Hannah Mercer is an Authorized Sprecialty Coffee Association Trainer

From Entry-Level Barista To Certified Coffee Educator

Do you suspect, beneath the surface of your everyday life, there brews a latent desire to know everything there is about coffee but you don’t know where to start? Keep reading, cause that’s what happened to me. I always want to know more about anything I’m involved with, so when I started working at a coffee shop, my interest lead me on a journey through the supply chain of coffee across the United States and all over the world. There is much still to learn, see and experience, and so many people to meet.

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Face-to-Face with Fondo Paez: Hannah's First Trip To Colombia 1

On a muggy February morning in 2017, Hannah Mercer dipped her toes in the chilly Atlantic waters near Miami Beach and wondered what the next few hours would bring. She was headed to Colombia- a land of myth and mystery for the coffee professional and a destination she’d seen in pictures for years.

With equal parts excitement and anxiety, she imagined getting off the plane in Cali, driving to remote villages in the country’s coffee lands, and finally meeting the faces from the photos. She had an idea of what was to come but not a full picture.

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Café Campesino coffee roaster Ethan Ryan traveled to Guatemal to meet producer partners at the APECAFORM cooperative and learn about coffee harvesting and exporting

Ethan Ryan, our roaster extraordinaire, traveled to Guatemala for the first time in May to meet producer partners at the APECAFORM cooperative, learn about coffee harvesting and exporting, and generally polish up on his Spanish. It was his first time abroad. And his first time at coffee origin.

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Hannah Mercer Cafe Campesino sales, customer service and training representative is pictured center with school children in La Nueva Colonia a community located deep in the coffee-producing highlands of the Cordillera Central mountains of Colombia

Cauca, Colombia- Hannah Mercer, our sales, customer service and training representative, is pictured here (center) with school children in La Nueva Colonia, a community located deep in the coffee-producing highlands of the Cordillera Central mountains of Colombia- home to Fondo Paez.

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Esperanza (left) having breakfast in our Americus coffee house during a 2016 visit with some 40 other sustainable coffee professionals from around the world.

In Spanish the word “Esperanza” means hope, so it is fitting that one of fair trade coffee’s most hopeful protagonists would be named Esperanza. Esperanza Dionisio Castillo leads Peru’s CAC Pangoa cooperative, a farmer-owned enterprise of some 700 campesinos headquartered east of the Andes mountains.

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“Now I know” by Scott Umstattd 2

In January of 2013, I had the opportunity to go with Cafe Campesino on a cooperative tour of Guatemala. Sure, we all know Cafe Campesino makes great coffee and that this great coffee is traded in a way the best serves the farmers who nurture and grow the beans, but to actually go out and meet the people in this supply chain made a tremendous difference in how I view an already superior product and business model.

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Our group on their first day in Guatemala

Our group on their first day in Guatemala. Included in this picture are Faith Fuller of Desktop Documentaries; Ronnie from the Sentient Bean; Richard Haas from Earth Natural Foods in Norman, OK; Bill Harris of Cafe Campesino, Sweetwater Organic Coffee and Cooperative Coffees; David Minich and Sissy Ledbetter of Americus, Georgia; Miguel Mateo of Manos Campesinas; Mike Weaver of Sweetwater Organic Coffee and Dave Campbell of Cafe Campesino.