Sarah, our Manager at Mojo South Wacker in Chicago, was part of the Mojo team that visited Guatemala and Colombia in February to meet the farmers who grow the coffee we drink in our cafes every day. Here are some of the highlights from the first few days of the trip.
First day in Guatemala and we’re already traveling the local way- back of a pick-up truck. Traveling through the farms while exposed to the fresh air, the scent of coffee, and the best views Guatemala has to offer was an incredible experience.
In this area coffee is not just a job, but shapes people’s entire lives. Armando, a farmer we currently source coffee from, has worked these three hectares since he was a young boy next to his father. At 1560m, his farm in Santa Rosa grows mostly catuai varietal.
Walking through the trees, I found this women hand picking. Unfortunately my Spanish wasn’t good enough to start a conversation but she looked up and smiled before going back to work. Hand picking increases cost and labor but keeps the trees in better condition than strip picking, and ensure only the ripest cherries make it to the mills.
We spent the evening at el Beneficio Santa Barbara, a local wet mill where cherries from multiple farms are sent to be processed. The two volcanos in the background, Fuego and Acatenango, provide not just a stunning view, but also the rich soil that helps coffee flourish in this area.
I was like a kid again, running around watching the day’s pick being delivered to the local wet mill to be processed. Because of the high volume of water needed by the machines used in Guatemala, you often find these larger wet mills that process multiple farms in the area.
Stay tuned for more stories from Origin!