USBC Champ Lem Butler is interviewed in Brazil about his origin trip experience with Ally Coffee
Along with barista, brewers cup, and roaster champions, Ally Coffee brought one other special guest on its amazing trip to Brazil last summer: a drone. This mechanical companion—along with a human film crew—was tasked with recording the adventures of the lucky participants on the trip, which was the prize Ally Coffee offered to United States Barista, Brewers Cup, and Roaster Champions and runner-ups from the 2016 competition year. The trip was also offered to the World Barista and Brewers Cup Champions through Ally’s Origin Trip sponsorship with World Coffee Events.
Since last summer, Ally has released four gorgeous short films that track the participants’ journey through three of Brazil’s most famous growing regions (Espirito Santo, Caparao, and Chapada de Minas), as well as exclusive interviews with the champs about what they’re learning and how the experience is effecting them as coffee professionals.
Today, Ally Coffee released the fifth video in the series, this one featuring an interview with United States Barista Champion Lem Butler (Counter Culture Coffee), which was shot at Fazenda Ninho Da Águia in Caparaó, Minas Gerais. The two-and-a-half-minute film also includes an interview with the farm’s owner, Clayton Monteiro Barossa, who points out the importance of so many human links in the coffee chain—barista, brewer, roaster, producer, and of course, importer being Ally—all coming together to learn from one another and share experiences. Clayton is a champion in his own right after winning Brazil’s coveted ‘Coffee of the Year’ award in both 2014 and 2015.
In his interview, Lem explains that while this isn’t is first trip to a coffee-producing country, it is his first opportunity to visit farms alongside people from such varied professional coffee backgrounds. “Going to origin really takes people, especially baristas, out of their element… to really see and understand—this is why you’re doing what you’re doing,” Lem says.
Ally Coffee will once again bring coffee champions to Brazil—this time to three different growing regions than were visited on the 2016 trip—in 2017. It was announced Wednesday that in addition to the U.S. Barista, Brewers Cup, and Roaster Champs, as well as runners-up; and the World Barista and Brewers Cup Champs, it will also bring the U.S. Cup Tasters Champ and runner-up, as well as the World Cup Tasters Champion.
To watch the four previous short films Ally Coffee made from the Brazil trip in 2016, you can follow these links: