Barista Magazine

DEC 2018 - JAN 2019

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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P U L L : E V E N T S PHOTO BY ZAYNE DIETTERICK IN THE THREE YEARS that Ally Coffee has been taking groups of coffee champions to producing countries for exploration and education as the Specialty Coffee Association's Origin Trip Sponsor, I've seen a radical evolution in the way young coffee professionals learn. While baristas have been some of the most curious people in all of coffee for as long as Barista Magazine has been around, watching the group that toured several growing regions in Colombia in October courtesy of Ally Coffee was one of the most inspiring experiences I've had in our community in years. Even though the majority of the champions and runners-up had never been to a coffee farm, they arrived loaded with countless intelligent and challenging questions for the producers and industry leaders with whom we met. This was hardly a quick stop/take a photo with a farmer/move on to the next spot kind of trip. The champs—Zayne Dietterick, T. Benjamin Fischer, Justin Goodhart, Cole McBride, Mark Michaelson, Agnieszka Rojewska, Evan Schubarth, Ken Selby, and Becca Woodard—dug deep on every stop of the trip, which took us from Nariño to Huila to Cundinamarca over the course of nine days. Clockwise from top left: Day one started at 4 a.m. with an early fl ight from Bogotá to Pasto, where we were met by our trusty chiva bedecked in an enormous welcome sign. Riding from the airport to Nariño's spectacular Café El Obraje was bumpy and exhilarating: The roadside coffee trees along the journey marked many in the group's fi rst time seeing the plant they've devoted their lives to. The chiva climbed atop a tall mountain to Finca El Pariso on day two, only to be met by an enormous song-and-dance celebration in the champs' honor put together by members of the Cooperativa de Cafes Especiales de Nariño. The fi nal farm on our tour was the unforgettable La Palma y El Tucan, located in the Cundinamarca department. La Palma is notable for the many times it has been used in the United States and World Barista Championships by some of the competition's heaviest hitters, including 2018 USBC runner-up T. Ben Fischer. Since T. Ben has been using La Palma coffee, he has become very close with La Palma's Felipe Pinzón (left) and Sebastian Villamizar (right). The group had an incredible visit to SENA, which stands for Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje, or the National Training Service. SENA is a government-run institution created "to develop vocational training programs for the Colombian labor force as a means to increase the competitiveness of Colombia's enterprises," according to the Gobierno de Colombia. In a specifi c effort to encourage young people to pursue careers in coffee agriculture, SENA offers a massive educational track in coffee, from production and agronomy through service. That's literally "through," as the classrooms are laid out in a horseshoe shape starting with production and continuing all the way through a working café. In the café, recent graduates of the program—which is completely free and one year in length—listened excitedly as USBC Champ Cole McBride gave an impromptu lesson in best espresso preparation, while U.S. Cup Tasters Champ Ken Selby looked on. ALLY CHAMP TRIP TO COLOMBIA SEPTEMBER 29–OCTOBER 7, 2018 PHOTOS + TEXT BY SARAH ALLEN 42 barista magazine

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