Yes, it’s Women’s Month this March, and The Ultimate Coffee Guide is doing a FIRST after 10 years, an e-version ahead of print, if we’ll even have the chance to go to print in the midst of this crisis.
As we adapt to the NEW ECONOMY, the NEW NORMAL, and the NEW WAY of doing—what remains or is here to stay is our love for COFFEE—a crop, a drink , a business, and a way to keep relationships alive.
Despite the physical distancing we’re practicing, we know that many may have the chance to log on and see what we have been doing. More than ever, the demand for coffee as a drink and balm for the soul is rising globally. In fact, coffee delivery is one of the five important businesses that may continue despite the expected economic downturn.
On a positive note, we cannot help but write about the good things that have happened: our partnership with MAYORA for the training of our ten young farmers at DA-ATI and soon in Indonesia once the green light is given. We also want to tell the story of Ellie’s farm in Cavite, which has been sowing seeds to keep BARAKO alive. Our many trainings around the country that focused on women farmers, as written by our colleague Dana Juridico, show how coffee has given hope and income to a lot of women coffee farmers.
Finally, two notable women in the industry, Ros Juan and Vanessa Caceres, who have been giving lessons on coffee art, basic coffee barista skills, and how to put up a coffee business, teach you how to brew coffee at home or in your “virtual” office. Commune, the café they’re operating, has evolved into a university or school of sorts, with Vanessa training increasing numbers of baristas in her weekly sessions.
While we hope and pray we get out of this crisis soonest, we know that our work in coffee goes on despite the crisis we’re in, albeit in many other ways—through online courses, YouTube videos, Facebook watch parties, and yes, Zoom meetings and seminars. Meanwhile, in the non-virtual world, our farmers continue to plant and propagate coffee so we can keep this virtual world operating with its potent and vital drink—coffee.