Wow, these have been some busy recent weeks for all of us, including the crew here at Barista Magazine. I just returned from a two-week trip in Africa where I attended the first-ever Rwanda Barista Championship and visited the farm, Songwa, in Tanzania that is being operated by La Marzocco, Mahlkoenig and Probat in the first-of-its-kind equipment/producer relationship. You can read all about it in a HUGE article with tons of photos in the next issue of Barista Magazine which is, coincidently, our very special anniversary issue (we’re 4, baby!), to be distributed at the WBC in Atlanta.
I traveled with Jacob and Enrico from La Marzocco, and we had just an incredible time. Words to describe it will come in the article—for now, I’m still digesting the phenomenal experience. And guess what? You can experience it, too, as the companies are offering visits to the Songwa Project in a nonprofit effort to raise education and awareness. More info can be found here. One of the highlights? The trip concludes with a safari in the Ruaha National Park. Here’s my picture of Jacob and the elephants, so you can see just how amazingly close you get to the beautiful animals in this grand reserve.
Ken led the effort here to complete the Official United States Barista Championship event program, published by Barista Magazine, and I think it looks awesome! We’ll be giving the programs away during the USBC which begins—holy cow—a week from tomorrow here in beautiful Portland, Oregon. Check out the USBC website for more details on all the cool fun things that will be going on over the four days of the competition (March 5-8). Also, we’ll have the event program posted online beginning March 5.
See you all here in Portland (hopefully), very soon!