Since we last checked in, the GCQRI has revamped their web site and engaged in the first of four missions in 2011. Round one saw three distinguished GCQRI geeks in newly independent Southern Sudan, and their report is fascinating:

Last week, February 1-5, Geoff Watts from Intelligentsia Coffee, Joey King from the Borlaug Institute, and Dr. Mark Semmelbeck, a concerned citizen from Midland Texas, and I explored one of the last virgin centers of origin for the arabica coffee species in the Boma Plateau of Southern Sudan.

The GCQRI-Borlaug mission set out to Boma to see, among other things, if wild arabica was growing and if cultivation for export could be possible. As it turns out…

…given the unique nature of the Boma Plateau, the cash-poor Boma peoples, and the status of Boma as a center of origin for the species, we feel as if there is a special economic opportunity to develop a small-holder specialty coffee sector in Boma.

Read the rest here. If you’re still scratching your head about what the GCQRI is, read this helpful FAQ.