The Life of a Coffee Buyer

Bolivian Coffee Trip


The life of a coffee buyer is all glamour from a distance. Platinum levels of air miles and an Indiana Jones like dichotomy to life; time in the office nurturing unearthed green coffee treasures contrasting with a dust covered and limb risking pursuit of said green coffee as found between the Tropic of Cancer and Capricorn.

Au contraire, it is a life of paper work, production cupping and uttering “Give me strength” as you field yet another innocent inquiry as to whether light or dark roasted coffee has more caffeine. All the while being closely watched by baristas and production roasters everywhere lest there be a show of weakness or age and your (one of the few and coveted) position should open up…

Routine and terror are the poles between which one tends to oscillate but every so often there is the exception that proves the rule, and an invitation is extended for a trip to… say Bolivia or the like.

Such was the case recently, followed by a resounding “yes” and a flurry of effort to align the necessary ducks.

I depart for points south in two days time; ultimately Caranavi, Bolivia, the epicenter of coffee production, by way of L.A., Miami and La Paz.

The agenda is set and rigorous; to visit some Coops we’ve bought from in the past as well as some new ones that hold potential for the future. Six in total, salted with cuppings at will and a dry mill visit for a final flourish.

I’ll hope you’ll join me through updates from the road so long as developing world WiFi and any gastrointestinal indignities do not conspire against me.

Yours in solidarity to the bean.


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