Café Imports Barista Origin Trip – Kenya Days 4 & 5

Well, I guess they did make it back to the camp eventually.

The barista champs have continued to enjoy a fascinating week in Kenya as the guests of Café Imports, the Minneapolis-based green coffee importer that gives the most generous barista competition around: a trip to a producing country, all expenses paid. It’s bananas.

The winners of each U.S. regional, along with the U.S. Barista Champ, and the World Barista Champ have been treated to a trip like this each year since 2011, when the 3-year sponsorship began. The first journey took the group to Brazil; in 2012, the barista champs explored Costa Rica; and this year, they’re in Kenya. KENYA.

Piero of Cafe Imports gets to know the locals in Kenya.

Piero of Cafe Imports gets to know the locals in Kenya.

Café Imports announced recently that they have renewed the sponsorship for another 3 years, so 3 more sets of barista champs can look forward to amazing origin trips with this awesome company. Up next: Ecuador in the summer of 2014.

Barista Mag Publisher Ken Olson has been along for the ride in Kenya this week, documenting the barista adventures in the following posts on our blog, as well as on our social media.

DAY 1
DAY 2
DAY 3

Ken will have an article about the whole experience in the February+March issue of Barista Mag—it ain’t over yet.

Davin Chapman makes a new friend.

Davin Chapman gets his face paint on.

The incredible trip to the coffee exchange in Nairobi, farms in remote parts of the country, and visits with local villages, ended in a big-bang way: the baristas went on safari. The internet at the safari camp was a little iffy, so Ken wasn’t able to blog. But he did send me a mass of photos from the fourth and fifth day of this amazing trip, which I wanted to share with you here.

Eden Marie makes new friends.

Eden Marie makes new friends.

Sam Lewontin (center) represents NYC in Kenya.

Sam Lewontin (center) represents NYC in Kenya.

Safari, anyone?

Safari, anyone?

Flying in a prop plane to the safari.

Flying in a prop plane to the safari.

It ain't Jay Z's plane, but it's pretty fly.

It ain’t Jay Z’s plane, but it’s pretty fly.

Camping out safari style.

Camping out safari style.

Those are the baristas' across-the-river neighbors.

Those are the baristas’ across-the-river neighbors.

This is glamping.

This is glamping.

Reg and Gianni take in the scenery.

Reg and Gianni take in the scenery.

Well, hello.

Well, hello.

This must be the baby elephant Ken's bringing home for me!

This must be the baby elephant Ken’s bringing home for me!

Brilliant colors.

Teaching the baristas some dance moves.

Eden Marie is fashion forward.

Eden Marie is fashion forward.

Someone must have spilled a cappuccino.

Someone must have spilled a cappuccino.

High five, Reg!

High five, Reg!

Next generation of small coffee farmers.

Next generation of small coffee farmers.

Well, I guess they did make it back to the camp eventually.

Well, I guess they did make it back to the camp eventually.

This photo was shot at awfully close range...

This photo was shot at awfully close range…

Gianni and his new pal.

Gianni and his new pal.

Sam riding high.

Sam riding high.

Hey, that's my husband!

Hey, that’s my husband! Gianni’s totally schooling him!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author

Sarah

Sarah Allen is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.