What a thrill to be formally invited by Chalo himself, to spend time in his home country of Colombia. We just couldn't stop thinking about this wonderful opportunity and though we would both have liked to have gone, it made sense that Roaster Matt be the one to experience this potentially life changing Origin trip. I mean, take a look at the video Chalo and his family put together. How could we resist?
The song in the background of that video is sung by one of Chalo's favourite artists, Latin Grammy winner Juan Luis Guerra. The translation of the song title is: I hope it rains coffee. Don't we all wish it could rain coffee sometimes? Organic, premium, freshly roasted please!
And so it was, that very early on the morning of June 7th 2016, Matt left for Colombia. Five other roasters from Ontario would be joining him on this trip. He connected with a couple along the way and by dinnertime that day, he was enjoying a beer with all fellow roasters (and Chalo of course).
The road to the coffee farm was epic in itself!
Look at those winding roads! Matt was glad he wasn't doing any of the driving, even if this is the road to great coffee!
Matt realized pretty quickly that this trip was very well organized and would be mind blowing.
Some of the other roasters from Ontario had brought their roasted Colombian beans and it was quite a treat to taste Chalo's coffee at the farm where it all started. Talk about a round trip! Beans exported to Ontario, roasted and brought back to the farm so the farmers and other roasters can taste it.
Chalo and his family are the ultimate hosts. Even his grandparents provided lodging! It is a true family-run business where members of the community are also part of the family. It was amazing to see what a bag of Squirrel ?! means to these folks. Their hard work, dedication, ethics, focus on sustainability is apparent every step of the way.
Here is a picture of Chalo, wearing his Direct Trade T-shirt. We are so blessed to have this partnership with such a caring, hard working family of coffee producers.
The adventures continue... stay tuned
If you want your own Squirrel?! you can get it on our online shop, or at our retail locations.