Of all the places in the world that produce coffee, we chose to source our new beans from the Huila region of southwest Colombia. Our team went on quite a journey to get there and the coffee beans go on a similar one to get back. More on that another time!
With the towering Andes mountains providing a backdrop and the 1,000-mile-long Magdalena River roaring north to the Caribbean Sea, Huila’s altitude, soil and climate provide ideal conditions for growing the finest Arabica coffee beans. The full-flavor and subtle sweetness of Arabica coffee, which we learned is fondly called “mountain coffee,” pairs perfectly with our food at First Watch.
The location was perfect, but along the way we learned that it was so much more than geography. Huila boasts a proud history of growing coffee with traditional, sustainable methods. Unlike some coffee-producing regions where machines strip beans from plants regardless of ripeness, our beans are handpicked at precisely the right time by talented local female farmers on small 3- to 4-acre hillside plots (remember the Mujeres en Café?). From practice to product, those involved with the coffee we source from Huila are truly artists and inspirations.
Coffee is a big deal at First Watch, and so are people. That’s what makes our new coffee special. It’s not just where Project Sunrise comes from, but also who. We think that makes all the difference.
We wouldn’t have Project Sunrise without the Mujeres en Café. We’re excited to share more about these talented female coffee growers in our next posts. Pour another cup of coffee and stay tuned!