A Recap of The Barista League’s Mystery Coffee Vacation in Colombia

Serving Coffee in the Epicenter

The Turkish specialty-coffee community is coming together to support earthquake relief. BY MICHAEL BUTTERWORTHSPECIAL TO BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE When Niji Coffee went live on Instagram, it felt as though the entire Turkish specialty-coffee community was watching with bated breath. Niji Coffee made a name for itself in the Turkish specialty-coffee scene when, as a relatively […]


Don’t Skip the Budding Specialty-Café Culture in Quito, Ecuador

Introducing the specialty cafés of Quito, a city worth exploring on your coffee quest. BY JORDAN BUCHANANSPECIAL TO BARISTA MAGAZINE Featured photo courtesy of Stratto When traveling across South America, Ecuador can be forgotten between the high profiles of Colombia and Peru. Similarly, coffee from Ecuador may be overlooked due to its giant neighbors, including […]


The coffee industry’s biggest competition: The story of the World Barista Championship

Every year, the global coffee industry gears up for one of its most exciting and groundbreaking competitions: the World Barista Championship. For more than two decades, the WBC has been one of the biggest catalysts for change and innovation in specialty coffee, and continues to set even higher standards for baristas around the world to […]


U.S. Coffee Championships 2023 Baltimore Qualifiers Results

More than 100 competitors brought their talent to Baltimore to take part in six competitions, and 63 will progress to nationals in April. BY NATE KLOCKBARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE Photos by Matthew Temple courtesy of the U.S. Coffee Championships Last weekend, my hometown welcomed the U.S. Coffee Championships (USCC) qualifiers with the charm only Baltimore could […]

A Recap of The Barista League’s Mystery Coffee Vacation in Colombia

A Recap of The Barista League’s Mystery Coffee Vacation in Colombia

minimum dose size?

I use the Hario switch to brew my coffee and am trying to reduce my caffeine consumption. Hence I would like to brew smaller cups of coffee. I am currently using 10g of coffee with 160g of water. (1:16 Ratio) I am wondering if there is a minimum amount of coffee...

A Recap of The Barista League’s Mystery Coffee Vacation in Colombia

The Barista League’s Mystery Coffee Vacation in Colombia is over, and we’ve got the scoop on all the fun!

BY VASILEIA FANARIOTI
SENIOR ONLINE CORRESPONDENT

Photos courtesy of Vasileia Fanarioti and Juan Henao

During the last week of February, the 2022 Barista League champions gathered in Colombia for this year’s Mystery Coffee Vacation. It was an action-packed trip filled with learning, competitions, and of course, lots of fun!

The Barista League team organized the trip with the help of Café Tío Conejo,  a specialty-coffee producer in Manizales. Support also came from BWT, Crypto Baristas, and Need a Barista. I joined the group on behalf of Barista Magazine to document their journey. It was an unforgettable experience!

A huge group of coffee people gathered under a round wooden meeting hall structure with exposed beams and a walking terrace built on the second story.
The Barista League champions joined local baristas in fun competitions at the Recinto del Pensamiento nature reserve.

Connecting Coffee Cultures in Colombia

The trip kicked off in Manizales. Here, the champions were welcomed by coffee producers at Recinto del Pensamiento, a nature reserve located in the region. After lunch, there was a fun competition where local baristas joined forces with the international champions and shared their love for coffee. The evening ended with lots of dancing!

The following day started by tasting some of Colombia’s awarded coffees during a cupping session at Recinto del Pensamiento. Then it was time to watch some national coffee competitions, while the champions had the chance to brew coffee they brought from their respective countries.

On the third day, we headed to the Café Tío Conejo farm in Manizales. As well as learning about harvesting and processing, we got to taste coffee cherries and watch the coffee hulling process. The Café Tío Conejo team had prepared another coffee cupping for us, where we got to try some of their delicious processed coffees.

A young woman in braids sifts through coffee beans that are being processed on a large wooden drying tray under a wooden canopy.
During our visit to Tío Conejo, we visited the farm’s drying station and learned about natural, washed, and honey processing.

On the last day of this journey, the group headed to Bogotá to compete in the La Rumba Barista. It was the first Barista League competition ever held in Colombia, and it was truly special! Some of the champions paired up with local baristas to compete for an evening packed with sensory challenges, espresso brewing competitions, and coffee cocktail crafting.

In the end, Lorena Villanueva and Carolina Pinilla, who paired up with Ivette Veraloor from Spain’s Nomad Coffee, won first place, earning them a spot at next year’s Mystery Coffee Vacation!

A Trip to Remember

The trip also featured some of the most incredible activities and lots of gifts. From a coffee tasting at Bogota’s airport to DJ appearances in Recinto del Pensamiento and La Rumba, everyone had a great time. We spent an evening at Hotel Termales El Otoño, where champions could relax in thermal pools. There was also a silent disco experience in the Café Tío Conejo farm where we watched the sunset together, sharing music and dancing.

Four people wear blue light-up over-ear headphones for the silent disco, all smiling and lit up with green polka dot lights at the Barista League Mystery Vacation.
Champions and local baristas gathered together at Café Tío Conejo for a silent disco party!

To top it off, our last night out was filled with Latin and Caribbean music and lots of dancing in one of Bogotá’s best clubs—a great way to end this unforgettable adventure!

My favorite part of the trip? I got to connect with so many people from different backgrounds with one common passion: coffee! This trip showed us how coffee can bring people from different countries together and can be used as a bridge for cultural exchange.

A big thank you goes to The Barista League and the Café Tío Conejo team for putting together this amazing adventure, making sure everyone felt safe, and creating an incredible experience. I’m already looking forward to the 2023 Barista League competitions, and I can’t wait to see what the next Mystery Coffee Vacation will be like!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Vasileia Fanarioti (she/her) is a senior online correspondent for Barista Magazine, and a freelance copywriter and editor with a primary focus on the coffee niche. She has also been a volunteer copywriter for the I’M NOT A BARISTA NPO, providing content to help educate people about baristas and their work. You can follow her adventures at thewanderingbean.net.

The post A Recap of The Barista League’s Mystery Coffee Vacation in Colombia appeared first on Barista Magazine Online.

Shopping cart0
There are no products in the cart!
Continue shopping
0