There's a first time for everything
This summer we opened the doors to our roastery and tasting room in Brooklyn. The buildout was a labor of love and we are proud to have our roastery open at last. With that project finally completed, we were able to break away from NYC in July to visit Colombia with the guide of one of our exporting partners.For several months leading up to our trip, we had been roasting a coffee known as San Sebastian which comes from a producer's group in La Plata in the department of Huila. Being our first trip to Colombia, it was only fitting that we visited the origin of the coffee we had been roasting, cupping and serving for several months. San Sebastian represents a blend of coffee from individual producers who form an association named OCCICAFE. After cupping coffees at the OCCICAFE lab, we were fortunate to be able to meet with a recently formed offshoot of the OCCICAFE association. This newly formed group was called Belén and was just down the street from the OCCICAFE warehouse. At Belén's lab, we cupped several individual producer lots, many of which had honey-like profiles with loads of complex acidity in forms ranging from pineapple to fresh cane sugar. We were excited to hear that more samples of these individual producer micro lots would be coming our way for us to taste after we returned to Brooklyn. (And, indeed since our return, we have tasted and purchased some micro lots from the same producers. Look out for our Belén micro lot series this winter!) Our time in La Plata was only the beginning of a very educational and exciting week in one of the most beautiful parts of the world I have ever been to. The remaining days entailed many hours in the back of a truck riding up and down mountain roads from and to many more cuppings at several other warehouses and labs, as well as some very inspiring visits with coffee farmers in the villages and towns of La Argentina, Guadalupe, and Pitalito. Here are some photos that David, our green coffee buyer, took on the trip. We hope you enjoy. Cheers!