Training Coffee Farmers in Oaxaca, Mexico

Aug 18, 2010
The sunny southern Mexico town of Oaxaca, a tourist hotspot known for its local food movement, rich cultural traditions, and lively arts scene, just received a major influx of BUNN coffee brewing equipment.

Oaxaca is the biggest city in the state of Oaxaca, which is one of Mexicos main coffee growing regions. Despite the zones close relationship with coffee, the cafe culture is relatively undeveloped. So when four big, sturdy cardboard boxes full of the latest brewing technology arrived to Espacio Caf, excitement was in the air. Espacio Caf is the non-profit coffee education center at Sustainable Harvest Coffee Importers office in Oaxaca. The center trains coffee farmers and cooperatives in topics ranging from best practices in agronomy and cupping to roasting and coffee preparation.

The equipment was donated to Espacio Caf as part of an effort to teach grower cooperatives how to diversify their income by selling prepared coffee in coffee shops, so theyre not as dependent on green coffee sales. This means that if theres a bad harvest season, coffee growers have another source of income to fall back on. BUNN sent down a hot water tower, a brewer, a double hopper grinder, and a couple of really handy airpots (extremely hard to get a hold of in Oaxaca!). Luis Martinez (on right), BUNNs maintenance man in Mexico, installed the equipment, and showed Clemente Santiago Paz (director of Espacio Caf, on left) how to use it.

Espacio Caf has incorporated the machines in its classes on preparing coffee and cafe management. In the first class where coffee producers experimented with the equipment, Clemente commented, After getting over their initial surprise at how many advanced settings the machines had, the students started getting down to business, asking about grind size, brewed coffee quantity, and the machines cost. Learning about different brew methods and brewing equipment is an integral part of the coffee shop training, and Clemente is positive it will help coffee farmers think about ways to increase their incomes, ultimately creating a more sustainable supply chain for the coffee we all know and love. Thank you BUNN for the equipment and making an impact at origin.

Katie Gilmer
Sustainable Harvest


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