Maja Wallengren first started writing about coffee 20 years ago when she lived in Cambodia and worked as an intern for the Reuters News Agency. She has since then continued to specialize in coffee during hundreds of reporting and research trips to 42 producer countries across South-East Asia, East and West Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. From the civil war of Cambodia and the end of the Khmer Rouge rule of terror, to the break-up of Zaire; from the East African genocides and refugee crisis in Rwanda and Burundi to the diamond conflicts of West Africa; and from the Zapatista uprising in Mexico, to the aftermath of the bloody civil wars in Central America and the illegal drug trade in Colombia, country by country Maja has covered most of the contemporary conflicts and wars in the world from the perspective of the coffee producers always find to be at the center of the struggle.
Born and educated in Denmark, Maja is fluent in six languages and today lives in Mexico City, which she describes as her “own little global headquarters within 24 hours reach of all the coffee hotspots” in the world. Her award-winning work on coffee has been published in over 15 languages across the world’s leading news and industry outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, The Houston Chronicle, The Independent, The South China Morning Post, Reuters, Associated Press, Dow Jones Newswires, Xinhua, Bloomberg, The Tea & Coffee Trade Journal, The Global Coffee Review, El Mundo del Café, Coffee & Cocoa International, Coffee Network and F.O.Licth.
Maja’s coffee travels have taken her to hundreds of farms from the most remote and isolated corners of the developing world to the top financial centers across the coffee trading capitals of New York, London, Singapore and Tokyo. During her extensive career in coffee she has reported on all aspects of coffee and conducted first-hand research. She is regularly invited as speaker at coffee industry gatherings in Latin America, Europe, the U.S., Asia and Africa.
Wallengren has spent more time reporting on coffee at the source of origin than any other correspondent or financial analyst currently covering the commodities sector. She has won numerous internal awards for her reporting for Dow Jones Newswires, the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s prestigious “2004 Distinguished Author Award” and has won broad international recognition for her work and dedication to the socio-economic aspects of coffee.
She is currently working on a number of book projects which for the first time ever give credit to the millions of producers behind our daily cup of coffee. An inspirational non-fiction work “Spilling The Beans” has been over 10 years in the works and promotes the understanding of the complex challenges coffee growers face on a daily basis in order to bring their coffee to the market. Relating the personal survival stories of producers at the center of conflict, Maja Wallengren links the individual story of every grower to the final consumer in a powerful narrative style that puts a human face on coffee.