When did your coffee journey start? Mine started in 2012 in one of Mexico’s smallest states. Before this time, coffee wasn’t a drink I especially cared for. I don’t remember any previous introduction to specialty coffee. But as time progressed, God called us to become missionaries in Mexico. Our family was placed in a bustling villa on the edge of the big city of Colima. Obviously much more could be said about this experience, but among the many new culinary experiences, we also discovered fresh coffee!
About an hours drive from our villa was an active volcano, Volcan de Fuego. On the flanks and hills surrounding this mountain, is a thriving coffee growing region. It was in these tropical highlands that I was introduced to the world of specialty coffee. I will always have pleasant memories of winding our way up narrow curving roads on misty, foggy mornings and then sipping fresh hot coffee in chilly open air cafes. I’d take some Café en Grano (wholebean coffee) back to the lower coastal plains, but recreating the same coffee experience was usually a challenge. On two different occasions we were fortunate to be able to visit a beautiful and active coffee growing region in southern Chiapas. There we realized first hand the challenges that farmers and producers have in bringing a quality product to market! I have much respect for their efforts!
Coming back to Kansas was bittersweet. We had come to love Mexico and it’s people. Among the many things we learned in our almost 3 years there was that, wherever we find ourselves, God has a way for us to love and serve the people around us. There is real fulfillment in finding this, His way. It’s not limited to our location; ‘Bloom where you are planted’ takes on new meaning from this perspective.
What does this have to do with coffee? Think Relationships. Serving others a small simple pleasure, is rewarding to both parties. Connecting with others through a common interest. Or bringing new life and appreciation to old subjects. Then there’s satisfaction in being a part of the supply chain connecting the consumer to those hardworking individuals in another, distant part of the world. Community becomes more real. Team makes us realize that transparency from farm to cup, has more than a monetary value. People have equal rights and value wherever we are located! Truly, making a difference in our world, together!