Second only to oil, in reference to human consumption, overall coffee is the largest commodity in the world. It is estimated that a billion people drink coffee each morning. There’s a Starbucks subculture for Christ’s sake, where customers’ speak their own language: an 8 ounce cup of coffee is called a short cup, 12 ounce is a tall, a 16 ounce is a “GRAWN-day” and a 20 ounce is a “VENN-tee.”
When I first started to “seriously” enjoy coffee a decade ago, I needed a translator to order a cup from Starbucks. Yeah, I minored in coffee in college and “sniffed grounds with patient dedication” when I was getting my master’s degree in Blah Blah. And now here I am, a citizen of the culture and somewhat of a coffee connoisseur. And for my first column for Funk Joint, I would like to bring attention to The Travel Channel’s Dangerous Grounds. Where the host, Todd Carmichael takes the viewer all over the world, in search for the best brew. Each episode is an adventure and consist of interesting obstacles Carmichael goes through to get that perfect or almost perfect brew.
“Todd has to go to some of the most exotic, fascinating and dangerous places on earth to find it [coffee]: from the cities, villages and mountains of Haiti, Bolivia, Madagascar, Borneo, Cuba and Vietnam,” reads the show’s website.
Aside from his show, Carmichael is also CEO and Co-Founder of La Colombe Torrefaction, coffee roasters. His bio reads like a novel, a co-opt government agent fighting for the cause of social and ecological change.
He’s been an attaché to the Saudi Royal Family, traveled to various parts of the world, crossed the Sahara on foot and became “the first American to solo trek across Antarctica from coast to the South Pole. The Antarctic trek also earned Todd the world speed record for crossing the continent by foot – 39 days, 7 hours and 49 minutes.” And here I was thinking I was touching the globe just by sitting in front of a computer and blogging about coffee.
Although I think un-reality TV is an extremely mundane activity, I occasionally sneak a peek at Keeping up with the Kardashians. But with Dangerous Grounds, I could watch un-reality TV in peace and not have to look over my shoulders out of embarrassment. It’s the ideal show to watch while blogging about coffee and reading the latest issue of National Geographic Magazine. So that’s it for now. I need another cup of coffee.