Coffee is a fruit. Most people who work in specialty coffee recognize this. And yet, it can be difficult to reconcile the dark elixir we serve with the idea of red or yellow coffee “cherries.” How does coffee go from the fragrant tropical blossoms in this photo to your cup?
To get the back story, half of Seattle Coffee Works’ team took a trip to some of our favorite coffee farms during the 2016 harvest. We got to witness the harvest. We even helped. Following in the footsteps of the barista team who visited in 2014, we were mentored by our green coffee sourcing team (Oscar Garcia and Sebastian Simsch) and roasters (Ponch Estrel and Paul Ortiz). They have logged thousands of hours visiting farms and building relationships over the past five years.
In the coming weeks, you’ll see a series of “postcards” from the coffee farms both online and in our stores. These brief notes and photos are our attempt to convey some of the joys, discoveries, challenges, and insights of our journey. One takeaway stands out most of all: coffee is about people. The people who plant it, nurture it, and pick it. The people who wash, dry, ferment, and sort the beans. The people who roast and brew it. Last but not least, the people who drink it! Coffee is one unbroken chain of relationships from the bee pollinating a blossom to the customer cradling their morning cup of joe.