Barista Magazine

APR-MAY 2019

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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Page 108 of 119

109 help coffee growers in their native Colombia. Their vision: La Palma y El Tucan would not just grow world-class coffee, it would also work closely with farmers in its neighboring communities to improve their coffee, then pay above-market prices to purchase it. La Palma y El Tucan has realized this vision through its Neigh- bors & Crops program, which is one of many projects that differ- entiate it from other farms. There's also Origin & Craft, which brings baristas to LPET in an effort to close the gap between coffee producers and the consuming end of the supply chain. And there's a tourism element to the farm, as well, in the form of Coffee Adventures, in which a group of stunning cabins perched among the coffee trees on the farm give coffee professionals and tourists alike a chance to live and breathe coffee while visiting La Palma y El Tucan. In addition to these programs is the coffee from La Palma y El Tucan itself, which is no afterthought. LPET's Estate + Varietals offerings present the farm's top coffees in three lines: the Legendary Series for its top coffees, the Heroes Series of coffee scoring above 89 points, and the Warrior Series for coffees scoring 87+. Felipe is also frequently on the quest for knowledge to further improve the farm's coffee: In 2017 he completed a graduate certificate in agricultural sciences from the University of Melbourne in Australia, as well as a Permaculture Design Cer- tificate from the country's Permaculture Research Institute. He has since been implementing the lessons learned to improve the farm, including altering LPET's agronomical approach to coffee farming. While Felipe and Elisa founded and have helped grow La Palma y El Tucan, another key player has helped them achieve their vision for LPET. This would be Sebastián Villamizar, Felipe's cousin, who joined the project in 2015 and handles the farm's marketing. The two-time Brewers Cup Champion of Colombia—he will compete at the World Brewers Cup in Boston in April—Sebastián has increased LPET's global recognition, and has helped an increasing number of coffee competitors discover La Palma y El Tucan's coffee for competition. This includes Andrea Allen of Onyx Coffee Lab, who used LPET's Heroes Lactic Gesha when she placed second at the 2017 United States Barista Championship (USBC). For her, choosing the coffee was about more than its fl avor. "I chose it for two reasons: It was the best coffee that crossed our cupping table that season, and I was inspired by the leadership I saw from Elisa when I visited their farm," Andrea says. "They have a team of coffee pickers that are all local women that they provide jobs for and who work year-round on the farm." T. Ben Fischer, who used an LPET Estate & Varietals Natural Gesha when he fi nished in second place at the 2018 USBC, was sim- ilarly impressed with both LPET's coffee and its story. T. Ben has gone on to start the Glitter Cat Barista Bootcamp to provide training to baristas from marginalized communities, and following this year's inaugural camp, the Glitter Cat trainees were hosted by La Palma y El Tucan on a trip to the farm. For T. Ben, working with LPET is not just about their amazing coffee, but about being on the same page. "I use La Palma y El Tucan because we hold similar ideals," T. Ben says. "I started Glitter Cat Barista Bootcamp to help build platforms for those who have historically been kept on the outskirts of barista competitions. Similarly, LPET is building platforms for small pro- ducers in their region, while paying over double the market rate for coffee. That is what beauty and integrity looks like." More and more roasting companies are discovering this beauty, Our Past Fosters Our Future. Be Next. Join us at

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