Stay the course
This is a long one, bare with me.
You'd think after having an "agenda" for at least 15 years of my life in school, I would be good at this. The truth is, for me there is no real planning. Can you actually plan every day, though? That's no fun, having an agenda and no surprises is boring (sorry).
Confession: I didn't actually ever use an agenda, unless I had one of those teachers that had to "sign off" on it at the end of the day to make sure I wrote down all my homework assignments (my mom didn't know that, though).
My point is, I have changed my mind about "what I want to do with my life" so many times I can't even remember what my first idea was, but I did have a plan at some point. I know that it revolved around my love and admiration for all of those involved in creating and nurturing exceptionally tasting coffee. It all started in Colombia, grew throughout my travels around the globe, and then I always end up back to Colombia. Needless to say, Colombia has a special place in my heart.
You see, Colombia is where my roots are, where my family is (mostly), and where my heart grew a place for coffee culture. As you may or may not know, my knowledge from seed to cup developed in Colombia where I was able to put myself in the shoes of those who "plant" the beginning of a beautiful product. I got bit by so many mosquitoes while out picking coffee cherries (I may not have applied as much repellent because of how much my mom exaggerated me to). Nonetheless she convinced me it's because I have such "sweet" blood. I bought it. Anyway, I have seen the processing, milling and numerous selecting stages, which the coffees undergo many times and continue to be amazed by each process.
It was my second day sitting in a room where there were sacks of green coffee both with parchment and without. My job? To select the defected green coffee beans out of the numerous piles of millions of coffee beans! I ALMOST fell asleep multiple times. Hours passed by and I hadn't even gotten through ONE sack of coffee. "Is this real life?" I thought, "this sucks."
A couple days later, I was moved up to the sizing and classifying of each coffee bean. Then, I got the chance to watch the roasting process but first I had to understand the moisture and weight content of the green beans to finally be able to roast them. I took down notes very carefully. It's probably been the best kept notebook I've ever had.
After a few days on the farm and learning the processes from "seed to cup," I was able to start the "FUN STUFF." Pulling an espresso shot and Latte Art. --> I am used to cappuccinos and lattes but straight espresso? No, thank you. Now, I love it because I am able to understand and appreciate it when it's good. It's like your favorite wine or steak, whatever you're most into.
I learned the basics. Latter art? Water and soap were my tools to start (wasting specialty coffee and milk to learn is not OK, people). However, soap gets SUPER foamy and the cocoa powder I used was very dark and thick which made me more confident than I should have been in most occasions. Nonetheless, I learned how to pull a perfect espresso and then finally, latte art.
SO, I'M TOTALLY OPENING A CAFE BECAUSE I'M A PRO AND I KNOW EVERYTHING (I learned in just a few days) AND I HAVE THE MOST BRILLIANT IDEAS (although everyone is doing the same thing, hello we're trending!!). AND I HAVE NO MONEY BUT THE BANK WILL GIVE ME A LOAN.
I told my family the ideas. I was 3/4's done with college, finally about to get my marketing degree so it was time to "PLAN" my post-graduate life because it was only right and totally normal to have my entire life planned and in order by the time I graduated college, which only took me 7 years.
If you know me, I get anxious very easily, I'm quiet but very opinionated (not sure how those go together), and I am a perfectionist in all that I do. Naturally, I got all my "plans" together in order to execute this brilliant idea of mine.
Now, I have traveled to and from Colombia about 10 times since then, studied abroad in Italy, explored the French "cafe" scene, and made it back to south Florida with a totally DIFFERENT plan. Crap.
Finally! (for now), I have decided I want to teach people about my roots, about the families in Colombia that have not been able to show how talented they are in producing such an admired crop. I met children from families that know more about life than those, who sadly but true, grow up inside a bubble. I want to contribute to the lives of those who have a story to share with the world and I want to create candid relationships between producer, roaster, barista, and consumer.
Having direct relationship with farmers and providing them with a better life is what allows us to ensure quality for consumers. Admitting to higher compensation and equal treatment for farm workers creates a sustainable work environment and exceptional cup of coffee.
So, I'm importing their coffees and I'm sharing them with roasters who will roast them and share with baristas with who prepare the coffees with a lot of love and care for their customers who will understand the full story behind each sip.
I'm eager to continue learning, teaching, and discovering more about the magnificent world of coffee. It's a passion I hope to be able to transmit to each person that comes in contact with these families, these coffees and our brand.
EVENTUALLY, I PLAN to roast these special coffees and prepare these delicious coffees for those people who appreciate it. Slow and steady wins the race? Probably not, but I love what I do and well, you know what they say....
We're taking steps forward in this journey to bring you all the best of the best! We'll be setting up our "office" for now, but feel free to come visit!!