Let’s Talk Coffee® Interview: Fabrizio Sención Ramírez

Let’s Talk Coffee® Interview: Fabrizio Sención Ramírez

From October 13-16, Let’s Talk Coffee® will hold its 13th gathering, bringing together roasters, producers, financiers, and other stakeholders throughout the specialty-coffee supply chain in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Leading up to the event, we’re profiling some of the people and elements that make Let’s Talk Coffee® a unique, must-attend event. Head here for more info and to register today! If you’ve ever met Fabrizio Sención Ramírez, there’s a good chance you remember his trademark mustache that flairs handlebars at its ends. His look may be memorable, but his accomplishments are what have truly made him stand out in the specialty-coffee world. In addition to being a multi-time winner of the Mexico Barista Championship and the second-place finisher at the the 2012 World Barista Championship, Fabrizio is the owner of Guadalajara’s Cafe Sublime and the Cafe Estelar roasted brand. This expert on Mexico’s specialty-coffee scene will play an important role in our Let’s Talk Coffee® Mexico program, exploring his nation’s emerging coffee culture. We spoke to Fabrizio about his history of attending Let’s Talk Coffee®, his feelings on coffee in Mexico, and much more. Q: How many Let’s Talk Coffee® events have you been to? A: This year will be my fifth. I started with Nicaragua in 2009, where we went to Selva Negra and a group of us baristas competed in the Seed to Cup Challenge. We lived on the finca—sleeping in the same rooms as producers, eating the same food, harvesting ripe cherries, and planting seedlings. It was a very interesting experience. I remember waking up at five in the morning to work in such a beautiful environment. After...
Let’s Talk Coffee® Interview: Hanna Neuschwander

Let’s Talk Coffee® Interview: Hanna Neuschwander

On October 13-16, Let’s Talk Coffee® will hold its 13th gathering, bringing together roasters, producers, financiers, and other stakeholders throughout the specialty-coffee supply chain in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Leading up to the event, we’re profiling some of the people and elements that makes Let’s Talk Coffee® a unique, must-attend event. Head here for more info and to register today! At the last Let’s Talk Coffee® Global event in 2014, the famed Geisha variety played a key role in the program. It was only fitting, as the event’s host country that year—Panama—produces some of the world’s best Geisha coffee that has fetched incredible prices at auction. To tackle the amazing story of Geisha, we turned to Hanna Neuschwander, author of the 2012 book “Left Coast Roast,” who has since become Communications Director at World Coffee Research. She took the audience through the complete story of Geisha, from how the variety earned its name to its flavor, reputation, high prices, and much more. Now with Let’s Talk Coffee® Mexico right around the corner (October 13-16 in Puerto Vallarta), we sat down with Hanna to discuss her experience in Panama, her feelings on coffee in 2016, and what this year’s Let’s Talk Coffee® theme, “Prospering in the New Reality,” means to her. Q: What was your experience with Let’s Talk Coffee® and what impact did it have on you? A: I heard about Let’s Talk Coffee® long before Panama. Despite not working in coffee years before, it was always an event I wanted to go to, but seemed out of reach. I was invited to LTC for my work on the Geisha...
Let’s Talk Coffee®: Convening Industry Leaders

Let’s Talk Coffee®: Convening Industry Leaders

On October 13-16, Let’s Talk Coffee® will hold its 13th gathering, bringing together roasters, producers, financiers, and other stakeholders throughout the specialty-coffee supply chain in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Leading up to the event, we’re profiling some of the people and elements that makes Let’s Talk Coffee® a unique, must-attend event. Head here for more info and to register today! At each Let’s Talk Coffee® since the event’s inception in 2003, we’ve learned amazing things from professionals who are either in the industry or in some way connected to it. Each of us has a stake and a story to share, and when we come together, we are able to innovate and create the strongest possible version of the coffee supply chain. Below are a few stories about leaders who have journeyed to Let’s Talk Coffee® to share their expertise and push for a healthy, sustainable coffee industry. Rick Peyser gave a prominent talk about his rich career at our last Let’s Talk Coffee®, in Panama in 2014. Rick became well-known in the coffee industry during his 27-year tenure at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, where he led a team focused on improving living conditions for coffee producers and their families. He is also a past president of the SCAA and served on the board of Fair Trade Labelling Organizations International (FLO). Currently he serves as Senior Relationship Manager for Coffee & Cocoa for Lutheran World Relief. Rick attended global Let’s Talk Coffee® events many times during his career at Green Mountain. One of his areas of focus was food security for smallholder coffee farmers; in 2007, working with the research...
Let’s Talk Coffee® Interview: Laila Willbur

Let’s Talk Coffee® Interview: Laila Willbur

On October 13-16, Let’s Talk Coffee® will hold its 13th gathering, bringing together roasters, producers, financiers, and other stakeholders throughout the specialty-coffee supply chain in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Leading up to the event, we’re profiling some of the people and elements that makes Let’s Talk Coffee® a unique, must-attend event. Head here for more info and to register today!  Laila Willbur had an exciting year in coffee in 2014: After winning the United States Barista Championship in Seattle, she traveled to Rimini, Italy, to represent her country at the World Barista Championship. (She placed 10th.) In the ensuing months, Laila—who is Director of Coffee at the Cherry Street Coffee House chain of cafes in Seattle—made many trips as a barista ambassador and representative of her title. Among them, she traveled to Panama for Let’s Talk Coffee® 2014. Joined by producer Emilio Lopez Diaz of Cuatro M and roaster Phil Beattie of Dillanos, Laila and the team shared with the audience the story of collaboration that led to her barista victory (watch the session here). We talked to Laila about her experience in Panama and why Let’s Talk Coffee® is an important industry event. Q: What was Let’s Talk Coffee® like for you, and how did it differ from other events? A: As the Chair of the Barista Guild of America, I attend a lot of coffee events, from small regional events to more global coffee expos. Most of these events, and my involvement in them, are very geared toward engaging and educating baristas. Let’s Talk Coffee® was a completely different type of event for me. Being at an event...
What is Let’s Talk Coffee®?

What is Let’s Talk Coffee®?

Last week, registration opened for Let’s Talk Coffee® 2016, taking place in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, October 13-16. Coffee pros from around the world will flock to this supply chain gathering, in its 13th edition. But before we look forward to the event in Mexico, let’s step back to learn more about what makes Let’s Talk Coffee® a destination event. Sustainable Harvest® launched Let’s Talk Coffee® in 2003 as a way for stakeholders throughout the coffee industry to share knowledge and build relationships in a relaxed setting. Sustainable Harvest® created the Relationship Coffee Model, and Let’s Talk Coffee® was a way to bring that model to life: With the entire supply chain connecting and conducting business built on solid transparent relationships, the event—and the model—could truly thrive. That first Let’s Talk Coffee® drew 60 participants and representatives from five countries in Oaxaca, México. The conference has steadily grown since then, and the most recent Let’s Talk Coffee®—in Panama in 2014—was the biggest yet, bringing together more than 550 growers, co-op leaders, financiers, NGOs, roasters and baristas from 32 countries. In addition to uniting a diverse group of stakeholders, Let’s Talk Coffee® features high-quality presentations from industry thought leaders on pressing issues affecting the industry, and provides a collaborative forum for participants to brainstorm solutions to these issues. Let’s Talk Coffee® also offers a chance to recognize producer excellence, cup excellent coffees, and calibrate as a supply chain. In addition to lectures, workshops, and cupping sessions, Let’s Talk Coffee® includes a farm field trip to see how coffee and other agricultural products are grown. This year’s event will offer two field...
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