So I’ve left home to stop by the airport before my first trip to Africa and I’m starting to get excited. I’m not sure what I’m most excited about. Is it the Jury a list of people I respect and some people I hero worship. These people have formed the ideas I have of coffee, and influenced the kind of coffees we buy?
Is it the first trip to the continent that gave birth to coffee and completely different to the experiences of central and south america?
No its the possibilities of what the Rwandan coffee can be. Africa has so much potential. So much unfulfilled potential that I believe can be unlocked by following the methods of the successful countries of central/south america (look at Brazil, El Salvador, Nicaragua for inspiration). Following the cup of excellence model, looking at traceability specialty and most importantly what’s in the cup.
For too many years africa has expected to get good prices for coffee with the name or because it believed it should. Now thats not enough, as discerning customers (thats you guys) have expectations of quality in the cup and an experience of who is behind the coffee.
There is no better quality discovery program for coffee in the world than the cup of excellence. This is the first step in showing the world that Africa can step up to the plate in the specialty industry and deliver. I hope that the brave step of Rwanda is replicated amongst some of my favorite regions (but rarely favorite coffees because of the above problems) to help people to help themselves. This week I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about he saying
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” Cup of excellence is teaching that man to fish.”