Dangerous Grounds: Himalayan Outpost Pictures

Go behind the scenes as Todd Carmichael attempts a seemingly impossible task -- finding unspoiled coffee beans in Nepal, the birthplace of Buddha.

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Todd Carmichael in Uganda
Todd Carmichael in Uganda

Todd Carmichael in Uganda

Todd Carmichael has tried many times to get coffee out of Uganda, but he has never been successful. A violent and bloody past has left the people paranoid and distrustful of outsiders, frequently ripping them off or even outright robbing them. 960 1280

  

Kampala, Uganda

Kampala, Uganda

Todd’s journey starts in the slums of Kampala, Uganda, where he meets up with Romans, a long-time friend. Romans runs the Trinity School, a place for children to get a free education. Tragically, arsonists have recently burned down the boy’s dormitory. 960 1280

  

Todd Carmichael in Uganda

Todd Carmichael in Uganda

Todd makes his way through a crowded market in Uganda’s capital city of Kampala. 960 1280

  

Kampala, Uganda

Kampala, Uganda

A glimpse of the market in Kampala where grains are displayed in sacks for sale. 960 1280

  

Nile River

Nile River

Todd takes in the view at the source of the Nile River. 960 1280

  

A coffee processing plant in Uganda

A coffee processing plant in Uganda

A coffee processing plant in Uganda sorts and cleans robusta coffee beans, which produce a bold-tasting coffee. Robusta coffee grows in the wild in the Kibale area, full of lush evergreen rainforest. 960 1280

  

Uganda's Trinity School

Uganda's Trinity School

Todd meets with the kids at the Trinity School. Many of the students there are orphans, so they also live at the school. 960 1280

  

Uganda's Trinity School

Uganda's Trinity School

Todd hopes that he can seal a deal with Dean & DeLuca stores to help fund the rebuilding of the boy’s dormitory at the Trinity Children's Center in Kampala. 960 1280

  

Todd Carmichael in Uganda

Todd Carmichael in Uganda

Todd takes a time out from his coffee search to get some good fortune from this little guy's lucky branch. 960 1280

  

Kampala, Uganda

Kampala, Uganda

Once outside these streets of Kampala, Todd goes to extreme lengths to get the coffee he needs to help the Trinity School, from drinking homemade liquor known as “war gin,” to sealing an ancient blood pact in a country known for its high rate of HIV. 960 1280

  

War Gin Pictures  10 Photos

Todd Carmichael in Guatemala
Todd Carmichael in Guatemala

Todd Carmichael in Guatemala

Todd Carmichael talks with the owners of a coffee plantation in Guatemala. Will they let Todd in on the secret of how to get Guatemala’s best coffee beans out of the country? 960 1280

  

The Steampunk coffee-brewing machine

The Steampunk coffee-brewing machine

This Steampunk coffee-brewing machine will revolutionize the way coffee is served in cafes. Todd has been tasked with finding the perfect coffee that will be used when this machine is demonstrated in Boston at the country’s biggest coffee convention, the Specialty Coffee Expo. 960 1280

  

Todd Carmichael in Guatemala

Todd Carmichael in Guatemala

Todd talks with a local street hustler who says he can help Todd get safe passage through Guatemala by arranging a meeting with the chief and town elders of Chichicastenango. 960 1280

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Guatemalan coffee

Guatemalan coffee

Guatemala -- one of the world’s happiest countries -- has coffee beans that are famous for their orange-like smell and caramel flavor. 960 1280

  

Todd Carmichael in Guatemala

Todd Carmichael in Guatemala

Todd gets his "protection," so he can safely travel through Guatemala, though it isn't the kind of protection he thought it would be. 960 1280

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Todd Carmichael in Guatemala

Todd Carmichael in Guatemala

Todd and his "good protection chicken” -- a gift from the tribe -- check the map. 960 1280

  

Todd Carmichael in Guatemala

Todd Carmichael in Guatemala

Todd ditches the chicken, that he named Roberta, and gets a ride up towards La Perle's entrance, but the driver won't take him all of the way, in fear of the guards. 960 1280

  

La Perle coffee plantation

La Perle coffee plantation

Workers inspect coffee beans before they are roasted at La Perle coffee plantation. 960 1280

  

La Perle coffee plantation

La Perle coffee plantation

La Perle is by far one of the biggest coffee plantations in the world, and encompasses a number of towns. 960 1280

  

Todd Carmichael in Guatemala

Todd Carmichael in Guatemala

Todd tastes the coffee he found in Guatemala. Will it have the sweet, caramel taste he’s looking for? 960 1280

  

Todd Carmichael at the Specialty Coffee Expo

Todd Carmichael at the Specialty Coffee Expo

Back in Boston, Todd demonstrates the Steampunk machine with the coffee he has found in Guatemala. But will it impress discerning coffee connoisseurs from around the country? 960 1280

  

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Todd Carmichael in Thailand

Todd Carmichael in Thailand

Todd Carmichael sits on his bags of coffee on Thailand’s Burma Railway, also known as Death Railway. The railway was built using forced labor and directly resulted in the death of many workers, earning it its nickname. 960 1280

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Todd Carmichael in Thailand

Todd Carmichael in Thailand

Wat Arun, a Buddhist temple whose name means “Temple of Dawn,” as seen from Todd's boat on the Chao Phraya River. 960 1280

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Todd Carmichael in Thailand

Todd Carmichael in Thailand

Todd treks through what was once an opium field on the road to Doi Chaang, a village in the northeastern hills of Thailand. 960 1280

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The Golden Buddha of the Mekong River

The Golden Buddha of the Mekong River

The Golden Buddha of the Mekong River sits on a boat at what is called Sop Ruak, widely considered the center of the Golden Triangle. 960 1280

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Todd Carmichael in Thailand

Todd Carmichael in Thailand

Todd walks through Bangkok looking for unique and delicious street food for dinner. 960 1280

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Todd Carmichael in Thailand

Todd Carmichael in Thailand

Workers from Doi Chaang, a village known for its coffee, load up a truck with coffee. 960 1280

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Todd Carmichael with Jim Brett

Todd Carmichael with Jim Brett

Todd seals the deal with Jim Brett to stock his West Elm Market stores with Thai coffee ... if he can get it back to the United States in record time. 960 1280

  

Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand’s capital city, is vibrant with bustling nightlife, markets and canals, but hidden high in Thailand’s mountains are coffee farms waiting to be discovered. 960 1280

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Todd Carmichael visits a market in Haiti

Todd Carmichael visits a market in Haiti

Todd Carmichael visits a market in Haiti frequented by locals in an effort to get a lead on where to find the coffee he's looking for. 960 1280

  

Todd Carmichael

Todd Carmichael

Todd Carmichael surrounded by coffee beans. 960 1280

  

Mountains of Haiti

Mountains of Haiti

The crew passes through a run-down village as they drive through the mountains of Haiti. 960 1280

  

Haitian children

Haitian children

Haitian children watch the crew pass through their village. 960 1280

  

Todd and the crew

Todd and the crew

Todd and the crew made more than a few friends at a Haitian school. 960 1280

  

Todd and crew members

Todd and crew members

Todd and crew members Brian, Chris and Rob stop to pose in front of the mountains. 960 1280

  

The crew’s Wrangler

The crew’s Wrangler

A shot of the crew’s Wrangler in the mountains. 960 1280

  

Todd inspects the coffee beans

Todd inspects the coffee beans

Todd inspects the coffee beans as a local man looks on. 960 1280

  

Todd Carmichael

Todd Carmichael

Todd takes the wheel. 960 1280

  

Todd Carmichael

Todd Carmichael

Todd gets an close-up look at local cuisine. 960 1280

  

Todd negotiates

Todd negotiates

Todd negotiates with a local farmer. 960 1280

  

A local bus

A local bus

As the crew drives through the mountains, they pass locals catching a bus into town. 960 1280

  

Todd Carmichael

Todd Carmichael

Todd Carmichael catches a ride to Kusma on top of a bus winding its way through the mountains of Nepal, where he promised Steven Starr he would find a revolutionary coffee. 960 1280

  

Todd in Nepal

Todd in Nepal

Todd treks up a road winding up a mountain in Nepal, the birthplace of Buddha. 960 1280

  

Todd in Nepal

Todd in Nepal

A mold problem ruins all attempts to import coffee from Nepal, so Todd must head to the home of Everest, where communist rebels block the roads. 960 1280

  

Todd in Nepal

Todd in Nepal

Todd shares a cup of coffee with a Nepali grower. 960 1280

  

Cafe Passmar in Mexico City

Cafe Passmar in Mexico City

Cafe Passmar in Mexico City has an array of the best coffees from across Mexico. 960 1280

  

Todd in Mexico

Todd in Mexico

With $20,000 in cash, Todd heads to Guerrero in the hopes of getting his hands on some of the country’s best coffee. Guerrero is the most dangerous region of Mexico, and is ruled by a ruthless drug syndicate known as Los Zetas. 960 1280

  

A coffee farm in Atoyec, Mexico

A coffee farm in Atoyec, Mexico

Todd handles a coffee seedling at a farm in Atoyec, Mexico. 960 1280

  

Todd with barista champion Salvator Benitez

Todd with barista champion Salvator Benitez

Todd samples coffees from around Mexico with barista champion Salvator Benitez. 960 1280

  

Chichicastenango, Guatemala

Chichicastenango, Guatemala

A K'iche shaman spits alcohol on Todd as part of a blessing ceremony in Chichicastenango, Guatemala. 960 1280

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Finca La Perla coffee farm

Finca La Perla coffee farm

Freshly picked red berries are poured into a hopper to be hulled at the Finca La Perla coffee farm in Guatemala. 960 1280

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Pacaya Volcano in Guatemala

Pacaya Volcano in Guatemala

“Hollywood,” Todd’s cameraman, shoots Todd getting a little too close to the volcano Pacaya in Guatemala. 960 1280

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Todd in Guatemala

Todd in Guatemala

Todd stops for a snack of ribs on the side of the road in Guatemala. 960 1280

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