Barista Magazine

APR-MAR 2014

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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Page 21 of 107

F O A M : N E W S ROASTERS UNITED: REWARDING GREAT WORK AT ORIGIN (Editor's note: This is part two of a series. Part one appeared in the February + March 2014 issue of Barista Magazine. You can read it on Barista Magazine Digital at SHARING A DESIRE TO ENHANCE collaborative sourcing at origin, and wanting to add value to the buying process for farm- ers and consumers by offering a transparent and economically sustainable coffee, Southern California specialty-coffee roasters Jeff Duggan of Portola Coffee, Mike Perry of Klatch Coffee, and I, Chuck Patton of Bird Rock Coffee Roasters, formed Roasters United (RU) in 2013. As noble as that goal is, however, it was still imperative that we source exceptional coffees—90- and a few 85-plus lots. The competition competent of RU was developed as a means to get farmers excited about producing microlot-quality coffee, while also giving ourselves direction as we sifted through numerous lots of coffee looking for beans to buy. Money is a great motivator, so we not only promised a farm-gate green-coffee price that ranged from two to three times over the Fair Trade floor for all coffee we were to purchase, but promised an additional 3.6 million pesos in farm-improvement grants for the top three farms. Lot selection started back in late 2013 with the help of our Colombian contacts, Leonardo Henao and Luz Medina of Commercializadora Tierra-Café. In February, we had narrowed down our samples to a few coffees from Cauca and several cof- fees from one smallish farming group in Huila, Asociacion de Productores Agricolas de Timana-Asprotimana. We cupped from noon until 10 p.m., and at the end of it, we were exhausted and excited, buoyed by the belief that some tasty coffees were being passed on to the final round. On the last day, 20 coffees remained as the best. We cupped through them and then pushed the top 10 on to the final table for one last review. When the results came in, we had three solid cof- fees that could work as potential microlots in addition to about 85 bags that we can use as a blend. The awards ceremony was held at a local café run by Asprotimana as part of their efforts to educate the locals about the great locally grown specialty coffee from Timana. (By the way, the café is nicely appointed and the well-trained baristas pulled excellent espresso— perhaps the best origin shot any of us had tasted on a sourcing trip.) About 20 farmers were in attendance at the ceremony, and all were excited to see how their coffees did, as this was the first time many had submitted coffee to a competition. Third place went to Henry Serrato of Finca El Silencio, an Asprotimana member. Second place honors were awarded to a farmer in Cauca, Noe Camp of Finca La Pena, and first place was won by Brayan Joven of Finca Esperanza, another Asprotimana member. We could not have asked for a better winner for the first Roasters United Competition. Brayan may be young, but he is Take the stress out of ordering with EZ-Order from BPS! Place your order and get back to business. W W W.BARISTAPROSHOP.COM OR CALL US AT 866-PRO-LATTE ORDERING SHOULD BE EASY IT'S EZ - Each product you have previously ordered is saved in one convenient location! ORGANIZED - Add or remove products with one click to keep your list updated and organized. SAVE TIME - We know your day is busy so we built this guide for you! Order all your specialty coffee products in just a few minutes. 22 barista magazine B o o k 1 - 4 4 . i n d d 2 2 Book 1-44.indd 22 3 / 1 9 / 1 4 9 : 5 2 P M 3/19/14 9:52 PM

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