All posts tagged: ethiopia

From a farm in Ethiopia to a Rocky Mountain bike trail

I’m sitting on a summit 6500′ above sea level where the Rocky Mountains of Canada meet the Columbia range. Surrounded by postcard views and staggering cliffs, I take in the crisp alpine air and turn my attention to the bag of carefully roasted beans I had stashed in my pack. Coffee is beautiful. I am reminded of this every time I open a new bag. These beans are more than vessels for caffeine, they have a story, and a purpose. The label on the bag can tell me where they came from, but how did they end up here? As I run my fingers over their smooth, chocolatey skin I like to think about all the hands involved in bringing these beans to my cup. I try to picture the faces of the people who planted the seeds and watched them grow into trees, then carefully harvested, sorting through rows upon rows of plants using calloused and cracked fingers to delicately select only the ripest cherries. For the farmers growing coffee, these beans are more …

What is Speciality Coffee?

To this question, one cannot merely state what it is, but rather comment on what their individual perspective is to this illusive question. This question was recently asked by good friend and special friend of the coffee community, Ben Carlson, during a gathering and presentation on the work he and his family are doing in Burundi to share these amazing coffees with the world. Of course, the initial discussion around this question was surrounded around the grading aspect of the delicious and wonderful cherry and bean. Beans are graded due to the uniformity of size, shape, colour, density, and defects/ taints. But I don’t believe in this being the sole definition of what ‘speciality’ is. I refer back to my 2015 World Barista Championship presentation. I pushed back on who defines what is speciality, and how it’s decided. For me, to an extent, I don’t believe that only a buyer/ ‘green bean grader’ can solely define that. I went to the WBC with a coffee from Adam Overton, of Gesha Village Coffee Estate in Ethiopia. …