After last month’s cupping and talk on Kenyan coffee by Four Barrel, I wanted to know more about their coffee from Latin America, and last night at 18 Reasons, it was a pleasure to taste and learn about some of the flavors Four Barrel has discovered in Guatemala, Colombia, and Costa Rica.
To say that Latinos love coffee is an understatement, I mean. We. Really. Love. Coffee. Especially that cafe con leche for breakfast, or lunch, or in the afternoon, and yes, even after dinner. Every time is a good time for un cafecito. Just thinking about it makes me smile, and immediately puts me in a good mood.
But what was really special about the evening, was the stories told by Four Barrel’s Head Roaster, Tal Mor. As was the case with Kenya, Tal travelled to Latin America to visit the coffee farms. That level of commitment to build personal relationships is almost unheard of in the coffee business, and the effort is worth the end result.
For example, Four Barrel roasts and samples coffee beans from all the farms they visit, on the spot. That way, they can compare what they saw in Latin America, with what arrived in San Francisco. In one case, Four Barrel even asked a farmer to separate beans in order to purchase a higher grade varietal. And that is why we are getting some of the best coffee in the world here.
At the end of the evening, I asked Tal if they were thinking of visiting other countries in Latin America and I was delighted to hear that their adventures there have just begun. And then I imagined what it would be like to travel to Peru or Bolivia and visit the coffee farms in the land of my ancestors, where I had my first cafe con leche, and it’s always a good time for un cafecito.