Monday, August 25, 2008

Slow Food Presidia Coffees at Slow Food Nation

For the first time Slow Food Nation brings together producers and
co-producers from the United States who identify with Slow Food’s
philosophy of good, clean and fair.
This is a significant opportunity to meet Central American and
Caribbean coffee producers whose coffee is used by US roasters in a
beneficial interaction between global North and South. The event
promises to be a valuable occasion for reflection, education and
building important new commercial channels.

Some producers from the Huehuetenango Highlands Coffee Presidium
(Guatemala) and Sierra Cafetalera Coffee Presidium (Dominican
Republic) are attending the San Francisco event with their coffees.
They are keen to discuss, talk about their activities and meet their
"consumers" and the "market", two entities which are still remote and
abstract for growers.

The producers will meet the public at the Presidium Coffee Cupping
Workshop held on Saturday August 30 at 10 am at the Fort Mason Center
(Bldg C, Room 370). Participants will sample coffee from the
Huehuetenango and Sierra Cafetalera Presidia roasted by Mr Espresso
(wood-fired roaster in Oakland, among the first in the Bay Area to
enthusiastically welcome the coffee supplied by the Presidia) in a
cupping led by Andi C. Trindle (Andi C. Trindle has been in the coffee
industry since 1989 and is currently serving as co-chair of the
Specialty Coffee Association of America Cupping Subcommittee and
working with the Barista Guild of America).

Slow Food Nation is a significant event for the producers of the
Huehuetenango coffee Presidium because it marks the beginning of a
collaborative venture with a local roaster: Blue Bottle Coffee. James
Freeman, founder and owner of Blue Bottle decided to buy 10 bags of
Presidium coffee and roast it at his Oakland facility, supplying it
both at his stand in the Civic Center and from his website in special
packaging dedicated to the event.
Huehuetenango Presidium coffee can also be sampled in the Taste Area,
where with help from the Curator, Andrew Barnett, specific meetings
are organized between producers and the public.
Finally, on September 1, a dinner will bring the growers together with
a selected group of roasters at the Coffee Bar (1890 Bryant Street,
corner of Florida and Mariposa). Chef Eskender Aseged will offer
guests a menu of delicate flavors where the two Presidium coffees will
accompany local products. It will be followed by a cupping of the two
coffees, freshly roasted for the occasion by Mr Espresso led by Andi
C. Trindle.

The Huehuetenango Highlands and Sierra Cafetalera coffee Presidia form
part of the Project Café y Caffè – “Regional Network for the Support
of Small Coffee Producers of the Central American and Caribbean
Region. The Program is financed by the Italian Government through the
Director General for Development Cooperation at the Italian Foreign
Ministry and through the Overseas Agricultural Institute (IAO) of

The coffee produced by the Huehuetenango Highlands Presidium is a 100%
washed Arabica coffee of the varieties typica, bourbon and caturra,
grown at an altitude above 1500 meters on the slopes of the
Cuchumatanes mountains, in one of the most suitable coffee-growing
areas in Guatemala. The coffee from the Sierra Cafetalera Presidium is
also 100% washed Arabica, the varieties are typica and caturra, grown
in the shade of native trees at over 1250 meters in the area of the
provinces of Indipendencia, Bahoruco and Elias Piña, near the border
with Haiti. The two Presidia include dozens of families of small
coffee growers and strive to improve coffee quality as well as the
quality of life for producers, shortening the supply chain and
ensuring they obtain fair returns from direct sale. Work has been done
since 2002 for the Huehuetenango Presidium, and since 2006 for the
Sierra Cafetalera Presidium, to draw up production rules which
guarantee an artisan approach and sustainability in all the stages of
production. The result of these ongoing efforts are two specialty
coffees with extraordinary aroma and flavor, as well as exemplary
environmental and social credentials.

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