Toby Smith's Coffee Trails
Toby Smith, founder and director of Toby's Estate, has spent more than a decade in search of the world's best coffee and has decided to spill the beans on all his amazing travels that take you on the journey of the bean.
What started as a lifelong dream to visit Ethiopia, the home of coffee, Smith and his mate photographer Garrett Robinson, decided to trace the history, personalities and character of the world's greatest bean - thus Coffee Trails was born. After some 20 years dreaming up this epic journey, Smith and Robinson packed 11 countries into their itinerary and took off on their once in a lifetime journey.
Their odyssey took them from Ethiopia to Yemen and onwards to the great growing coffee regions of the world including Indonesia, Brazil, Costa Rica and many more exotic locations. Coffee Trails details Smith's personal philosophies on different coffee plantations, the harvesting and processing techniques each country employs and how it impacts the end product. Filled with personal anecdotes and illustrating his relationships developed over years of visiting the farmers to source his coffee beans, Smith's commentary of his travels, including a brush with Jamaican custom officials and a trip to a notoriously dangerous Ethiopian market, paints an authentic picture of the colorful countries that produce the second most traded product in the world.
Bringing the experience to life are the images by Robinson who beautifully captures the personalities and streets capes of each destination, along with the incredible scenery and plants in amazing clarity. "For years my friends and family have listened to me tell stories from my travels to all these amazing places and told me I should be writing all this down, that it would make a great book," says Smith,
"I had been wanting to do a big trip, following the coffee trails across the world, for many years so when everything fell into place with Garrett and the business, I decided what better time to do it and create this book, Coffee Trails."
Coffee Trails has been Smith's labour and love over the past two years and the end product is a wonderfully personal account of a man fulfilling his lifelong dream and following his passion across the world.