We packed up for a quick trip to Seattle last week. Erin was competing for her first time in the United States Barista Championship!
We knew that it was going to be a caffeine-filled weekend, but we had no idea what other surprise was waiting for us there. We ran into Kalsada Coffee, our friends-from-the-internet who we'd conversed with from overseas.
For the first time ever, we got to meet these folks in person! They've been helping us with the logistics of our coffee farm, providing advice and support.
We were finally able to taste specialty Filippino coffee. This particular lot scored an 86, a very high quality grade. This is nearly unprecedented from coffee out of this country. The best news? They were serving up a single origin named Sitio Belis - and it happens to be grown only a few miles away from our own farm.
With a very similar climate and many of the same varietals, this coffee was an excellent indicator of what flavors our own harvests will yield.
We were high-fiving, jumping up and down, hugging our friends. It was a beautiful, highly drinkable, extremely tasty coffee. It was a light/medium body, with notes of sweet toasted coconut, black tea, and lemon.
It was an extremely surreal and encouraging moment. We were surrounded by people that understood our mission and desire to serve beautiful coffee from this region. We made plans to visit their processing facility, as we are in the beginning stages of building our own (which you can help with! Click here.)
Of course, we were also there to compete. Erin scored well, but didn't make the finals of the barista competition.
"It's okay," Kalsada told us. "Next year you will compete with Filippino coffee. Something you really, really have a heart for. It is a story no one has heard yet."
We absolutely can't wait.