What is a ‘Coffee Science’ Origin Trip?

By Emma Sage, Coffee Science Manager, SCAA

The SCAA is committed to bringing unique, hands-on educational and relationship-building opportunities at origin. This origin trip is designed to build understanding of the technical, agronomic, and scientific techniques being utilized as they support and influence the value of specialty coffee.

This trip is not just for admitted science-geeks! It is truly for anyone in the coffee industry who has the motivation to learn more about their product. In this trip to Brazil, we will do this through an understanding of the technical and scientific resources necessary to create amazing specialty coffee with the Brazilian Specialty Coffee Association. I will be not only tagging along as a general ‘science-translator’ but also will be able to increase the value of the trip through exclusive seminars on topics of interest to the trip participants.

To register for this trip, please click here.

Biology is related to Quality

This trip will take place in Brazil, From October 21-27, 2012. This is not during the typical harvest period for Brazil. Instead of focusing on processing we will take the opportunity to focus on off-season agronomy techniques and scientific research that are imperative to the production of delicious specialty coffee.

Brazil is a unique origin country and has devoted extensive resources to improving coffee quality, including an astounding scientific and technical research initiative. We have the opportunity to see this firsthand at a variety of scales, including federal, Institutional, Commercial, and small-holder farmer. Our hosts, the Brazilian Specialty Coffee Association, will facilitate relationship building during the trip. You will undoubtedly meet people at origin that will change your perspective of specialty coffee. Continuing experiential education is a great way to expand you company knowledge base and ultimately understand your product in a new and exciting way.

Origin Trips are Valuable

“This was the best learning experience we’ve ever had… Every farm offered a unique perspective on their growing and milling techniques, and each of our colleagues offered the same with business experience and advice…” -Andy and Edie Baker, Chocolate Fish Coffee

“…it was an educational and uplifting experience which will remain with me for years to come. Our hosts were knowledgeable and engaging, their hospitality was comparable to anything else I have experienced. I thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie of my fellow coffee professionals…” – Prav Jeram, Coffee Roaster and Global Strategist, Fuel Espresso

Who should consider a scientific perspective?

Everyone will have the opportunity to learn the fundamentals behind growing and processing coffee in Brazil. We will specifically highlight scientific research investigating new techniques for growing, processing, and sustaining specialty coffee.

Roasters, business owners, importers, buyers, marketing professionals, baristas, coffee producers, quality control professionals, exporters, and anyone else who has interest in this topic are encouraged to join us for this new and exciting origin trip!

These seminars will cover subjects such as:

  • Fermentation: what is it? How does it work?
  • QC experimental design
  • Communicating the value of origin
  • Shade and Quality
  • Experimental Cuppings, design and practicality
  • Fruit and Seed Development
  • Bean Density and Quality
  • Science in Marketing

All sectors of the coffee industry will benefit from:

  • Understanding the important impact of scientific research at origin as it supports the quality and sustainability of specialty coffee
  • Creating lasting relationship with producers and institutions in Brazil
  • Discussing the factors at origin that influence the flavor of coffees
  • Direct exposure to the agricultural techniques necessary to grow specialty coffee
  • Learning about Brazil-specific processes and how they contribute to the unique profiles of Brazilian coffee
  • Appreciating the care and technical expertise necessary to grow healthy, delicious coffee
  • Taking home lots of new information to share with your customers

Where will we go? (Tentative Itinerary as of September 13, 2012)

10/21 – Sunday

– Arrival to Sao Paulo, Guarulhos International Airport (GRU)

– 3:00 pm (optional): Visit  to Suplicy Cafes, traditional Coffee House in São Paulo

– Dinner in a typical restaurant of São Paulo

10/22 – Monday

– Farm Day: Travel to Carmo de Minas region to visit an exporter, Cocarive coop, and coffee farms, where we will cup delicious and exciting coffee.

10/23 – Tuesday

– University Day: Travel to Lavras city to the UFLA (Universidade Federal de Lavras) and visit coffee scientists investigating questions relevant to the coffee industry. We will learn about the history of and current scientific projects that support quality coffee in Brazil. Later, travel to Varginha.

10/24 – Wednesday

– ProCafe Day:  In Varginha, visit ProCafe Foundation, where we will learn of the history of and current work of the Foundation and partners, which is focused on coffees advancement via scientific research.  Tour the Experimental Station including variety trials. We will also visit Minasul Coopwhich is a very large coop that participates in ProCafe.

10/25 – Thursday

– Coffee Processing Day: Travel to Qualicafex Exporting Company and tour Pinhalense factory to learn the technical advances in processing equipment and how this has been developed for coffee from Brazil. Meet experts in coffee processing. Taste coffee as it relates to differences in processing.

10/26 – Friday

– Organic Farm Day:  Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza. Topics will include Organic agriculture, shade growing coffee, sustainability, and of course cupping!

10/27 – Saturday

-Travel from Mococa area to Sao Paulo

– Departure from São Paulo International Airport (GRU)

We hope you’ll be able to join us. To register for the SCAA Coffee Science Origin Trip to Brazil, please click here.