Rimini, 3 May 2018 - Finca La Cabaña in San Augustin, Finca el Paraiso in Vereda Cristo Rey, Finca Bellavista, Finca Santana el Bolson and Finca el Mirador, the last three in the municipality of Pitalito: it is here, on plantations confiscated from drug traffickers, in southern Colombia, where the government has confiscated land from cocaine producers, donating it to small farmers who are now producing excellent coffee, that from 1 to 10 June, the fourth edition of Barista & Farmer will be staged, the only international talent event dedicated to the promotion and culture of top-quality coffee.
Ten of the world’s best baristas will fly to Colombia, to the coffee plantations of the departments of Meta and Huila, to enjoy an experience as real "farmers", coffee pickers, including hands-on competitions and theoretical lessons in the special Barista Academy. Here, they will learn the latest production techniques and, for the first time, create a truly personalised blend. Among the new features of the 2018 edition are various activities dedicated to the discovery of Colombian culture through traditional dance, painting and sports lessons, as well as cooking competitions and guided tours.
Barista & Farmer was conceived by Francesco Sanapo, several-times award-winning champion barista, in collaboration with Italian Exhibition Group and SIGEP - International Exhibition of Artisanal Gelato, Pastry, Bakery and Coffee, under the patronage of the SCA - Speciality Coffee Association, with institutional partners IILA - Italian-Latin American Institute, SENA - Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje (National Learning Service), Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia and Gobernación del Huila, in partnership with World Coffee Events, Lavazza with the iTierra! project and the support of La Cimbali, Faema, Mumac Academy, Urnex, Genovese Coffee; golden media partners Barista Magazine and Bargiornale; media partner Bean Scene, Cafè Olé, News, Coffee T&I, Coffee Talk, Crema, Espresso Magazine, European Coffee Trip, Roast Magazine.
Among the key words of the new edition, training, competition, research, culture, quality, to which must be added the value of sustainability: Barista & Farmer aims not only to train true ambassadors of "specialty" coffee (of particularly high quality), but also to be a cultural bridge between Colombia, the world's third largest coffee producer, and Italy. It also aims, through the active involvement of institutional partners, to strengthen the links between the countries of origin and the entire coffee chain.
The lucky finalists, selected from among more than 250 professionals by a panel of judges made up of trade professionals, are: Sara Ricci, 28, Italian, from Pozzuoli; Diego Campos, 27, from Colombia; Iuliia Dziadevych, 25, from the Ukraine; Matija Matijaško, 26, from Croatia; Daniel Munari, 32, from Brazil; Victoria Rovenskaya, 26, from Russia; Vala Stefansdottir, 30, from Iceland; David Lau -Cong Yuan, 23, from China; Rie Hasuda Moore, 36, from Japan; Glenn Bailey, 34, from Australia..
The 10 competitors will have the chance to discover the entire coffee processing cycle, from the bean to the cup, through the use of different technologies, right up to the tasting experience and various consumption opportunities.
"Common characteristics of the chosen plantations are the excellence and quality of the coffee they produce, together with the great passion of the producers who work in full respect of the farmers and their families, the protection of the surrounding area and the environment, say the organizers.
The baristas will enjoy a comprehensive experience in the world of coffee; waking up at dawn to spend the morning in the "finca" (plantation) harvesting the beans, weighing, use of the "depulping machine" and roasting. These activities will be accompanied by lessons at the Barista & Farmer Academy, under the direction of expert Alberto Polojac, and led by numerous teachers with international cultural profiles, such as the judges of the World Coffee Events Sonja Grant and Scott Conary, the president of Barista & Farmer Rebecca Atienza, former hostess of the first edition of the talent event in Puerto Rico, and the Australian roasting champion, Ben Toovey. Starting with the training modules of the SCA Coffee Skills Program, topics such as agronomy, botany, raw coffee, roasting, and extraction methods will also be addressed. For the partecipants, it will be a real "marathon" in which different methods will be proposed as alternatives to the classic preparation of natural coffee, washed and honey processed, borrowed for the first time from the world of beer and wine, for example through fermentation with yeasts or aromatization with different herbs, until double fermentation is achieved. The final goal will be to create an own personalized coffee.
Besides work and study, the competitors will also have fun and recreation, with dinners and dances on the plantation, games, theme competitions and itineraries, all dedicated to the discovery of traditions and local beauty.
For the entire duration of the talent event, a number of Meta producers will follow the operations. In Meta, one of Colombia's 32 largest coffee producing departments, the Lavazza Foundation is active with sustainability projects aimed at the community of farmers and their families.
Lavazza supports Barista & Farmer with the global ¡Tierra! project which has involved, through the Giuseppe and Pericle Lavazza Foundation NGO, the communities of the Municipality of Mesetas in the department of Meta, a coffee region with a high vocation, located at the foot of the Eastern Cordillera, where because of the armed conflict coffee cultivation has not been practiced for a long time. With the end of the FARC conflict, since 2013 families of farmers have received from the government land previously used for illegal crops, with the aim of making plantations flourish.
"The Lavazza Foundation project, developed in collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance NGO," says Michele Cannone, Head of Food Service Marketing at Lavazza, "has helped over one hundred Colombian farming families to restore coffee plantations after the guerrilla period, creating sustainable working conditions and improving coffee quality and plantation productivity through sustainable cultivation standards.
In just a short time, it has been possible to produce top-quality coffee for the Lavazza ¡Tierra! Colombia product, which comes from 100% sustainable agriculture certified by Rainforest Alliance, an international organization that promotes the adoption of more sustainable agricultural practices for the protection of the environment and which ensures farmers have decent living conditions. ¡Tierra! Colombia rides the current trends in the world of coffee: sustainability and attention to origin and to the preparation of products.