A Taste of Origin


I was fortunate enough to attend a coffee talk recently facilitated by Kamran and Louise of Fiori Coffee. The talk was given by Gerardo Barrios, a 7th generation coffee grower, roaster, and cafe owner, who’s family estate in Honduras produces wonderful coffee using natural processes and innovation, coupled with techniques and traditions passed down through the years.

Gerado gave us an insight into the world of coffee growing and the importance of the crop to the economy of Honduras, as well as some idea of the work and love that is involved in creating the finest coffees, woven through the story of his families coffee, and his attempts to bring it to the rest of the world.

It’s hard not to get inspired and excited when listening to Gerado speak. His love for coffee is unshakeable, and the romanticism of it all is hard to escape, tempered only by the solemn reality that the livelihoods of so many people rely on this one little bean. As Gerado wisely says… this so called “humble bean” is not so humble.

Grown by:

Also fortunate for me was that I’ve been asked to do a write up for a local magazine, so for now, head on over to Grendels blog, and check out his excellent wrap up on the talk and some of the pertinent issues raised.

9 thoughts on “A Taste of Origin”

  1. Once again Matt – great photos! One day I’ll remember to bring my camera. Interested in teaching food photography? (or is that Phoodography?)

  2. Hey Matt

    Was reading through your blog again, when I saw a pic of Gerardo. He’s actually a colleague of mine and I remember when the coffee importing idea was only a bean in his thoughts. Yes, he’s very passionate and knowledgeable and he’s very handy for Spanish homework too. Great write up. Cheers!

  3. Grendel, it’s all in the lens… and a little love in the post processing helps too… Be more than happy to give you a few pointers next time. Excellent work on your write up too, it was an excellent event.

    Peter, I’ll have to say hi next time I see Gerardo then :) He is indeed a very passionate guy and if I knew half as much as he did about coffee I’d be pretty happy.

  4. I’m off to the same session at Fiori today! Just had a cup of it made by Miss Silvia and Mr?:)Rocky. Can’t thank you enough for introducing me to my new friends in the kitchen!

  5. Am eating large amounts of humble pie here… As much as I still am a great fan of Biobean coffee (have you tried it yet?) I have to admit I am over the moon with the Fiori beans I recently acquired! Living in “The Hills” has meant getting my hands on some Fiori has been a long time coming. However, before we recently headed off to Rotto for a 6 day sojourn I stocked up on essentials…. DECENT coffee being at the top of the list (let’s face it, the only thing worth raving about at “Dome” is the view!). Armed with my trusty “stove-top” (I cruelly wasn’t allowed to take my big baby!!)and 2 packets of Fiori we headed over to holiday mecca! Well, those 2 bags hardly saw us out those 6 days! So enraptured were we!… I am converted! Thanks for the great article… I want MORE!

  6. Alex, always a pleasure, and i’m glad to have helped your journey along it’s way a little :)

    Lorraine, I have yet to fully try BioBean at home, however I did have some at the Food & Wine show last year, as made by Ben of BioBean at their stall. It was pretty nice, think it was the Femenino blend, but I can’t really be sure. My only issue with them is that just because a coffee is fair trade, doesn’t mean it’s going to be good… So whilst they’re very passionate, I’m not sure it’s always going to suit my palate. Glad that you like Fiori though, it’s an excellent cup :)

  7. We are indeed passionate about our coffee :) I am well aware that just because a coffee is Fairtrade, it doesn’t automatically mean that it’s good.

    That said, the Fairtrade market is just like any other, with its share of good and bad coffees. At Biobean Coffee we endevour to roast only the best beans that we are able to source, and even though the Fairtrade market is still a small one in comparison to the entire coffee industry, it’s a growing one and has a huge selection of high quality AA coffees. Also, for the record all our coffees are single origin only, I have my own reasons for considering blending to be a bad trend (Something I won’t go into right now :P )
    As the german roaster who taught me how it’s done said: “It doesn’t matter if your coffee is Fairtrade, Organic, Rainforest Alliance or anything else. The most important detail is that first and foremost you are producing a fantastic cup of coffee”. I would hope that our recent success in the 2007 Sydney Royal Show should demonstrate that our coffee is of a truly national standard :)

  8. Hi Ben,

    Firstly congratulations on the medal success at the Sydney Royal Show, which I did hear about. It’s a great indication that you’re producing excellent coffee.

    I do remember now talking to you about the blending issue, but I’m not sure I remember why you chose not to. I imagine that finding a continually high supply of consistently good Fairtrade beans must be difficult ? So to maintain a blend over time would be even harder ?

    But you’re right, at the end of the day the true test is in the cup. I’ll have to reacquaint myself with some of your beans shortly.

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