As you already know, we’re running a contest: win a trip to Colombia with experts from FARO. Prompted by the launch, FARO general manager Maxime Fabi wanted to tell you about our reasons for going more and more directly to coffee plantations around the world.
Learn more about the contest here.
On any list of coffee-producing countries, Colombia is a must. It was one of the first countries to promote the added value of a geographic region. Is there anyone who hasn’t heard of Juan Valdez? (We’ll be talking more about him over the coming weeks.) And yet, in specialty coffee circles, Colombia isn’t quite as popular. Ethiopian, Kenyan and Costa Rican coffees are more widespread, despite a profile that is actually quite acidic.
The idea behind this trip is to see how the farmers and the wet mills are adjusting to the demand for specialty coffees to offer more distinctive profiles. Managing micro-lots does indeed require a much more agile, complex logistics, and that’s why we want to see how this coffee giant is adapting to these somewhat more specific, targeted requests.
Finally, there’s some Colombian in our Golden Gate espresso, so we want to find the right beans to accompany the natural Ethiopian in the blend.
Why go right to the plantations?
I want to state right off the top that going to the plantations is not a requirement or a necessity. Still, for our continuous training program, these field trips are knowledge-builders for the whole team. We get to meet with the farmers and understand what distinguishes them, which then allows us to showcase these characteristics for our customers. This puts us a cut above the washed and graded Colombian Excelsos that are available to any coffee roaster year-round.
Ultimately, from the standpoint of the customer (the one who’ll be enjoying the coffee), it’s much more enriching and interesting to take field trips and explore a region, in order to offer its best qualities in the cup.
Beyond a quality cup, what are the advantages for the consumer?
The goal of the trip is also educational. We don’t claim to roast and serve THE world’s best coffee, but we do pride ourselves greatly on helping people understand coffee. There’s a lot to be learned on this kind of trip, and we want to share our new knowledge with our followers.
What’s more, truly long-term relationships get established with farmers and exporters, especially when our own customers are requesting the product. If the next harvest is good, we’ll meet the demand. We’ve made some field trips in the past—to Costa Rica and Guatemala for example—and we maintained our contacts, whereas in El Salvador, we did not renew our purchases the year after our visit.
Now you know what drives us to go directly to the Colombian plantations, and we are very happy to offer you the opportunity to go there with us! To learn more on how to participate click here.
You can participate in the purchase of a FARO coffee bag in a grocery store or on our online store.
You can also download our FARO app and every consumer in store will offer you the opportunity to win the contest. Available for Apple and Android.