In February 2023, The Barista League will take their 2022 champions on a five-day trip to Colombia.
BY VASILEIA FANARIOTI
SENIOR ONLINE CORRESPONDENT
Photos courtesy of The Barista League
Coffee event producers The Barista League are back with another Mystery Coffee Vacation trip—and this time they’re heading to Colombia. In February 2023, The Barista League (TBL) will be taking their 2022 champions on a five-day trip around the coffee-producing country. This trip, made possible by Crypto Baristas, Need a Barista, BWT, and in partnership with Café Tío Conejo, will allow the champions to connect with local baristas, visit coffee farms, and participate in various educational activities.
What’s in Store for the Champs
The trip will begin with a two-day coffee festival in Manizales, followed by an educational conference, titled Conversatorio, which will feature TED Talk-style discussions from various Colombian coffee professionals. Next, there will be a spa day, then a visit to the Tío Conejo farm. There, the champions will delve deeper into various industry topics such as harvesting, processing, cupping, and sustainability.
On the final night of the trip, back in Bogota, TBL will be hosting La Rumba Barista, a new event modeled on the success of their internationally renowned competitions. There will be three rounds of fast-paced coffee competition, as well as music and lights, all with a Colombian twist!
Ivanov Castellanos, the owner of Tío Conejo, recognizes TBL as a true partner in the farm’s coffee journey. “We are not orthodox in the way we move in the coffee world; we always want to go beyond the obvious, and we see in the Barista League a reflection of that philosophy,“ says Ivanov. “The Mystery Coffee Vacation is the opportunity to bring these champions to the coffee country par excellence, to introduce them to national baristas, and to give the coffee industry in Colombia a transformative, disruptive, and inclusive vision of living [with] coffee.”
A Trip to Connect
This year marks the second iteration of the Mystery Coffee Vacation; the first took place in 2019 in Seoul, South Korea. Six champions from across the globe came together for workshops, learned how to brew makgeolli, and even helped produce The Barista League: Seoul.
The focus of this year’s trip is connection. It will provide an opportunity for baristas from around the world to meet and work together, as well as connect with baristas and coffee producers in Colombia. This is an exciting opportunity for them to learn more about the coffee industry in Colombia and discover what goes on at the farm level.
Steve Moloney, founder of TBL, believes that lowering the barriers to entry in the coffee industry does not mean lowering the quality of an event. “The participants of the 2022 Mystery Coffee Vacation are proof of this. We have an incredible and diverse set of champion baristas from around the world who are at the absolute top of their game, and we are so excited for them to be able to connect with each other and with the communities in Colombia,“ he says.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Vasileia Fanarioti (she/her) is a senior online correspondent for Barista Magazine, and a freelance copywriter and editor with a primary focus on the coffee niche. She has also been a volunteer copywriter for the I’M NOT A BARISTA NPO, providing content to help educate people about baristas and their work. You can follow her adventures at thewanderingbean.net.