Travel is essential
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Travel is essential

With all our talk of reciprocity and all our concerns like choosing the right kind of packaging so we impact the planet a little less, we have to confess, this indulgence is pretty much essential to what we do.

I’m talking about travel. And the reasons for it.

Steven travels a lot. Mauricio does some, too. I will soon join in. We travel, not only to spend time with the people we buy coffee from, but to experience coffee in other places. And most importantly, to listen to the stories. That context, that framework, is essential to what we do. The way people enjoy coffee in Beaumont, Alberta is vastly different from how people enjoy it in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It’s important for us to understand that. The more we get to know about the lives and habits of the people we do business with, ie. their stories, the more we can be of service to you. Steven is not new to this. He’s been involved in and with coffee his whole life. But there is always more to learn. Always more to taste. Always more people to meet.

I joke that I was born with a suitcase heart. I feel most at home when I’m away from home. Travel is my religion and airports are my sanctuaries. I’m stoked to be getting ready to visit the places we get our coffee from. I will be visiting the origins but for different reasons than most. A lot of people in the coffee business – especially those behind the counters – dream of visiting origin, but most do so to complete an equation. To check off a list. “Dude, that Panama you’re pulling… I’ve been there.” But, there’s not much after the flood of Instagram photos. That’s a story. But where’s the reciprocity?

I spent the winter testing audio and video gear, playing with different combinations of cameras and cages, microphones and modifiers, software and systems, tripods and techniques. I’ve tried to figure out the best way to work independently, travel lightly and avoid bringing attention to myself. I don’t necessarily want to make documentaries. I want to cross-pollinate narratives. I want to show you their stories. And show them yours.

Why? Because sharing our stories helps us move toward understanding. Toward contribution. Toward action. Toward reciprocity.

Battle Grounds Coffee Co & Roastery
~Dan