Our Visit to Colombia
Greetings friends, family, and fellow coffee lovers!
By FRANCIS PICCIOTTO
Greetings friends, family, and fellow coffee lovers! We wanted to give everyone a peek into what we have been up to on the coffee front. We pride ourselves in only selecting and selling the highest quality coffee from Colombia. We first started this through multiple video calls to our partners and farmers. This provided us with a lot of knowledge and insight into the specialty coffee being produced. While this was insightful and fun we decided that if we were really committed to bringing you the best specialty coffee we needed to see it with our own eyes and touch the coffee plants with our own hands. That is exactly what we did! We spent between August 7th to August 21st 2021 in Colombia visiting multiple farms and the laboratory that tests all the coffee to make sure it follows all the guidelines of the Specialty Coffee Association of America.
This experience reached far beyond just business. We wanted to meet the farmers and their families and learn exactly how they produce such high-quality coffee. The two farmers we visited were Mr. Miller Bustos who produces our Bourbon Rosado variety and Mr. Carlos Plazas who produces our Castillo variety. Upon reaching both of these farms deep in the mountains we realized immediately that this was a family affair. On both farms, family members from multiple generations were there to welcome us and show us with great pride their farms. They first wanted us to see the multiple varieties they produce and educate us on the different visual aspects of each type of coffee. After that they went to great lengths to show us the entire process from picking the cherries, selecting the best cherries, and the multiple ways to dry the coffee. During all this they were able to show us the pride they have for protecting the land. The emphasis on protecting the land for future generations is extremely important to them. They showed us how the coffee pickers are paid a very fair wage, feed, and given shelter while on the job. We also were lucky enough to get feed a very fresh organic meal that was too generous for us to finish! While these words help to explain what we experienced, we hope a few pictures will really help everyone get a snapshot of what we experienced.
We got to see the soul behind all the coffee we sell. From the farm owners, to the coffee pickers, to their families and finally the passionate guys from the laboratory.
After we made it back from the farms we went and got a huge educational experience at the coffee lab that tested every aspect of the coffee received from the farmers. Hector Montes and Bryan Plazas were in charge of this operation. They began by explaining to us the quality control measures they used and they showed us how they examine each batch of coffee for the physical quality needed to pass their guidelines. After that we had an official taste testing with Bryan Plazas. This was an extensive process that included trying each variety five times for complete consistency. If a variety shows inconsistencies they will not sell it. It was amazing to see how passionate they were and how in depth the entire process was! Once again hopefully some pictures will help give an idea of what we experienced.
In sum, we got to see so much more than great coffee. We got to see the soul behind all the coffee we sell. From the farm owners, to the coffee pickers, to their families and finally the passionate guys from the laboratory. Behind great coffee is great people and we definitely witnessed this and wanted to share it with all of you!
Stay safe and spread some love!!
Monica and Fran