We chatted with Carolina Ramirez, one of the producers responsible for our latest partnership with Unblended Coffee, the DOUBLE DOUBLE. Read below to learn a little more about coffee production in Colombia.
1. Introduce yourself to the Portrait community!
Hello, my name is Carolina Ramirez, I am 35 years old and I live in Andes, a small town on the western mountain chain of Andes, Colombia. I am a lawyer but I also feel a deep love for the mountains and the countryside, I do trail running as my other passion and I practiced law for 12 years. 2 years ago, my life changed a little bit and I decided to leave the city and came back to my hometown to live my dream of being a coffee producer like my mom, my grandpa, my great grandfather, and my whole family.
2. How has COVID affected your day-to-day work?
Covid changed my life, unbelievably for good, due to my low activity during quarantine as a lawyer I had the bravery to make a decision and start a new journey in coffee. My farm was a safe place for me, my family, and all the people that worked with us, we had all the protocols so everyone was safe, we could breathe better air, we weren't exposed to a lot of people as in the city. The only thing that we felt during covid was the increased prices of production due to the difficulties with getting all the agroindustrial supplies to the town.
3. How long have you been producing coffee?
All my family has been coffee producers by tradition, for more than 150 years. In my case, all my life has been around the family business but just 2 years ago I´ve been directly involved in the production.
4. Tell us a little bit about your experience in partnering with Unblended Coffee.
The experience with Unblended has been very nice, It has felt like being part of a team that wants to rescue the human part of specialty coffee from all sides, from the buyer to the distributor and producer. That kind of contact has been incredible. I´ve been able to know the one who's drinking my coffee that we made with so much love and apart from the economic contribution that close relationship keeps me motivated to seek excellence.
With Unblended we´ve learned about a lot of topics that before made us, the producers, felt like we were at a disadvantage with the market, the commercial side, the innovative part of improving the processing facility and production side, so being able to with this type of relationships and guidance of people that never lose this personal touch is gratifying.
5. What's the best advice you've ever received?
Don't be afraid to live your dream, feel free to believe in yourself, and don't let anyone cut your wings because we never know until when we could fly. (Advice from my best friend who died at 33 from leukemia)
6. What do you hope folks taste in your coffee?
That it is a different coffee, that we´re giving a part of ourselves, that the softness and balance of the cup are because we´ve harvested it in a clean way, taking care of the environment and every little detail starting when we select each seed until how we choose how to transport it to the final destination.
7. What is your hope in producing this coffee?
My dream is to be able to transmit all the values with what we build this project, a sustainable coffee growing practice, clean and competitive. Producing coffee is demanding and we want to achieve better profiles each time, that surprises all the consumers and falls everyone in love as much as I do.