Once a year, Phillip Di Bella leads a team of green bean buying specialists on adventures across the coffee growing regions of the world. This “Origin Trip” is a quest to source the highest quality coffee beans by meeting with the farmers growing them as part of our Crop to Cup program.
Their trip this year takes them to South and Central America, with visits to farms in Panama, Cuba and Peru. The coffee cherries will have been ripening for the past few months and are now ready to be picked, hulled, washed and dried before being packed in hessian sacks, stamped with the Di Bella name and shipped directly to our roasting warehouse in Brisbane.
Phil and the Crop to Cup team in Panama
These 3 coffee growing regions are diverse, producing distinct flavour profiles in the beans. Coffee from Panama is well known for having a well-balanced body, often with delicate floral and fruity hints. Washed Peruvian coffees present in the cup with good body and acidity, a sweet taste and a tendency towards chocolatey flavours. Cuban coffees cup with a round buttery body, floral sweetness and tobacco notes.
A lot can be said for trading directly with farmers, and it’s been a driving philosophy behind Di Bella Coffees’ success since the founding of the Crop to Cup program in 2002. Working with the farmers themselves means that they get premium prices for their beans and we get the best beans possible. It also means that we are contributing more to the communities around the farms by cutting out the middle man, and can see for ourselves the benefits to long term sustainability of the those communities and their methods of production.
Picking coffee cherries in Panama
This year’s Origin Trip comes straight off the back of Di Bella Coffee winning the title of Overall Champion at the Golden Bean Coffee Roasters Competition, held just a couple of weekends ago, and it is a testament not only to the skills of our expert coffee roasters but to the quality of the beans that they choose to source.
At their first major stop in Panama, Phil and the team visited the high altitude Finca Lerida plantation which has been exporting coffee since 1929. This plantation is the source of our famously exclusive Don Pepe Panama Geisha which won 2 silver medals at the Golden Bean awards. From here the team have sent back exciting reports of having secured another lot of fully washed Geisha, ready to be sent home to our roasters in Australia.
The Crop to Cup team at the Finca Lerida plantation
Right now the team are in Cuba, and what an incredible time to be in that country, with the nation coming to terms with the recent passing of revolutionary leader Fidel Castro. Cuba has a long history of coffee production, with the first coffee plant being introduced in 1748. Coffee production on the island has fluctuated wildly over the years according to the political climate, but has seen a considerable boost over the past 10 years due to increased government investment, and it will be interesting to see what happens now as Cuba enters its post-Castro era.
The final stop on the tour is Peru, one of the largest coffee producers in the world, particularly of Arabica beans. Much of the coffee produced here is also organic, and it was our Peruvian Organic coffee that won yet another Golden Bean award in this year’s competition. No doubt the team will be looking for similarly high quality beans to bring back home!
We are excited to see the fruits of this most recent origin trip arrive in our roasting warehouse in the coming months, ready to roast to perfection and deliver to your local café or straight to your door. These journeys are about the future of our coffee, where it’s going, and what flavours will be in your cup in the near future.
Are you a home coffee roaster? Shop our range of Raw Coffee Beans online. All of our green beans have been sourced through our Crop to Cup direct trade programme.