Photography by Elizabeth Fraser
Where can you find the rare and exotic coffee that Dangerous Grounds’ host Todd Carmichael travels the world to find? At the coffee sourcer’s La Colombe cafés – in Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, Seoul and the most recently opened Washington, DC, location. To the happiness of coffee lovers in our nation’s capital, a La Colombe outpost opened this weekend in the revitalized Shaw neighborhood. We couldn’t be more excited for our coffee hunter to open a new café – especially one so close to Travel Channel headquarters, too.
Tonight at 9|8c, Todd Carmichael braves the ganglands of Mexico to get the perfect coffee for his high-profile client, restaurateur Jean-Georges Vongerichten. When he hears of a wine-like coffee bean, Todd heads deep into Los Zetas territory to seek out the farmer he needs to please Jean-George, who is famous for his discerning palate.
Check out our behind-the-scenes photos from Todd’s adventure through Mexico, and learn why the phrase “silver or lead” is well known in Mexico’s gang territory.
How adventurous are you? Do you think you’d love Todd’s job or would the role of restaurateur suit your tastes? Find out with our Dangerous Grounds quiz!
Tonight at 11|10c is the season finale of Dangerous Grounds. Todd takes his coffee hunt to Colombia, the source of the best coffee in the world before violence took over. Todd and his cameraman also have a close call on a treacherous South American mountain road, which Todd recounted here for us during filming.
Last week, we asked you to share on Instagram where you were drinking your coffee. As it turns out, you’re enjoying coffee of so many different varieties all over the world! Here are some of our favorite photos:
Left to right, first row:
1. @eversonmarsh – Cognoscenti Coffee in Culver City, CA
2. @carriedelamer – “Rise and shine! Proud of this one @lacolombetorrefaction”
3. @thefalife – Coffee In Copenhagen
Left to right, second row:
4. @carovb76 – Juan Valdez coffee near El Batan, Ecuador
5. @chadbrewbeard - A La Colombe blend with beans from Brazil, Ethiopia, Mexico and Tanzania.
6. @semisweetmegan – Espresso at Artisan Cheese Company in Sarasota, FL
Left to right, third row:
7. @kovacsae1 – “Craving an Americano from @lacolombecoffee #dangerousgrounds #coffee #edpresso #NYC”
8. @amybrock – “Love from The Coffee Fox… Cheers to a chill Friday evening! #savannah #visitsavannah #coffee #coffeefox”
9. @brianripps – Kookaburra Coffee in Rockville Centre, NY
Don’t miss Todd’s recipes for these delicious coffee drinks: Pure Black Velvet Float, Hot Buttered Coffee and Mexican Hot Coffee-Chocolate. If you’re not in the mood for a hot cup of Joe now, then you’ll never be!
Calling all coffee junkies — we want to know where your favorite coffee is from! Are you a Papua New Guinea purist? An Ethiopian enthusiast? Instagram your favorite coffee with the hashtag #DangerousGrounds and we’ll feature our favorites next week, just in time for the Dangerous Grounds season finale!
Tonight, Todd Carmichael heads to one of the world’s least-explored countries — Papua New Guinea — on an all-new episode of Dangerous Grounds. He scours the villages of this Oceanic country in the hopes of finding delicious Blue Mountain Coffee. But first he must brave the notorious Highlands Highway that’s known to be ravaged by local bandits, giving it a reputation for armed robberies and murders.
Will Todd make it down the highway in one piece? Can he convince PNG’s villagers to part with their most prized commodity? Find out on an all-new episode tonight, Jan. 8 at 11|10c!
And don’t forget to Instagram your favorite coffee with #DangerousGrounds!
Tonight @ 9|8c, Todd ventures to the birthplace of coffee: Ethiopia. Finding a great coffee bean in the motherland should be easy, right? Well, not exactly.
Since great coffee is available for purchase in markets throughout the country, Todd has to go above and beyond to find a bean that is not only better than great, but different from anything he’s already found. Not to mention, the government tightly guards the country’s coffee industry. Not only does the government control the coffee trade with a Wall Street-like market system, but they also blend every kind of bean together, stripping it of any discernable identity.
Can Todd navigate Ethiopia’s chaotic roads and overpowering government to find a new and exotic coffee bean? Tune in to find out!
Last night on Dangerous Grounds, Todd Carmichael traveled to Borneo in search of a rare coffee bean that even he hadn’t tasted before: Liberica, also known as “Elephant” coffee — named for its massive beans.
Upon finding the elusive bean, Todd brought the coffee back to the La Colombe factory in Philadelphia for a tasting with his closest buddies, who also happen to be coffee aficionados. Get an inside look at what happens when coffee experts taste something new.
While filming Dangerous Grounds in Colombia in search of their best coffee beans, our intrepid travel host Todd Carmichael had a close call when his Jeep rolled off of a cliff. Thankfully, he survived with barely a scratch. Read Todd’s firsthand account of surviving Colombia’s dangerous mountain roads.
Today it was a tree that changed everything.
The roads – if they can be called that – leading up the Sierra Nevada Mountains (North Colombia) are ones for the books: steep, deeply rutted, muddy, criss-crossed by rivers and carved in the side of the mountains. If you fear heights, then you fear these roads. This goes triple for the one leading up from the Villedupur side.
By Valerie Conners
Editor’s Note: Todd Carmichael, the host of our new series Dangerous Grounds premiering tonight at 10|9c, is the cofounder of La Colombe Coffee Roasters. La Colombe is known for its premium coffee, sourced directly from the farmers by Todd, who goes to often-dangerous extremes to make sure his cafes are able to serve some of the world’s most sought-after and flavorful coffee. Dangerous Grounds documents Todd’s coffee-sourcing expeditions, and after tonight, the show will air Tuesdays at 9|8c. Travel Channel contributor Valerie Conners shares her experiences enjoying a cup of coffee at La Colombe, and proves that Todd’s passion for the flavorful bean is felt by anyone who drinks his prized coffee.
Tucked behind a simple storefront in Philadelphia’s tony Rittenhouse Square neighborhood lies La Colombe cafe, which proffers what many devout coffee drinkers would argue is the city’s — if not the country’s — tastiest coffee. To call La Colombe a mere coffee shop would be like calling Tiffany’s a mere jewelry store; La Colombe has brought coffee roasting to a veritable art form, and anyone in the neighborhood looking for a stellar cuppa knows to head straight to the cafe. READ MORE