last week i went to a cupping, coffee tasting, at Four Barrel on valencia. i always feel a little intimidated but that's the world i want to work in so i put on my professional, too cool for school look, its excellent i assure you and i sidle up to the table.
the cupper has begun explaining the flavors already from the ground beans and she's not the usual cupper i am used to but she seems nice. its me, another couple and then about five minutes later a new guy joins us. he is trying to be very friendly and doesn't seem to know what's going on, so of course we talk. he asks about the flavors and has an interesting, as in very quiet slurping technique. he hasn't done this before and he asks if i'm in the coffee industry. so of course i give him my whole speal about my paper and coffee and the woes of the coffee farmer. he then asks what i think about fair trade. i say well hmmm not a big fan.
i explain that they only work with coops leaving out the smallest farmer and he dismisses me and starts talking ending with oh and i work in the coffee department of TransFair, the big Fair Trade NGO in oakland. oh wow, well great, glad i could talk your ear off. i know nothing, sorry....... he was still friendly and genuinely wants to know why the smaller specialty coffee companies aren't buying Fair Trade. he had the day off for ceasar chavez's b-day.
maybe he listened to my small farmer talk. that's the key but who knows. we exchanged emails so i'm hoping to get some input on the paper.
lucky coincidence, thank you ceasar chavez