When you have more than 500 people ”some who speak Spanish and others who only understand English ”in a big hotel, in an unfamiliar country, it’s almost impossible to serve them all well. But Sustainable Harvest’s Let’s Talk Coffee team really does seem to be doing just that right now here in Panama.
The common denominator here at the annual gathering of coffee producers, roasters, baristas, agronomists, and other coffee professionals is, of course, coffee. Education about it, camaraderie around it, relationships built on it ”all that is happening here at this three-day event in Panama City. And in between topics taught by some of the most formidable leaders in the coffee industry, such as Dr. Aaron Davis of Kew Gardens in the U.K., Price Peterson of Hacienda La Esmeralda here in Panama, Chad Trewick of INTL FTStone in the U.S., Michael Sheridan of the Borderlands Coffee Project in Ecuador, and many, many others ”in between those discussions about Gesha and roya and financing, we’re swimming in spectacular swimming pools in one of the most beautiful beachside resorts I’ve ever seen. We’re also eating like kings and queens, making hundreds of new friends and having the kinds of involved conversations you can’t have on a busy trade show floor, laughing and enjoying one another.
As I write this, day 2 of Let’s Talk Coffee is coming to a close. With one more day left before participants head out on field trips to the country’s famous coffee farms on Sunday and Monday, I wanted to offer a look at what we’ve been up to here in Panama so far.