Barista Magazine

AUG-SEP 2018

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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C O L O M B I A "It's not really a reality show like what you see on TV," Frances- co explains, "but I call it a reality show because the baristas are living the everyday experiences of farmers." This is how Francesco Sanapo, former Italian Barista Champion, owner of Ditta Artigia- nale in Florence, Italy, and creator of the innovative, immersive coffee competition, Barista & Farmer, explains the premise of the competition, which touts itself as a "Barista Reality Show." Although the competition—which had its fourth event in Co- lombia this past May—isn't like what you might think of when you think of a reality show (there aren't any confessionals and contes- tants don't spend their days hooking up and/or fi ghting with each other), it is a highly involved endeavor. Barista & Farmer, which has been previously hosted on farms in Puerto Rico, Honduras, and Brazil, challenges baristas from all over the world to a series of competitions designed to help them understand every link in the supply chain. This year's event brought the group of 10— who varied in experience and nationality from a coffee trainer in Croatia to the owner of a small roaster in Italy—to Colombia for 11 days to learn about and experience coffee-growing culture in the world's third-largest coffee-exporting country. One more thing: The baristas' every move and activity were documented by a legit professional fi lm crew. (Check out the short interviews with each of the contestants and longer day-by-day videos at the Barista & Farmer website and on YouTube.) Rebecca Atienza of Hacienda San Pedro in Puerto Rico, and host of the fi rst Barista & Farmer, recounts how the event started in 2013, after Francesco visited the farm and felt inspired to bring baristas to see where their coffee came from. "Francesco called me and asked if a couple of baristas from Italy could come visit. At fi rst the number was eight … then he called me and asked if he could bring 10 … then he called again and asked if he could bring 12 … then he called again and asked if he could bring 15. He prom- ised he wouldn't call again to ask to bring more people!" Since then, the event has developed into an opportunity for baristas to connect with the whole coffee supply chain, and learn by being fully immersed in the coffee community of a producing country. For those 11 days in Colombia, the baristas learned not just about daily life on coffee farms, but were also treated to a holistic view of the country's coffee scene, from visiting local cafés to engaging Opposite page, at top: 2011 World Barista Champion Alejandro Mendez of El Salvador (far right) was a surprise guest instructor for the international barista participants in the 2018 iteration of the now famous Barista & Farmer event, which brings coff ee professionals from around the globe together for an intense week of learning what life on a coff ee farm is really like. Below: A depulper made in Pitalito, Colombia, in the Hulia Department, where the Barista & Farmer competition was based. Pitalito is o en regarded as the epicenter of coff ee production in Huila. This page: Daniel Murani of Brazil se les into a cupping class. Along with picking coff ee and learning about production work on the farms, baristas took classes with coff ee professionals on topics including roasting, brewing, and the future of the specialty-coff ee industry. 51

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