Maria is from Brazil, where she grew up as a daughter of a coffee farmer. Her love for coffee started early, so it’s not a surprise she has become a barista at Back to Black. She loves to tell about her knowledge and experiences, like writing this blog.
Brazil: coffee farm
Usually, most people remember their parents giving them milk or milk with chocolate out of the baby bottle, but for me it was a bit of a different experience. I would have a hint of filter coffee in my milk to start off my coffee journey as soon as I could open my eyes.
We lived about a 3-hour drive away from our coffee farm, where we went almost every week. My father and grandfather worked together during the harvest to make the best out of all the coffee lots, and without knowing, I was gonna be part of that in the future. Something so normal to me at the time, but today I understand how all that hard work pays off and it is so fulfilling.
I grew up seeing them work very hard at the farm and observing all the workers do their best to pick the cherries. The coffee terrace was my playground! My sister and I would play in the coffee mounts that were put on the terrace to dry. We would jump on the back of the coffee truck full of coffee to get a ride back to the farm.
The United States: coffee importing company
After moving to the United States, where my parents opened a coffee importing company, I began to see the whole coffee production chain. I started to understand how valuable and beautiful our work at the farm was. It was so significant to see that all the work my grandpa and father had at the farm was worth it. There were people waiting for that one beautiful cup of coffee from Brazil.
Our house in the U.S. most of the time smelled like recently roasted coffee. While that was something amazing and for some people so different, for me it was normal. It was something I lived with ever since I was born. Our garage, instead of cars, had sample roasters and loads of green coffee samples.
When I was about twelve, I learned how to taste my first coffee. That was almost poetic to me at the time, because I remembered all the faces and people working so hard on the field. They contributed to the production of the coffee I was tasting right there, in another country! Most people don’t realize how much effort and work it takes to get quality into their cup of coffee. I was lucky enough to see and be part of the whole coffee chain, so I’m able to understand the process and give the value the coffee deserves.
The Netherlands: barista
Nowadays I participate in the last part of the coffee chain as a barista. I introduce the coffee to the consumer, and pass on some of my knowledge and experiences. Today, with clear eyes and more knowledge and experience about the chain, I am able to appreciate it even more. I look forward every day to learn more and more about every espresso I extract or every harvest on the farm. I see how a product of small businesses and individuals can create such a significant and powerful production.