out on the road, the most difficult thing so far has been for me, having to drink instant coffee. passing through a tourist town, i can tank up on espressos and cappuchinos, but in between, soluble not-coffee not-milk powder packets it is. but instant coffee, while providing the basic brown water experience, doesn’t fulfill the emotional criteria for a good coffee. its preparation lacks ritual, lacks audio-visual accents, its taste and caffeine effect are unfulfilling, and i find myself going through the motions of preparing and drinking coffee, without that all important [sip] and ‘ahhhhhh…’ feeling.

you see, i am a coffee head, not just hooked on caffeine jolts several times a day, but embroiled for much of my life in the experience of coffee, it’s different forms and styles, the shamanic act of its preparation, the solitude or community of its consumption, and of course the ‘coffee high’ effect on mind and body, and on life experience itself.


coffee and tea, my warring states

i enjoy drinking tea, to be fair, black and red and green and white; i live in china after all, where tea is king, or emperor. coffee is a foreign devil here. i have even taken the occasional habit of drinking a nice tasty cup of hot water. in my private world, however, coffee reigns, specifically italian moka and bar espresso, and i’ve been adventuring my way recently, high up in the mountains on my longboard, without it.

that’s going to change, and my next trip is a concept piece, ‘coffee high’. i am skating again, on a 2000km trek up to the grasslands near the top of the world, in amdo and kham tibet, gansu and sichuan china.


View Linxia to Lijiang, Amdo Kham Tibet 2000Km in a larger map

this time, i am taking with me my favorite (available) italian beans, cafe molinari gold, and a bialetti moka express pot. skating, camping, experiencing (i hope) the local music and song, and checking out the nomads and yaks, those are my personal goals, but the star of the documentary film i am making, will be my coffee, the where, when, how, and why of a coffee high in the eastern himalaya.


my new starlet, she’ll do ANYthing to be in my film

so coffee it will be, and a fine one at that. i invite you all to join me on this little journey: 40 days and 40 nights on the road, up above the world as we urban dwellers know it, far out on the edge of extreme sport and alhletic endurance, skating, camping, experiencing, drinking coffee. i’ve got a travel brewing.


in a supporting role, this fancy hand grinder


a concrete poem, revisited from five years ago

this trip is sponsored by subsonic skateboard company (i will be skating on a new GT foamcore) and supported by buzzed precision trucks (i’ll be riding buzzed, v2 downhill/freeride trucks), and by xwing.cn, as well as by my wife and parents. thanks everyone for helping make it happen!

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3 thoughts on “

  1. Pingback: skate to the glacier part 3, and alpine style skating

  2. What an awesome idea. I love the way you’re managing to meld skate trekking with discovery of culture. I hope to emulate your style some day!

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