early morning ethiopia

It’s way, way to early to be awake, but it’s way too hard to sleep. The problem with traveling to Africa or Indonesia is you are totally flipped, time-zone wise. Nothing seems right, and I am not especially good with time zone changes. I brought this second hand book with me, The Devil’s Cup, a coffee travelogue with lots of neat information (not all of it accurate – is Harar where¬† Robusta “evolved” into Arabica coffee? I don’t think so). Along with mistakes, there’s the general swashbuckling traveler narritive; dusty roads, broken-down trains, sweaty street-side cafes, bitter coffee. Ironically, I have been to most of the places this guy has, but I didn’t arrive on an Eritrean smuggler’s boat, or hitchhiking in the back of a cargo truck. I flew, and quite nicely. It’s not like Addis, or Harar, or Dire Dawa, or Sana’a are that difficult to reach; in fact on Emirates airline I had a massaging seat and more movies than my cable at home! It’s just that it takes time that many people don’t have. But that doesn’t make for a great “coffee adventure story”. I guess you have to read the book to know what I am talking about, but I have a very different impulse when it comes to a great trip like this. I think it is good enough as it is, no need to dress it up. The facts are plenty interesting, not enough to sell books, but certainly to those already interested in coffee. That’s my 5 am thought; I will cup here in Addis again today, checking out new lots as they start to come in to the warehouses from the micro-regions. And if today is like the first day’s cupping, things should be great this season!

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3 Responses to “early morning ethiopia”

  1. 1 JitteryCoffeeCup

    i’ve read that book. found it wildly entertaining, but wondered why he continually put himself in danger and odd situations for his quest for “the history of the world according to coffee.” i suppose it made for a good read though, otherwise it would have just been a history book. we all look forward to the pictures and hopefully some videos from Ethiopia!

    Michael Brown
    B’ham, AL

  2. 2 ovenroasted

    Hey Tom are you already uploading photos from your trip?? I like the unusual things and the roasters from hell!

  3. 3 James Hoffmann

    That was the first coffee book I ever read, before I liked or drank coffee. I wish I hadn’t read the last chapter.

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