The week of October 30 through November 5 I will be less resonsive than usual to communications. I'll be working with a team of SCAA Specialized Instructors to deliver classes at the UAE International Coffee and Tea Festival in Dubai.
This is my second trip to the United Arab Emirates. Last time I had the pleasure of meeting coffee roasters from around the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Northern Africa. It's always interesting to hear from roasters operating in very different economic and cultural realities from the ones that I work in and learn about the challenges they've faced and the solutions they've arrived at. While I'm there as an instructor, I expect I'll be able to continue learning as well.
If anybody reading this is planning on attending this event, it will be easy to find me. Stop by and introduce yourself if you want between or after classes.
Whenever I take a trip like this people express interest in what the travel time is. Fortunately, I live a short drive away from Chicago and there are direct flights between Chicago and Dubai. The flight there is scheduled to last 13 hours 40 minutes and with the 9 hour time difference that means that I leave in the evening and arrive the following evening. This works very well as entry to the UAE is efficient and I'll be able to hit an ATM to get some local currency, take a cab to the hotel, and go to sleep. Arrangements like that tend to get me on to local time quickly. The flight back is longer at 15 hours, but I'm leaving in the morning and arriving in the afternoon of the same date. I'll probably stop back into the shop and get a sense of what I'll need to work on the next day.
I love doing these sorts of trade events, but my calendar for 2017 is already starting to fill up. If you're interested in bringing me out to teach classes, it's never too early to schedule that.