Café Imports Barista Champ Trip to Colombia: It’s On!

Reg Barber has been busy making these custom tampers for the baristas on this special Café Imports Colombia trip!

Café Imports continues it’s awesome tradition of gifting an origin trip to the Regional, U.S., and World Barista Champions, this year talking the group of 2015 champs to Colombia, October 10 “19

It’s that very, very special time of year again, when Minneapolis-based importer, Café Imports (which also has offices in Europe and Australia) gathers up the United States Regional Barista Champions, the United States Barista Champion, and the World Barista Champion, plus a few lucky journalists, and mascots/chaperones Gianni Cassatini of Nuova Simonelli, and Reg Barber of Reg Barber Enterprises, and heads to a coffee-producing country!

Café Imports Barista Champ Trip to Colombia: It's On!
We’re off to Colombia!

Since Café Imports began offering this incredible prize to the barista champions in 2011, the company has guided barista groups through Brazil (2011), Costa Rica (2012), Kenya (2013), Ecuador (2014), and now Colombia. Baristas have said upon completion of the trip that they want to compete again, if only to embark on another Café Imports origin trip.

And it makes sense: Café Imports is known for taking incredibly good care of the group on these trips, curating an origin experience packed full of meetings with world renowned producers, farm visits, mill tours, hands-on coffee experiments, many, many cupping, and special treats like surfing (Costa Rica), a safari (Kenya), and time spent cavorting on Brazil’s famous beaches, for example.

Café Imports Barista Champ Trip to Colombia: It's On!
Hacienda Anacaona, where we’ll spend 3 nights in San Agustin. Photo by Café Imports

On Saturday, October 10, the baristas, Café Imports staffers, and lucky guests gathered in Bogotá, Colombia for the start of the trip. After a few hours of sleep, we were jetting off to Neiva to meet with the famous Los Naranjos group of producers.

Today, Monday, October 12, we are doing two of my most favorite things in the world: cupping and horseback riding! This isn’t just your typical horseback riding excursion though: we’ll be riding though Los Naranjos. Un. Be. Leivable.

We wanted to keep our readers up to with what the group is doing in Colombia this week, hence this post! Also, be sure to stay tuned to @BARISTAMAGAZINE on Instagram and Twitter through October 19, as I will be updating photos and news as fast as I can!

Café Imports Barista Champ Trip to Colombia: It's On!
Reigning World Barista Champion Sasa Sestic will be on this trip! In fact, he wouldn’t miss an opportunity to visit Colombia, as his WBC-winning coffee hails from there!

THE BARISTAS
Lem Butler, Counter Culture Coffee, Southeast Regional Barista Champion
Sam Lewontin, Everyman Espresso, Northeast Regional Barista Champion
Ryan Soeder, Intelligentsia Coffee, North Central Regional Barista Champion
Radames Roldan, Blueprint Coffee, South Central Regional Barista Champion
Sam Schroeder, Olympia Coffee Roasters, Northwest Regional Barista Champion
Sasa Sestic, Ona Coffee, World Barista Champion
(Yes, sadly, we are missing Southwest Regional and United States Barista Champion Charles Babinski of Go Get ‘Em Tiger on this trip.  Charles and his wife just had a beautiful baby girl though, so he’s staying home for this one.)

THE CAFE IMPORTS-ERS
Noah Namowicz
Luis Arocha
Jess Brotzler

THE MASCOTS
Reg Barber, Reg Barber Enterprises
Gianni Cassatini, Nuova Simonelli

Café Imports Barista Champ Trip to Colombia: It's On!
Reg Barber has been busy making these custom tampers for the baristas on this special Café Imports Colombia trip! (Photo by Reg Barber)

THE JOURNALISTS
Sarah Allen
Emily McIntyre

and last but not least, THE OFFICIAL SCHEDULE

Café Imports Barista Champ Trip to Colombia: It's On!
Oh, the places we’ll go!

 

About Sarah 918 Articles
Sarah Allen (she/her) 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.