Umami Area lands in Central and South America with new projects for 2017
By Colleen Cross
Buenos Aires, Argentina – Umami Area, a cultural association that gathers experts and lovers of food & beverage sensory, is planning new projects for 2017.
In Buenos Aires, Roca Mora roastery premises where the group has established its new branch, the second edition of Umami Barista Camp Argentina recently took place.
Participants from Argentina, Brazil, and Bolivia attended the courses, led by Andrej Godina, authorized SCA trainer. The courses focused on Barista Skills, Brewing Methods and Sensory Skills – professional coffee sensory analysis, based on SCAA protocol Brazilian cupping, Umami Area said in a news release. It was a chance for Argentina to speed up the path towards specialty coffee.
“Umami Area educational path is successful. I believe that the knowledge transfer to those working in the coffee industry is of crucial importance in order to increase the quality of the finished product,” Giacomo Monachesi, responsible for Umami Area Argentina, commented. “Argentina just witnessed the birth of the Specialty Coffee movement, with an unstoppable revolution going on, radically changing the consumers’ behaviours. Umami Barista Camp involved 20 professionals, actively involved in this amazing world of coffee.”
Despite being the first world coffee producer, and due to its intensive production and mechanical harvesting, Brazil is not usually linked with high-quality, the release said. In fact, every year, Brazil is producing an important amount of “triage,” represented by unripe cherries, overripe cherries, cherries fallen on the ground, subsequently processed for internal market demand. For this reason, for the last years, the Brazilian Specialty Coffee Association has been promoting awareness projects in order to improve the final beverage.
To help do this, the group organized the first edition of the Umami Coffee Camp in Brazil. This latter is part of a bigger project, C.O.F.F.E.E. Project, co-financed by the Erasmus+ Program of the European Commission, designed by Starkmacher e.V., German NGO. Fazenda de Esperanza Fazenda de Esperanza was one of the partners. This latter sustains the rehab and education of former alcohol and drug addicted through their involvement in the agricultural life, thanks to its 170 farms, particularly in the coffee plantation management, having so the possibility of starting a new life.
“The Umami Coffee Camp was a touching experience – witnesses Andrej Godina, president of Umami Area – Umami group, composed by 20 young trainers, connected with the work of Fazenda Piraju, where 25 guests, aged 18-60, are trying to escape the drug addiction. During the Umami Coffee Camp, the participants, along with the members of Fazenda, planted 300 new coffee plants, witnessing the beginning of a new process, leading to an enlargement of the actual plantation in the next two years.”
Free of charge, Umami Area led SCA classes for the members of the Fazenda. From this first encounter, the two parts agreed upon producing a high-quality lot, within Piraju plantation. The Specialty Coffee Exporting Company, Capricornio Coffees, is supporting this initiative. Edgar Bressani, director of the company, will offer technical consultancies to the Fazenda, so that on April, it will be possible to have the first selective harvesting, to produce honey coffee. The agreement with Edgar Bressani, foresees the implementation of formation camps for locals and international visitors, involving those companies committed to a high-quality production in San Paolo e Parana states.
The agreement with Plastico Tico in Costa Rica and the first Umami Coffee Camp in Guatemala
Thanks to the authorized SCA trainer, Andrea Onelli, Umami Area is also implementing several activities in Guatemala. The young trainer led educational path for baristas and producers, focusing on green coffee, roasting, barista skills, filter methods and sensory analysis. In order to sign a collaboration agreement, Andrej Godina travelled to Central America, visiting the premises of Plastico Tico, headquarter of the SCA courses.
After the exciting meeting with the director of the family business, Umami Area president says: “With Donny Chou, we immediately agreed upon the mission and the contents of the agreement: the company just established a roasting plant in San José with a 15kg Probat, and is working for the construction of the formation centre in order to host the Umami Barista Camps.”
Costa Rica, unlike neighbouring Guatemala, is a country with an economy based on tourism, pineapple, cocoa and coffee production, giving the chance to roasters and producers to deliver a high-quality coffee, joining the SCA formation. In addition, the extremely safe political environment, allows the implementation of international formation activities, involving participants coming from consuming countries.
There is another exciting news. This year Umami Area will offer the first Umami Coffee Camp in Guatemala, at finca Aurora, in Coban region. The farm has been bought by an investors group from Costa Rica, partners of Umami Area, and it is meant to become the new formation centre for local producers as well as for baristas and international professionals, taking part to the Umami Area Activities.