Baristas on a Coffee Farm: The Adventures Continue!

Challenges range from fun and lighthearted, such as this coffee bag race, to more serious, such as a selective picking contest.

Editor’s note: Barista Magazine is thrilled to be sponsoring the Barista & Farmer Coffee Reality TV project happening right now in Puerto Rico. Publisher Ken Olson will travel to Puerto Rico on Wednesday to attend the event, which brings 15 Italian baristas together at Hacienda San Pedro to work the farm, learn from agronomists, and participate in challenges, and he’ll write about it here on the blog and in the December+January issue of Barista Magazine. 

But you want to hear how things are going NOW, don’t you? Luckily, journalist Davide Agazzi, is on the ground in Puerto Rico, sharing stories from the event with us. Here is his second installment. (To read his first report, go HERE. To read the second report, go HERE.) And be sure to check out the video, too!

November 5, 2013
Jayuya, Puerto Rico

After a typical coffee farm breakfast, Day 2 of the Barista&Farmer Coffee Reality TV Show began with the 15 Italian baristas leaving their quarters at Casa Barista to head up to the farm of Hacienda San Pedro. This would be the first time that the baristas would be on the coffee farm itself.

Challenges range from fun and lighthearted, such as this coffee bag race, to more serious, such as a selective picking contest.

Challenges range from fun and lighthearted, such as this coffee bag race, to more serious, such as a selective picking contest.

Now the real games begin: on their arrival, the baristas were welcomed by Roberto Atienza, owner of the Hacienda, who assigned a row of coffee trees to each of them. Señor Atienza does this every day for the pickers who work with him, and as is part of the challenge, he treated the Italian baristas no differently. The row challenge had the baristas picking coffee for three hours straight, and their combined total was 200 kilos of coffee fruits. Taranto-born Pierangelo Chiarelli triumphed with 19 kilos collected. Elisa Molle’s 17 kilos ranked second, while the third position was shared between Chiara Bergonzi and Serena Bernardini, with 16.5 kilos each.

When the challenge was over, three of the baristas were randomly chosen to process the coffee, continuing their trip in the coffee journey from cherry to roast to cup.

In the afternoon, a new lesson by Roberto Atienza was led in the academy of Hacienda San Pedro: today, the finca’s owner offered the contestants a wide and thoughtful overview on the different botanical varieties.

Organizer Francesco (left) assists during the selective picking competition.

Organizer Francesco (left) assists during the selective picking competition.

The last challenge of the day saw the 15 baristas divided into three teams of 5 people each: this time, the theme was pairing coffee and food. Each team was asked to prepare a main course, a second course and a cake.

The first team, lead by Iuri Grandini, presented a risotto with pescado (fish) accompanied with a reduction made up of espresso and coffee cherries. The second team, represented by Edoardo Quarta, served a pig rib coated in breadcrumbs, pepper, and coffee. On the side there was a gelatin of coffee cherries. The last team of baristas, captained by Fabio Verona, realized a cheese knell with coffee powder, caramel and local fruits (banana and papaya) accompanied by an infusion of seeds and sugar.

Some of the competitions are individual, and others find baristas working in small groups as teams.

Some of the competitions are individual, and others find baristas working in small groups as teams.

The jury, made up of the entire Atienza family, after a long and suffered appraisal, declared the third team, lead by Fabio Verona, as the winner.

The cooking challenge concluded the second day of Barista&Farmer, and the 15 exhausted and happy baristas retired to Casa Barista to rest up for day number 3.

About the Author

baristamagazine

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