Greenstreet’s coffee beans are prepared at a number of farms before they are exported to us. We couldn’t exist without them. Origin trips give us the chance to witness the farmers in action. We also learn about their daily lives, and respective cultures. Chris has been on multiple origin trips to visit the farms that produce the beans he roasts, and Tom’s turn is coming soon.
What Chris’ Has to Say About His Past Origin Trips:
How many origin trips have you been on? Where? When?
I went on four origin trips starting in El Salvador. The second one was Columbia, and the third one was Ethiopia. I went to those countries in 2012. The most recent trip was to Brazil.
What did you do when you went? Both coffee-related and not coffee-related.
We visited farms, and met with different coffee co-ops. We also went to networking events with other roasters, coffee companies, and coffee magazines. There were a lot of people involved with the industry. I went out to eat a lot, and learned about the culture and people of each country. I had a really good time. I went swimming in a lake in El Salvador, and I went salsa dancing in Columbia. In Ethiopia we went dancing, and drove to farms in the countryside.
Which country was your favorite for reasons outside of coffee? Why?
The country that was most similar to home was Columbia. I enjoyed the lifestyle and the culture of Bogota. It’s a beautiful city.
Is there anything you learned about these countries that surprised you? Good and bad.
I can’t say anything was surprising because everything was different from home. I hadn’t traveled outside of the U.S. before the origin trips, so I didn’t know what to expect. It was a lot to take in. Ethiopia was probably the most different from the U.S. because, outside of the coffee industry, the economy is weak and the infrastructure is tenuous, however its coffee is unarguably some of the best in the world.
What activities would you suggest for travelers who choose to go to these countries?
Go salsa dancing in Columbia. In El Salvador , travelers would enjoy San Salvador’s city life. The co-operatives are the central locations for coffee; they’re where the beans are prepared for export. You can get involved with the community’s civic leaders through them.
Do you plan to go on any more origin trips within the next few years? If so, where?
Next year I’d like to visit the Mexican farms and co-ops we get coffee from.
What Tom Has To Say About His Upcoming Origin Trips:
Which countries do you plan to go to? When?
Chris has traveled everywhere so far, so first, I would like to go to Guatemala and Costa Rica. I’d also like to see my cousins who grew up in Panama while I’m in that part of the world. I want to go to Guatemala because we work with a micro-importer who is based there. He also has a place in Costa Rica, so I would be able to stay with him. The best harvest period is from December to March, so I would like to go during those four months of this coming year. I’d like to see the processes for harvesting the beans, and to get some fresh crops up to our roaster in South Philly.
Which country are you most excited for? If you can’t pick one, what are your top two?
I’m just excited in general. I’m not the most experienced traveler, so going to any other country is exciting. I can’t say that I’m excited for one more than another. They’re all warm, lush, and beautiful places where great coffee comes from. I guess after I do more traveling, I’ll become more excited for one place. Food is a big factor for me, so I’ll probably be more excited for the countries with awesome food.
What do you plan to do? Both coffee-related and not coffee related.
It would definitely be mostly coffee-related activities because I’m so interested with what’s going on with the different processes and varieties being grown. Most of my time will probably be spent in the coffee fields, cupping, meeting with farmers, and getting a chance to hear what makes them passionate about coffee. I’ll be fascinated with learning from them. As for things that aren’t related to coffee, surfing would be awesome. I’ve always wanted to surf. I want to check out the beaches, and try some of the common activities like canoeing or boating with the locals.