Report from the IWCA in Guatemala

When my friend, Ginger Gerhart of Ghirardelli, told me she was going to Guatemala for the International Women in Coffee Alliance’s (IWCA) annual conference, I asked if she wouldn’t mind sending me some photos and news of the event to share with Barista Magazine‘s faithful blog readers—and she did! Thank you so much, Ginger, for sharing your experience at the IWCA’s conference. And if you didn’t already know, the IWCA is a wonderful, empowering, and supportive organization that is doing a lion’s share to shape the future of our industry. Ginger can tell you all about it…

This photo is by Ben James (https://www.facebook.com/benjamin.james.photography), and is a stunningly beautiful representation of some of the coffee cultures represented at the IWCA,

This photo is by Ben James (https://www.facebook.com/benjamin.james.photography), and is a stunningly beautiful representation of some of the coffee cultures represented at the IWCA,

The IWCA is an amazing organization that works with producing regions all over the world to “Provide women and men a greater visibility into the coffee industry, encourage trade and business opportunities, and Promote social and environmentally sustainable projects related to coffee.”

For more information, all are welcome to check out the website: www.IWCAguatemala2013.com

 

Ginger (center) with Guatemalan coffee producers.

Ginger (center) with Guatemalan coffee producers.

This year’s conference was hosted by Anacafe, the National Association of Coffee in Guatemala. It was wonderful to see Anacafe’s green coffee trade building where technical and agricultural assistance is offered to coffee growers. The building has training and cupping labs for green buyers as well as barista and roaster training and green bean booking. Check it out: www.anacafe.org

 

This photo shows Louis the trainer in the barista lab. I stepped in to watch Louis teach barista class at the Anacafe Barista School. He has been teaching for nine years. In Guatemala, baristas go through bar class for five days and two additional days are required for learning to roast. With my Tex Mex Spanish, I could have sworn this barista said Arabica is sweet and Robusta takes like hair...?! I'm thinking "Man, he must not like Robusta..." I stayed after to ask. FYI: Pelo=hair Palo= stick/wood. Ha!

This photo shows Louis the trainer in the barista lab. I stepped in to watch Louis teach barista class at the Anacafe Barista School. He has been teaching for nine years. In Guatemala, baristas go through bar class for five days and two additional days are required for learning to roast. With my Tex Mex Spanish, I could have sworn this barista said Arabica is sweet and Robusta takes like hair…?! I’m thinking “Man, he must not like Robusta…” I stayed after to ask. FYI: Pelo=hair Palo= stick/wood. Ha!

The conference, which began on February 4 and ends today, brings together around 250 women and men from all over the globe attending lectures by speakers such as Dan Cox/Coffee Enterprises; Christy Thorns/Allegro Coffee; Lindsey Bolger/Green Mountain; Sunalini Menon/CoffeeLab, India; Craig Holt/Atlas; Max Quirin/SCAA; our own dear Bonnie Milletto (Bruce’s wife;); and many others including the Vice President of Guatemala.

At dinner with a terrific group: Chuck and Mireya Jones, Bonnie Milletto, Stephanie Backus, Caitlin McCarthy Garcia, Victoria and Hans Jimenez de Masch, and photographer Ben James.

At dinner with a terrific group: Chuck and Mireya Jones, Bonnie Milletto, Stephanie Backus, Caitlin McCarthy Garcia, Victoria and Hans Jimenez de Masch, and photographer Ben James.

Stephanie Backus of Portland Roasting, and Caitlin McCarthy Garcia of Equator Coffee & Tea cupping at Anacafe

Stephanie Backus of Portland Roasting, and Caitlin McCarthy Garcia of Equator Coffee & Tea cupping at Anacafe

 

Roaster training space

Roaster training space and barista school

It has been a great event! We have learned about everything from managing the rust crisis to how the most successful chain of coffee shops called “&Café” operates!

 

Thanks for the report and photos, Ginger!

About the Author

Sarah

Sarah Allen is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.