Why specialty coffee from Ecuador?
Why a specialty coffee from Ecuador?
The first job I did when I arrived in Germany was to look after guests at the Hannover Fair. Tucked into a tight suit, standing in front of a gallery for ten hours or running a full marathon in high heels, falling into bed at 11 p.m. with swollen feet and an empty stomach, only to go through the next marathon in the same high heels again at 8 a.m. the next day. Talking, smiling, walking, interpreting, and negotiating in an environment as noisy and chaotic as a mall on a Friday afternoon. For six years, I did this. Even if it was not all sweat and tears, I vowed never to work a trade show again.
Fifteen years later, and I see myself strolling through the "World of Coffee 2022" in Milan and I am immediately impressed. The high, sterile walls of the aisles, the artificially bright light of the spotlights, the nervous flow of thousands of voices, the clinking of bottles and the dull clatter of hundreds of footsteps muffled by the carpet: it was all too familiar. Only one thing was different: this time I was not tied to a booth and could freely explore this great universe of roasters, importers, producers, engineers, baristas and tasters without constraints. I met many wonderful people, learned tirelessly, explored and, of course, gave out samples of our coffee myself.
Fairs are noisy. Fairs are chaotic. Fairs are exhausting. But nowhere else do so many people with a common interest come together for a limited period of time. Here, 20,000 people in about 10,000 m2 for 3 days had only one thing on their minds: COFFEE!
For this trip, I had in my luggage some of our "little birds": our Sidras and Typica mejorada. I had brought a whole travel suitcase full of sample packs and after three days there was nothing left. In their place, I received many compliments and felt a lot of enthusiasm. Everyone was impressed by the wonderful taste, the balanced notes, the fruity and floral aromas. I know my coffee is good and would please the lovers gathered here. What surprised me were the many astonished faces when I said where my coffee was grown. In Ecuador? That such a coffee should come from this country was a surprise to most of them. In addition, there were only two exhibitors offering coffee from my country. This reinforced my desire to bring Ecuadorian specialty coffee to Europe.
The roasters and those interested in MishkiYaku Coffee asked me what makes Ecuadorian coffee so unique. It is the people that make it special, the story behind each bean harvested, the story of each protected hummingbird, the stories of the women who work hard on the plantations.
In Ecuador, coffee is grown in almost every province and almost all year round. It is the location, the climate, the soils, the way of cultivation and production that makes these beans happen. It is the love that all those involved feel for their land, for their culture; which has been stolen, sold, forgotten, rediscovered. A culture that is once again on the move, constantly evolving and on the rise.
Ecuadorian coffee is part of the country's history. It is as a collective memory shared within the family. It is a coffee to discover, to feel, to dream: of millenary forests, of endless beaches and mountains that rise to the sky.
I returned to Berlin on June 28, crawled into bed and slept for three days. Yes, fairs are still noisy, chaotic and exhausting. My ears were buzzing and my feet were blistered. However, a pleasant sense of accomplishment spread through me soon after my return and I know for sure that I will be going to WOC again next year.