Amber's Origin Trip to Costa Rica: From Seed to Cup - Allegro Coffee

Amber's Origin Trip to Costa Rica: From Seed to Cup

Posted In: Team Member Stories

Sumava_Cherries

By Amber Barkley, Team Leader – Allegro Coffee Roasters Bowery (NYC)

From Seed to Cup and the People In Between

Everyone I spoke to about the Allegro origin trip to Costa Rica told me that it would change my whole outlook on coffee. They said that no matter how passionate I was about it, no matter how amazing I found it, no matter the admiration I felt for the people who grow and process coffee, that was nothing compared to how I would feel after I saw it for myself. They were right.

I was fortunate to be selected to attend this year’s origin trip to Costa Rica, where we visited the Las Lomas and Sumava coffee farms who grow our single origin coffees, wet mills, and the Exclusive Coffee dry mill. Every step of the way, we met people who take honest pride in their work. A woman coffee farmer at Las Lomas who never stopped smiling, the owner of Exclusive Coffee who told us that his company was created to fill a niche and help small farmers grow, or the harvesters who quietly and efficiently focused on their work.

Embodying Allegro’s values

It was a true honor to meet and learn from these people, who embody everything we stand for at Allegro Coffee. The farmers experiment with different varieties of coffee plants and processing methods, searching for the best cup. Exclusive Coffee roasts and tastes small batches of the coffee they process. This allows them to provide feedback to the farmers and recommend which  lots to enter in competitions. The harvesters are well-paid and well-treated. It shows in the care they take to hand-pick only the ripest cherries.

Touching, tasting, & smelling coffee’s journey

Everywhere we went, we were encouraged to touch and taste. The coffee cherries right off the branch, tough skin and light fruit, bland and sweet, bitter when chewed too long. Coffee seeds, slick and pale right out of the fruit, sticky and warm on drying beds in the sun, rough in our fingers and smelling musty-sweet. Touching, smelling and tasting every part coffee’s journey, along with the people responsible, made me feel incredibly humbled and proud to be a barista, part of the journey in my small way.

There is no limit on things to learn about coffee. But what impressed upon me the most during the origin trip was this: the amount of labor and care that goes into crafting a single cup of coffee, as the beans change hands from farmer to processor to exporter to buyer to roaster to baristas like me, is immense and intensive. Coffee is about people, and the stories we share. Every cup brings us together, from New York to Colorado to Costa Rica and beyond.


More Articles

Team Member Stories

Sumatra Lake Toba - A Unique Sense of...

By Jess Brooks - Coffee Buyer & Supply Chain Manager I remember teaching Coffee Basics classes to Allegro Coffee team members 10 years ago. As a trainer, it was my job to share a taste of place through flavor profiles from the different coffee growing regions. I always enjoyed tasting...

Learn More

World Coffee Research

World Coffee Research Businesses, organizations, and individuals are planning for a more sustainable future. From reducing waste to sourcing sustainable goods, the actions we take now will benefit us down the road. But have you thought about what the future of coffee might look like? Not very many people have....

Learn More

Making Coffee Matter

Girls Gotta Run: Empowering Girls in Ethiopia

  In 2007, the Girls Gotta Run Foundation was started in Washington D.C. with a mission to empower girls in Ethiopia, helping them become changemakers in their communities, and helping them succeed through education and athletics. Since then, the organization has changed and evolved, seeing success they never imagined, and...

Learn More

Love coffee & tea?

Love FREE SHIPPING?

 

Sign up for our newsletter and get

free standard shipping* on your first online purchase plus exclusive discounts.

*A code for free shipping will be emailed to you.

You have Successfully Subscribed!