Greetings from the Motherland. I'm in Ethiopia now, preparing for the Taste of Harvest competition and all kinds of cupping activities that are happening before and after. I'm getting an up close and personal view of how this year's crop is; I will share some general impressions once I hit the cupping tables early next week. For now I am just fighting off the jet lag and indulging in some injera and chickina tibs.
I promised pictures and videos from Brazil and the Philippines, but of course all the big files are back at home on my big computer. I travel lean and mean, data-wise. Got to have plenty of storage room for all the photos of farm visits in Jimma and Sidamo later on this trip. So that will have to wait until I return, unless I can dig up a few things in the corners of my smartphone, or from friends that were on those trips with me.
Ethiopia is such a lovely country; it's been a couple years since I have had the privilege to visit. Even the somewhat dirty chaos of Addis Ababa is charming, and that pales next to the stunning countryside vistas in the coffee lands. The sun is so powerful during the day, but the air is almost crisp, and it never gets that hot thanks to the mile-high altitude. The sounds and smells here are so unique: driving on the way to a meeting today, I detected a familiar scent, that of "mitmitta", an unmistakeable spice mix used in cooking here. I commented and the taxi driver just laughed and nodded and said, "That's Ethiopia."
That's Ethiopia indeed. Just some cultural musings for now. I'll have more to say about the coffee when the rubber hits the road next week.