Besides spending time at UNIOCAFE learning about their organization, cupping coffee, and traveling to several of the youth’s coffee farms, our trip consisted of a lot of other smaller moments that were equally monumental, but hard to categorize. For instance: learning about some of the ways that the youth leverage coffee other than just coffee farming, touring a wet mill and seeing the process of converting a coffee cherry into a dried bean first hand, visiting the coffee shop of a twentysomething named Alejandro, and exploring the beautiful painted city of La Palma, El Salvador. Without going into too much detail, here’s a brief summary:
All of these experiences opened my eyes to the fact that there are many creative ways people can work within the coffee industry. Not only in farming, roasting and selling their own coffee (which is rare, usually people in these regions never get to roast or drink their own crop), but also young women using roasted and green beans for jewelry and in candles.
As previously mentioned, it was so rewarding to see first hand the front-end of the coffee supply chain. I had never seen coffee transform from a farmer’s plant, to being wet processed to depulped to milling to drying the beans! If you’re not familiar with the full coffee producing process, check out our “From Seed to Cup” series. (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)
It was such a treat to meet Alejandro and see his beautiful coffee shop. I thought it had a Brooklyn or Italian vibe. One of the Coffee Kids employees who visited Alejandro’s shop in October of 2017 was excited to see that he now has his own espresso machine. It was awesome to see how he’s reinvested in himself and the future success of his business.
As you can tell, we crammed in a lot of really fun and educational meetings during our week in the Trifinio region. It was so humbling to meet the future generation of coffee farmers and to learn how they’re doing their part to give back to their community and the greater future of the coffee industry.
I hope you enjoyed reading my trip recaps! If you ever get the opportunity to travel to Central America, I can’t recommend it enough!