Get Aspirational

At last month's Rainforest Alliance gala reception I spoke briefly with Rainforest President Tensie Whelan for a few articles for Tea & Coffee Trade Journal. This is her response to my question of "how can behind-the-scenes intermediaries, as well as consumer facing brands, can help close the disparaging differential gap between the available volumes of … Continue reading Get Aspirational

The Aliveness of a Fleeting Century

I grew up in New Hampshire, and about the age (3rd grade) that I realized what New Hampshire was, and that there were places that were not New Hampshire, I wanted out. Everything around me seemed very unalive. Stoic granite. Frozen soil. Leafless trees naked for months on end. Small, quiet knots of people who … Continue reading The Aliveness of a Fleeting Century

It’s Onward O’Clock Right Here

I've been speaking Spanish for 10 years. The last time I took an academic class was 2006. I've been speaking and using the language for long enough that sometimes I forget the exact translations of words, and if someone were to ask me what a word means, I would have to offer several contextual meanings … Continue reading It’s Onward O’Clock Right Here

Madame Geisha

Coffee can seem pretty straightforward as we sip it from our mugs; it's a hot beverage that tastes good and wakes us up (and maybe has us hooked), but its legacy is actually shrouded in a fair share of mystery, intrigue, and good old tall tales. Historians and coffee aficionados (like Mark Pendergrast in his … Continue reading Madame Geisha

Coffee in Hand

I traveled to Chennai in south India a few years ago, and I was not prepared for the fact that everyone there eats everything with their hands. It seemed to go against every manner I had been taught. “You mean you just touch all your food?” My hosts were gracious and offered me friendly Western … Continue reading Coffee in Hand

Costa Rican Coffee: Spirit of a Nation

Costa Rican coffee doesn't yield the volume of beans for export that other Latin American countries have to offer, but it has a singular allure and beauty, beauty that comes from its personality, and personality that stems from the fact that Costa Rican coffee is personal. In Costa Rica, producing coffee is still a people … Continue reading Costa Rican Coffee: Spirit of a Nation

Updates from Coffeepeople

What started as an unconventional horizontal anthropological investigation into the lives of coffee producers from Nicaragua to Colombia has accidentally become a bit of a longitudinal study. I spent the past month retracing my original steps through Costa Rica and Panama in order to distribute a book to every interviewee. Most of the people I … Continue reading Updates from Coffeepeople

Nomad Notes: Offerings

Part 3 of 3 in a series less about coffee and more about travel, culture, and living abroad. In order to interview coffeepeople and research "When Coffee Speaks," I spent nine months traveling through Latin America with naught but a big and a little backpack. I didn't have a ton of stuff, therefore, everything I … Continue reading Nomad Notes: Offerings

Nomad Notes: The Spanish Rules

Part 2 of 3 in a series less about coffee and more about travel, culture, and living abroad. In "Pen on Page" I mention rules for traveling and living abroad that I developed during my year as a high school exchange student in Alicante, Spain. The Spanish Rules I describe are: 1. New day new … Continue reading Nomad Notes: The Spanish Rules

Nomad Notes: Pen on Page

Part 1 of 3 in a series less about coffee and more about travel, culture, and living abroad. Written Monday, December 2. Back in high school, during my year as a foreign exchange student, I developed several rules to live by. One was the "new day new place rule," which ruled that every day I … Continue reading Nomad Notes: Pen on Page