Barista Magazine

JUN-JUL 2018

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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Page 98 of 107

Rachel Peterson ON RAISING GEISHA By Sarah Allen MASTER AT COFFEE CONFERENCES and expos around the world, a Rachel Peterson sighting is cause for excitement. Statuesque, serious, and exceptionally smart, the woman representing her family's famed Hacienda La Esmeralda estate in Panama is a celebrity in more parts of the coffee-consuming world than not. She's a reluctant luminary though—Rachel is humble and sometimes shy. She's also incredibly busy with the farms, yes; recently as a member of both the Specialty Coffee Association of Pan- ama and of America's board; traveling the globe representing both her family's coffee as well as the broader interests of Panamanian coffee; not to mention having two kids in college. Like a lot of producers, Rachel doesn't get days off, and on the rare occasion she can relax, she spends it reading about experimental processing tech- niques or keeping up with the news on climate change's effects on her family's four farms. Rachel's famous father, Price, was doing a sabbatical in Stockholm, Sweden, when she was born there in 1967. With Price on break from his work as a University of Pennsylvania profes- sor, the Petersons—including Rachel's mother, Susan, and brother Erik, who is 18 months her senior—were enjoying exploring the family's Swedish roots and meeting family members. When Rachel was 2, they all moved back to Phil- adelphia, though the stateside return would be short-lived. By the time she was 5, Rachel and her family were settled for good on the farm her paternal grandfather bought the year she was born in Boquete, Panama. 99

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