New Video & News from Puerto Rico Barista & Farmer Project!

Editor’s note: Barista Magazine is thrilled to be sponsoring the Barista & Farmer Coffee Reality TV project happening right now in Puerto Rico. Publisher Ken Olson will travel to Puerto Rico on Wednesday to attend the event, which brings 15 Italian baristas together at Hacienda San Pedro to work the farm, learn from agronomists, and participate in challenges, and he’ll write about it here on the blog and in the December+January issue of Barista Magazine.  

But you want to hear how things are going NOW, don’t you? Luckily, journalist  Davide Agazzi,  is on the ground in Puerto Rico, sharing stories from the event with us. Here is his second installment. (To read his first report, go HERE.) And be sure to check out the  video, too!

November 4, 2013
Jayuya, Puerto Rico

After months of planning, emailing, waiting, and anticipating, the first edition of the coffee reality show Barista & Farmer, first format reality project of its kind, has finally begun. The first day opened with the departure of the baristas from Casa Barista (the mansion that hosts all of the 15 participants) and their arrival at Hacienda San Pedro, where they experienced the typical breakfast of the recojedores (coffee pickers).

When breakfast was over, the project was officially opened by its directors, Francesco Sanapo, Alberto Polojac, and Rebecca Atienza, who explained the dynamics of the competition to the baristas. The coffee reality show is divided into three parts: the first sees the baristas directly involved in the picking of the coffee in the plantation; the second is an academic element that is led by both Italian and Puerto Rican coffee experts; and the third is a series of challenges from which baristas win points which, in the end, will determine the winner of the show.

Roberto Atienza, owner of the Hacienda San Pedro, then recounted the history of his business and farm, which was started by his family four generations ago. Roberto also underlined the interesting position of his property, which is located on the Jayuya plateau, one of the highest locations in all of Puerto Rico. The lesson concluded with an overview of the different botanical varieties present in at Hacienda San Pedro.

In the afternoon the baristas competed in two different tests: an active one designed to relieve the muscles after an entire morning in class, and a technical one. For the occasion, the 15 baristas were split in three different teams to compete against one another.

The active test, that didn’t fail to put a smile on the faces of the bystanders and the participants themselves, saw two baristas for each team racing in a (coffee, of course) sack race, with the additional hurdle of having to hold a cup in one hand. The winning team was team number one, composed of   Pierangelo Chiarelli, Carmine Iannone, Elisa Molle, Edoardo Quarta, and Giacomo Vannelli.

Event organizer Francesco Sanapo goes crazy for the food!
Event organizer Francesco Sanapo goes crazy for the food!

After this hilarious activity, the second test was a little more serious: it required the contestants to separate, in a five-minute time limit, baristas had to separate ripe from unripe cherries. The goal of this test it to raise awareness about the importance of selective picking: the winning barista, who separated one kilo of coffee fruits, was Iuri Grandini.

This afternoon at Hacienda San Pedro clearly illustrated the enthusiasm and vibrancy of the Barista & Farmer project, a show that aims to be, besides a fun and easygoing competition, a way to learn and get in touch with the origin of coffee.

Event supportated by: Hacienda San Pedro, Sigep, La Cimbali, Imperator, 9Bar, Pulycaff, Quarta Caffè, Caffè del Faro, Caffè Corsini, Pacorini, Brambati, Pascucci, Costadoro.


Media Partners: Barista Magazine & Comunicaffè.


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