I am a born traveller. When I was young my parents would always take me to exotic destinations in Asia and Africa, and when I was old enough to jump on a plane myself I did exactly that.
I would take every break I had from school to travel alone. Just me and my backpack. I travelled on boats, planes, trains and buses across the world. I would work hard at my part-time job throughout the term to save up the money and book my trip as soon as I had enough money.
At first I would choose destinations just because I hadn’t been there before, then I went to Brazil. I was touring the country and I tried some delicious local Arabica coffee in a high-end coffee shop in Rio. I was so enamoured with the taste and flavour, it was unlike anything I’d ever had at home, that I sought about visiting a coffee farm. I hadn’t realised, but Brazil produces a quarter of the world’s coffee and 80% of its coffee is Arabica. However, when I visited a coffee plantation nearby I learnt that the industry was in jeopardy. The demand for coffee from Brazil is so high that the farmers have been forced to produce lower quality beans, from the robusta variety to meet the orders.
Many locals do not have an interest in the coffee industry and internally the market isn’t as strong. But Brazil’s fertile lands and climate means it can grow some of the best coffee beans in the world. I got to know the farmer and made my decision there and then to learn more about this industry.
On returning back home I found a local coffee shop close to my university that sold Arabica coffee, I was thrilled. I expressed my interest in coffee growing and roasting, and asked for a job. I am now a trained barista and still love Arabica. I drink it everyday, and every time I take a sip I think of the coffee plantations in Brazil.
The situation has been improving since I last visited, and I have another trip booked next year to visit the farm that my coffee shop sources its beans from. I only hope we can support the farmers in Brazil, and all over the tropical region, to keep producing their special Arabica coffee that got me my job!
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