Starting today, our new travelogue series by journalist Chihiro Ito –  Around the World with Coffee: How Specialty Coffee is Changing the Industry

The first installment of Japanese journalist Chihiro Ito’s travelogue series was posted on the TYPICA website today.

During a career that spans four decades, Ito has visited 82 countries and reported on the fight for democracy, freedom and peace in nations across the globe. Ito draws from a wealth of in-person interviews, and weaves historical knowledge with real-life experiences to share stories of people and nations for whom coffee is an integral part of their life and culture.

On the first day of each month we will be publishing a new piece, focusing on a different country each time. The series begins with a brief prologue, before taking you on a trip to Costa Rica. The journey then continues around Central America and onto South America. 

At times, Ito touches on the history of regional conflicts or constitutional issues, yet his innate simplicity of style will help guide you through complex themes to an easy comprehension. As you read, you’ll see the pieces pull together, slowly mulling the details and taking in the whole as the picture forms. And by the end, you’ll find yourself craving a coffee from that region. Or inspired to go and visit. That is the power of Ito’s writing.

This series will not only entertain, it will give context and cultural background to your coffee, help you gain new insights and concepts, and let you see your daily cup of coffee in a completely different light.

New Year message from Chihiro Ito

To everyone around the globe brought together by TYPICA – Happy New Year! Starting this month, I’ll be contributing a monthly piece on coffee producing and coffee consuming countries around the world. I’ve spent the last 40 years working in international reporting, first as a reporter for Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper, then as a news correspondent, and later as a freelance journalist. 

I have reported from a total of 82 countries, from the Americas, Asia, and Europe, but my area of expertise is Latin America. From my base in Brazil, I traveled throughout Central and South America, reporting on politics and economics while visiting coffee farms and connecting with the people whose livelihood depends on these tiny beans. My lasting impression from these travels is that history is changing, and we are now entering a fairer and more ethical era of coffee production.

In this travelogue series, I’ll be using my perspective as a journalist to show how coffee, something that has always had a hand in shaping society, looks today. I can’t claim to drink as much as Honoré de Balzac’s 80 cups a day, but I am a lifelong coffee enthusiast and look forward to sharing the culture of this wonderful beverage with you all.