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  • Marta Dalton

A Labour of Love

We are so excited to share Roberto and Celeste’s story, I’m actually tearing up a bit as I write.  This is a story of resilience and courage and dedication to keep a multi generational tradition alive.

How We Met


We met Celeste last year when my mom bumped into her at ANACAFE.  They started chatting and soon Celeste shared her story.


Over the last 10 years she and her family had been working with a “coyote,” an introducer.  After 10 years of a good track record,in 2013 the coyote took her coffee and never paid, leaving her completely stranded.


Leap of Faith


Instead of dwelling on it, her husband Roberto and her poured their life savings into building a wet mill, and decided they would never need a coyote again.  Roberto initially resigned from his job, but his company convinced him to take a 2 month leave of absence from his work to dedicate his time to the farm and the mill.  It was a courageous leap of faith and we are honoured to share it.


We visited their farms on the 17 January.  Their management of the farms was impeccable.  Every aspect was well thought through in the most meticulous, organised and disciplined manner.  We walked for a few hours through the different farms and lots of different varietals.




It was only during lunch that Celeste mentioned that it was meeting my mom at ANACAFE that had really inspired her to go forward with the mill. It even caused a bit of tension with her mother and sister.  They all thought she was crazy but she said she had my mom to thank for giving her the courage to go forward!  I couldn’t help but feel a bit of panic. We hadn’t tried their coffees yet. What if we couldn’t help them market their coffees?


Check out the wet mill below:


Weighing Station

Patios

Celeste and Roberto separate each picking by day and varietal, so we tried multiple samples.  Here is a picture of their warehouse:



With the samples in hand, the pressure was on for us.



Last week after cupping them several times it passed our test.  The coffee was balanced with dark chocolate and fruit notes.When we started Coffee Bird, I imagined that there were farmers out there like Celeste and Roberto.  Their story is a reminder of the inefficiencies of the supply chain, and the need for us to work together to improve it.



We are pleased to share their Roberto and Celeste's journey and help them find a home for their coffee.  This will be the first year that coffees from their farms are offered as they are.  In the past their coffee was blended at the mill with others.   Their new mill provides a host of new opportunities for Roberto and Celeste and the surrounding community.


Well done Roberto & Celeste!