Long before I was even born coffee has played a significant role in my family. Growing up I remember hearing about my grandfather’s coffee business in West Africa where he harvested and packaged his own coffee products to sell locally. Being a family business my father and uncle would often spend hours working on the farm as a way to help support the family. Unfortunately, my grandfather passed away long before I ever got the chance to meet him. Subsequently after his passing the business was dissolved never to be launched again.
This would appear to be the end of the story if not for the love of coffee that runs in the Burrowes family. Having retried this year my father has made the decision to move back to Liberia and get the coffee business restarted. With the help of friends and family his goal is to rebuild the farm and eventually grow, roast, and sell coffee locally and to neighboring countries. Trust me, my family’s passion for coffee doesn’t end there. My younger sister Hyacinth has recently traveled to Colombia and embedded herself on the Hacienda Venecia Coffee Farm in Manizales, Colombia to better understand the process that goes into coffee cultivation. From coffee cupping ceremonies to actually working on the farm she’s learned so much over the past 3 months.
Personally my story has been a little different. It wasn’t until I left for college that I started drinking coffee on a regular basis. Whether struggling to finish a late night paper or running to an 8am class I’d often grab a cup of anything that was cheap or convenient. I’ve always had an appreciation for coffee but never a real understanding of the large undertaking that goes into each cup. From cultivation to distribution there’s so many steps in the coffee process that I often picked up second hand or through word of mouth. It was at this point that I realized there were two things missing, education and variety.