This is not a success story. It's a tale of ten years in the coffee industry, of what happens when you take the leap, seize the day, and follow your dreams—then discover you don't have any money, your landlord is an idiot, and the job you moved to another country for may not exist.
Annabel's coffee adventures took her from a wet, dreary market in northern England to the Canadian Prairies via a PhD in Central America. Along the way, she learned her barista skills from a World Champion Barista, entertained teenagers with her coffee and culinary experiments, and discovered the joys of entrepreneurship almost by accident. She sorted bad beans from good ones on tiny farms in the highlands of Nicaragua and took home a tropical disease as a souvenir. Her business ventures have combined coffee with books, babies, bicycles, and burlesque, because what else do you do with a PhD. in coffee? She gradually mastered the art of juggling a start-up business, her thesis, and a five-month-old baby at the same time, and negotiated emigration bureaucracy, a few disastrous business relationships, and the brutality of Canadian winters.
This is the real story of coffee entrepreneurship, with all the grim, impossible, frustrating, and messy bits left in. Because they all seemed like a good idea at the time.
Annabel Townsend wrote her PhD thesis about ideas of quality in the coffee industry at the University of Sheffield, UK, and then emigrated to Saskatchewan with her young family. When she's not making coffee, she writes, rides a tricycle and enjoys life on the flat Canadian Prairies.