The View

This month Seattle will host potentially the largest gathering of coffee professionals in North America ever. The Specialty Coffee Association of America “Event” boasts 10,000+ participants from 72 countries, 50+ hours of lectures given by close to 100 presenters, 124 Skill Building Workshop hours including 41 offering Certificate Credits, and a multitude of special events, competitions, and networking opportunities.

To be blunt, you will miss something important during this event. It is 100% guaranteed. Though you may possess great prioritization skills, make a list of all potential activities and meetings, identify which are urgent vs. important, be flexible and adaptable, and even know when to cut, there are simply too many opportunities to take advantage of all of them.  I know I find this incredibly frustrating and thus am really particular about making sure every activity has maximum potential for multiple objectives. That is way I love the Charity Scavenger Hunt! It is designed to create lasting relationships and memories great for business, AND give back to our amazing industry at the same time. Please check out our web page on the event and see if you can be a part of this!

AND another thing not to be missed!

If you are interested in purchasing extraordinary green coffee with a great story, that guarantees to change lives then you need to mark April 23rd on your calendar for the Cup of Excellence online auction. Astrid Medina, 38, is a woman who finds time for everything, including taking care of her family and producing exceptional coffee. In the last 2015 Cup of Excellence competition, her coffee, which the cuppers described as having exotic attributes, came in first place with a score of 90.2 points.

Ms. Medina was enthusiastic, “This is an amazing accomplishment. Thank God we won. Coffee is wonderful and we mustn’t let it go to waste. This achievement translates into a better future for Gaitana and for Planadas (her hometown).

We women are boundless and beautiful. Although being a coffee grower is challenging, it’s a wonderful dream. I only grow my coffee based on good practices.” Astrid specifically thanked the FNC’s Extension Service for the permanent support it provides to coffee growers.

In regard to the auction on April 23, Astrid knows that the quality premium that the highest bidder will pay for her coffee will translate into welfare for her entire family, her employees, and productive improvements on the farm. “I will invest it in improving our house, providing better living conditions for our farm manager, our employees, expanding the “beneficiadero” (post-harvest processing facilities), because we think about growing more coffee in the future, having better technology, improving everything,” she says.

Astrid Medina: a mother, a wife, and a producer of an exceptional coffee in Planadas, Tolima
Astrid Medina: a mother, a wife, and a producer of an exceptional coffee in Planadas, Tolima

Thanks to the farm, her eldest daughter has already started studying environmental engineering in Bogota and she will be able to continue to pursue her career. Coffee has allowed Astrid to keep her family together and help each other. “There is strength in numbers. There have been ups and downs. We have already been working nine years on this farm. There have been times of low prices in which one wants to give many things to the employees and one cannot, but we keep going on hope,” she ends.

This competition is part of the FNC’s differentiation, value added and positioning strategy and organized in conjunction with the Alliance for Coffee Excellence, which designs and implements its rules and standards. The 31 lots that received more than 85 points on the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) scale will participate in a real-time online auction and buyers from all around the globe will have the chance to bid for the best Colombian coffees. The auction can be followed at

Suggested Reading