Happy New Year.
I have been in the specialty coffee industry for over ten years now, and I can honestly say that every single year has been better than the year before, both for me professionally and, more importantly, for the industry as a whole.
Not everything is perfect all the time, of course. Sometimes we uncover new problems just as we think we are solving an old one. For years we bemoaned the low price of commodity coffee. Then it shot through the roof in a matter of months, and suddenly we were wondering if this industry was sustainable anymore. But crises are just opportunities. High costs, for example, just highlighted the need for increased efficiency and more resourceful practices.
The past year took me all over the world again, gracias a Diós, as they say in lands to the south: I had the chance to make coffee trips to Panama, Honduras, the Philippines, and Brazil. Not to mention the exotic, far-off land of Portlandia; my second-home New York City, and always-gorgeous San Francisco. In the coming year, I hope to make it back to Central America, to spend some quality time in Colombia, several weeks in the MOTHERLAND (Ethiopia, of course), get some real development work off the ground in the Philippines, and of course teach more courses in San Francisco.
Before my next trip, I’ll be getting caught up right here on the blog with a few more articles, some picture and video posts, and whatever else coffee-centric that comes my way.In the meantime, from the chilly, dark, and crisp Pacific Northwest: