Let’s Talk Coffee officially got underway yesterday in the small town of Lamas. Lamas is just about thirty minutes outside of Tarapoto. And of course Tarapoto is the site of this year’s Ltc event. So why are we in Lamas? Well the first portion of Ltc for me is the World Barista Forum.
The world barista forum is an intiative to bring together baristas from producing countries and consuming countries to foster community and to help build barista community within producing countries. Here we are specifically looking at the situation in Peru. Heather Perry from Klatch Coffee, Colin Whitcomb from Alterra, Marcus Young from Batdorf and Bronson, Michael Strumph from Allegro, and others have come here to participate in round table discussion of the issues with local Peruvian baristas.
Then last night the conversation really took off when we were joined by the eleven barista champions who have spent the last five days living and working on a nearby coffee farm as part of the Seed to Cup Barista Challenge. When they spoke of their experience, life-changing and amazing were common descriptors, and their emotion and enthusiasm were evident.
Today the conversation continues as we look for concrete steps that can be implemented to improve coffee culture and barista community at origin. Tomorrow producers, importers, roasters and these baristas will be in Tarapoto and the main event will begin.
You can see some photos from Peru on my flickr site: www.flickr.com/photos/baristamagazine