of deliciousness, so I am inclined to start with a list of things that I have eaten. Read more »


In Search of Direct Trade Coffee from Colombia - Day 1

After a quick sleep in Bogota, I rushed to the airport again to catch a 35-minute flight to Neiva.  Alex Russan from Castle Company and Madelyn Madrid from the Colombian Coffee Federacion (FNC) were my early morning travel partners, eager to show me the farms in the Huila region of Colombia.  By 6:45 am our propeller plane had landed and we were whisked off to breakfast and then to the FNC office.  Read more »


Rwanda Cup of Excellence® Competition - Part 3

After a 30 hour trip returning from Kigali to Portland, and a couple of days to get rested up and cleaned up, I’m back in my office at CBI and reflecting upon the Cup of Excellence competition last week in Africa. Read more »

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