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From Laura's farm to your cup

Laura Monero Motta is a farmer of Café Quindìo, the best coffee in Colombia. In this episode of Behind Your Coffee season 2 she talks about the first link in the Coffee Value Chain. Farmers are responsible for achieving excellent taste while respecting the integrity of coffee beans and nature.

The coffee value chain begins with the farmers

What does “good coffee” actually mean? It’s not just a question of aroma and flavor but also of the growers and their respect for the environment; without good growing practices, there would be no good coffee. Every cup tells a story, and every story starts on the farm.
Where it all begins

Farming, the first step of coffee production, comprises several crucial components. Before acquiring a parcel, farmers analyze the territory and conditions to ensure the cherries thrive. The lead-up to the first blossom is fundamental; farmers meticulously cultivate the land to create optimal conditions for the fruit, which can take up to four years to bloom. 

Laura of the family-run Café Quindío farm was born and raised in the UNESCO-protected Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia. Following in her farmer father’s footsteps, she discusses how farming lays the groundwork for the entire coffee production process.
 “We have a huge responsibility with the rest of the value chain: although it has many steps, if we don’t do a good job, the flavor won’t be good,” she says. “Perfection comes only with the commitment and communication of all the people involved.” 
Quality counts

It may be challenging, but love for nature, the land, and this profession is the key. 

Quality stands front and center, and Laura states that achieving high quality requires both knowledge of and respect for the fruit. 

Laura approaches the intricate harvesting process with a simple philosophy: we should treat the crops just as we’d treat ourselves. So, just as a certain “quality of life” fosters human fulfillment, the fruits need the right amount of shade, ideal climatic conditions, and adherence to certification standards to flourish.

Laura, along with many other growers, doesn’t confine her responsibility to the farm: she aims to upend a regional dilemma. The UNESCO-protected territory’s finest products get exported, leaving locals to sip significantly inferior coffee. To help overturn this practice, Laura strives to make good coffee accessible to her compatriots and educate them on how to appreciate the product as coffee lovers abroad do. 
Contemplating responsibility 

Laura states that being a responsible coffee farmer makes a coffee “Perfetto.” 

She processes the farm’s various Arabica beans using the least possible amount of water  and plants fruit trees with respect to biodiversity and soil preservation. Once the cherries reach ideal ripeness, they’re hand-picked, manually selected, and sun-dried.
Her choice to use sustainable practices is part of the collective responsibility she shares with her counterparts––everyone must pull their weight to give the best possible cup to consumers. The responsibility implemented by Laura at the onset should progress to each link on the production chain, and she believes a good part of the responsibility to the consumers lies in brewing coffee from freshly ground beans. Yet, an ideal brew calls for another responsible choice: outstanding technology that transforms the beans respectfully, allowing the nuances to materialize in every cup.

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