Visiting Thailand is always very special. Aaron (our roaster) and myself spent 7 days visiting the motherland. We also had the privilege of being on a journey with the entire team from Saint Clare coffee and Saint Frank owner Kevin. They have become partners in buying our green coffee to roast for some signature drinks in their coffee shops. They were not only there to spent time visiting ITDP but build relationships that they have with Not For Sale (an organization that seeks to end Human Trafficking based out of San Francisco).
It was a journey that took us to the villages to not only taste and see how the current crop of coffee is developing, but also look at some new pilot projects we are starting up in the hills and surrounding villages.
The goal is to release a variety of blends and roast from special small lots that come from these villages. This would add an even greater variety to our already great tasting coffees. In this process we would be able to be even more farmer and village focused.
We spent time in a few different villages experiencing the journey that our bean goes through before it lands in up in our roaster! This involves picking, delpulping, fermenting, washing, drying, hulling, grading and then finally...shipping! Click here to learn more about specialty coffee processing.
We also had the privilege to pick coffee as well! It was my first time and a blast to bring a camera and document the journey. It was much harder than expected. It is easy to just pick the cherries but much more difficult to bounce from tree to tree trying to find them at their optimal ripeness. When cherries are picked too early, they will still have green on them and not be as fully developed as we would like.
As pictured above you will notice that the branch develops are various times requiring the tree to be picked 4, 5 or up to 6 times!
(pictured above - freshly picked coffee cherries being loaded onto the scale to calculate his payday)
Finally, we also got to sit down with Mike Mann (Director of ITDP), our direct partners who operate the coffee co-op that works to create holistic development with hill tribes in Thailand. ITDP is the boots on the ground. The work that they do on a regular basis is incredible and the love that they have for each villager was on display during our time in Thailand.
It was a blast to spend a little time with the ITDP staff, the Saint Frank/Saint Clare team from San Francisco and capture photos and videos that will help us to share the story of how this coffee has the ability to change lives!
There is much more that can be said but it was a complete honor take this journey, see the coffee on tree that will ultimately end up in your morning pot of coffee!