Scouring the Globe for the Best Cup of Coffee
As the buyer for Blue Bottle Coffee’s green, not-yet-roasted coffee, Stephen Vick (@stephen_vick) travels to every corner of the globe. “I use Instagram to document my travels and show interesting, beautiful, quirky things that I see when I’m out in the world,” says Stephen.
It was in 2004 that Stephen began visiting the farms where coffee is grown. With those trips, says Stephen, “came a greater understanding that most of the challenges in producing a quality cup of coffee are hurdles that are faced by the producer,” like shortfalls in knowledge, resources and capacity.
In the past decade, Stephen has visited more than 17 countries in a variety of capacities, from teaching farmers best practices to working on the construction of more economical and sustainable processing facilities. Spending time in remote, tropical areas has also brought the occasional harrowing health experience: “In Northwestern Tanzania I contracted cerebral malaria, had kidney failure and went into a coma.” After a few months, Stephen regained his strength and returned to the work he loves.
These days, Stephen spends about half his time out visiting coffee farms. “My favorite is Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee and the most challenging and rewarding country to source from.”
Did you know that you can make houses out of plastic bottles? By filling them with sand, and molding them together with mud or cement, the walls created are actually bullet proof, fire proof, and will maintain an comfortable indoor temperature of 64 degrees in the summer time.
And it’s not like there is any shortage on used plastic bottles out there. Here are some statistics from treehugger.com:
“The United States uses 129.6 Million plastic bottles per day which is 47.3 Billion plastic bottles per year. About 80% of those plastic bottles end up in a landfill!”
To build a two bedroom, 1200 square foot home, it takes about 14,000 bottles.
The United States throws away enough plastic bottles to build 9257 of these 2 bedroom houses per day! That’s just over 3.35 million homes, the same number of homeless people in America.
Many people in third world countries have taken up building homes out of plastic bottles, from Africa to Asia. Perhaps the trend will catch on in America and all of those bottles will stop ending up in the landfills. Wouldn’t they be better off housing the homeless? Kinda like all those empty houses scattered all over the country?