The fourth edition of Barista & Farmer kicked off Friday in Huila, Colombia


PITALITO, Colombia – The 4th edition of Barista & Farmer, the only international talent show dedicated to the promotion and culture of quality coffee, kicked off on June 1st in Pitalito, in the Huila district of Colombia.

Until the 10th of June, the contenders will live just like farmers in the colombian coffee plantations, commiting themselves in challenges, exclusive classes at the coffee Special Academy regarding the innovations of a Farm 2.0 and a total immersion in the local culture.

Barista & Farmer was conceived by Francesco Sanapo, several-times award-winning champion barista, in collaboration with Italian Exhibition Group and SIGEP – International Exhibition of Artisanal Gelato, Pastry, Bakery and Coffee, under the patronage of theSCA – Speciality Coffee Association, with institutional partners IILA – Italian-Latin American OrganizationSENA – Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje (National Learning Service), Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia and Gobernación del Huila, in partnership with World Coffee Events, Lavazza with the iTierra! project and the support of La Cimbali, Faema, Mumac Academy, Urnex, Genovese Coffee; golden media partners Barista Magazine and Bargiornale; media partner Bean Scene Magazine, Cafè Olé, News, Coffee T&I, Coffee Talk, Crema, Espresso Magazine, European Coffee Trip, Roast Magazine and Comunicaffè.

Among the 32 districts of Colombia, Huila, in the south-west area of the country, is definetly one of the most sought after by turists and counts six national parks, including the San Augustin Archological Park, which will be visited by the baristas.

It puts on display spectacular landscapes and breathtaking views, the diversity of its natural scenarios are perfectly suited for outdoor activities such as horseriding, rafting, kayakying, bird watching, speleology, paragliding and many more. Hospitality is one of the distinctive features of this territory  and the food offering is very diverse as well; recipes, passed on from the previous generations to the next ones, are part of the cultural identity of this district, and are very sought after by tourists looking for the typical flavours of the traditional cuisine.

Day One Video

Last but not least, the coffee, one of the most precious and appreciated in the world, in Huila beans grow really close to the equator, granting them with a high acidity and a very special sweetness.

After the arrival of the participants, the talent show has officially begun: in the Barista House in the SENA Parque the opening ceremony, attended by the local authorities, took place.

“We want to highlight the work that has been done from our coffee growers especially here in Huila, its producers are aware of sustainable exploitation, taking into account the conservation of soils, respect for natural forests and use of the environmental offer. Also its  perception of the farm as a business unit that must be profitable and competitive at the same time”, said Jorge Enrique Montenegro, Executive Director Of The Departmental Committee Of Cafeteros From Huila

“The National Training Service, SENA is the biggest vocational training in South America for the coffee sector – said Albert Ferney Giraldo, Director of International Relations for SENA – that’s why Barista & Farmer academy is one of the biggest opportunities that will allow our apprentices and instructors to received knowledge from the best coffee experts worldwide and get international certificates of the highest level such SCA, specialty coffee association. Baristas & Farmer will helps us to create bridges between Colombia and the world by showing the specialty and high quality of the Colombian coffee.“

Patrizia Cecchi, Exhibitions Italy – Executive Director di Italian Exhibition Group said: “the coffee production chain is becoming more and more important for the Sigep project, with a big showroom area, international projects and educational classes. This way we complted our offer for bars, bakeries, ice cream shops, caffeterias and coffee&bakery, giving value at the same time to the connection between different categories of products. For this reason, the Barista & Farmer talent show is more than a symbol for us, it’s a way to combine passion and professionalism, business and quality coffee culture, production from the origin countries and international request.”

Mario Cerutti, Chief Institutional Relations and Sistainability Officer di Lavazza concluded: “Passion, product and community are the key words of our projects in the origin countries. Sustainability, for us, means to help people live a better life, together with their families, by following a correct lifestyle. It’s important to help them achieve an optimum quality of the produced coffee, but also to let them develop new skills with efficiency, utlizing in the right way the resources of the land, without damaging the environment or the people.

“Once again we are giving value to coffee – affirmed talent’show creator Francesco Sanapo – and the whole production chain. We are trying to send the message, to let the whole world understand how difficult is to produce ccoffee, especially in an age of global warming and environmental issues. Barista & Farmer has this mission, to spread the value of coffee, and this is the reason why we chose Colombia, homeland of specialty coffee, there wasn’t a better territory for us than this one. Working with subjuects such as SENA, Cafè de Colombia and Gobernacion de Huila institutionalizes our project.

Day Two Video

Immediatly after that, the first competitions started in Finca la Cabaña, followed by the first classes at the Barista Academy. This, was held by Vivian Vasquez along with the agronomist and two farmers from Meta, with a focus on sustainability and the Lavazza Tierra project. The baristas discovered the point of view of the origin countries through the stories of these local experts. In the evening, the contenders faced one of the novelties of this edtion, Sanjuanero lessons, the traditional colombian dance.

On Saturday, the protagonists of the the talent show dedicated to quality coffee culture moved to Finca Bellavista to spend the morning working on the plantation. In the afternoon during the Academy, the baristas attended espresso classes held by Mumac Academy and Cimbali and lessons on cleaning and maintenance by Urnex. The day ended with lessons of Chivas, the local painting style.

The 10 baristas will have the opportunity to experience the life of a real ‘farmer’, the coffee-pickers, among practical competitions and theoretical lessons in the exclusive Barista Academy.

Here, they will learn advanced production techniques, which will bring them all the way to the creation, for the first time in the talent show, of a real customized blend.

Among the novelties of this 2018 edition, there are several activities dedicated to the discovery of the colombian culture through dance lessons, painting, traditional sports, cooking challenges and guided tours.

The lucky finalists, selected among more than 250 professionals by a jury of professionals of the field are: Sara Ricci, 28 years old, italian; Diego Campos, 27 years old, from Colombia; Iuliia Dziadevych, 25 years old from Ukrayne;  Matija Matijaško, 26 years old from Croatia; Daniel Munari, 32 years old, from Brazil; Victoria Rovenskaya, 26 years old, from Russia; Vala Stefansdottir, 30 years old, from Iceland; David Lau – Cong Yuan, 23 years old, from China; Rie Hasuda Moore, 36 years old, from Japan and Glenn Bailey, 34 years old, from Australia. They will have the chance to discover the entire coffee production process, from the bean to the cup, through the use of different technologies, un until the tasting experience and the different consumption opportunities. For the whole duration of the talent there will be some producers from Meta who will follow the operations. Exactly at Meta, one of the biggest coffee producing district among the 32 of the colombian territory, the Lavazza Foundation is active with sustainability projects aimed at the community of farmers and their families. Lavazza supports Barista & Farmer with the global ¡Tierra! project which has involved, through the Giuseppe and Pericle Lavazza Foundation NGO, the communities of the Municipality of Mesetas in the department of Meta, a coffee region with a high vocation, located at the foot of the Eastern Cordillera.

Day Three Video

Among the key words of the new edition, training, competition, research, culture, quality, to which must be added the value of sustainabilityBarista & Farmer aims not only to train true ambassadors of “specialty” coffee (of particularly high quality), but also to be a cultural bridge between Colombia, the world’s third largest coffee producer, and Italy. It also aims, through the active involvement of institutional partners, to strengthen the links between the countries of origin and the entire coffee chain.