Barista & Farmer: The End of the Epic

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Editor’s note: Barista Magazine is excited to be sponsoring the Barista & Farmer Coffee Reality TV project which took place in Puerto Rico last week. Publisher Ken Olson traveled to Puerto Rico to spend the second half of the event with the 15 Italian baristas who embarked on a most unusual learning experience at Hacienda San Pedro: They worked the farm, learned from agronomists, participated in challenges, and forged friendships that will last a lifetime. Look for Ken’s article about the event in the December+January issue of Barista Magazine. 

The wonderful journalist Davide Agazzi has once again written an account of the most recent activities at the Barista & Farmer project. Here is his eighth, and last, installment. (To read his first report, go HERE. To read the second report, go HERE. And go HERE for his third report. Find his fourth story HERE. The fifth post can be accessed HERE. And HERE is the link to the sixth post. You can find his seventh post HERE.) And be sure to check out the video, too!

Participants in the Barista & Farmer project take their final exam.

Participants in the Barista & Farmer project take their final exam.

The adventure of the baristas in the Hacienda San Pedro is over.

The most important number in this experience is the quantity of coffee picked by the 15 baristas, which end up being 1167.5 kilos. The coffee was harvested for the Atienza family, and the picking fees will be paid to the Hacienda San Pedro workers, to underline that bond of respect and sharing that was born between the Italians and the Puerto Rican pickers.

It's one big family now.

It’s one big family now.

After the six-day experience that saw the Italians learn about Puerto Rican culture and of course, coffee, it was finally time for them to pack their bags and head home. But first, they would be taken by the Atienza family to visit two of the best cafes in San Juan: Gustos and Cafè San Pedro, the latter of which is owned by the Atienza family.

Cafe San Pedro in San Juan, owned by the Atienza family.

Cafe San Pedro in San Juan, owned by the Atienza family.

Gustos is located in the industrial zone of San Juan, and it’s exactly what the name suggests: a mixture of tastes and sensations originated from thousands of coffee beans. The Italian baristas were welcomed by the owner, Omar, who took the on the grand tour of Gustos, from the roaster to the restaurant.

The lovely Cafe San Pedro.

The lovely Cafe San Pedro.

The trip to Cafè San Pedro physically and figuratively marked the end of the journey for the baristas: just as the coffee goes from Hacienda San Pedro to the coffee bar at the cafe, the 15 Italians completed their journey which began with picking the coffee and ended with preparing it.

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Barista Magazine is the leading trade magazine in the world for the professional coffee community.