Barista Magazine

APR-MAR 2014

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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farm a reality with the acquisition of a 200+ hectare Geisha estate. I met with Joseph during the World Barista Championship event in Melbourne, Australia in 2013, and that was when I made up my mind to go to Panama to visit him. Before I knew it, Oskar was good to go, as well, and we started making our plans at the end of the summer. A few months later, we were finally there. As soon as we arrived, Joseph took us on a half-day trek to see the land, farm, and forest. He was wonderfully passionate about the interaction of coffee trees and the surrounding environment. Joseph explained that his plan was not only for the coffee to grow, but for the land and forest to flourish in their natural course. The farm had 40 hectares of Geisha plant- ed already when Joseph bought it, and since then he has prepared the land and planted much more. He showed us very clearly how the plants thrive in some areas but struggle a bit in others. It was obvious he considers the farm a work in progress from which he is constantly learning. Oskar won the 2013 Swedish Barista Cup using Ninety Plus Perci Geisha, and when on our hike we arrived at lot 29, where that exact coffee had been grown, Oskar experi- enced an unforgettable moment. We spent a few days trekking around, picking cherries with Benjamin and his wife who both have been full-time employees for several years. We learned so much about picking, sorting, drying, and processing that we were totally exhausted every day—in the best possible way. Joseph was to us the person in Panama who was the most focused on every aspect of coffee production. He seemed to be in total control and knew exactly what he wanted from both the people he works with and the quality of the coffee itself. Such vision and commitment is part of why Joseph is such a humble, exceptional man. As magnificent as our entire trip had been, the days we spent at NPGE were singular- ly extraordinary. Finally, our last day with Joseph had arrived. We spent it picking and hulling, roasting, brewing, and finally drinking some Geisha that had been dried on the branches of a dwarf Geisha tree. We AeroPressed the fresh coffee and toasted one another: It had been a monumental—not to mention geeky—experience for Oskar and me. Alexander and Oskar say that spending time with Rachel Peterson (pictured) on her family's Hacienda La Esmeralda estate was "an awesome experience. She and her brother Daniel are both deeply passionat e about what they do." 39 www.baristamagazine.com B o o k 1 - 5 4 . i n d d 3 9 Book 1-54.indd 39 3 / 2 4 / 1 4 7 : 1 1 A M 3/24/14 7:11 AM

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