What do coffee and vegetables have in common, you ask? Community, sustainability, farming, flavor, inspiration and passion for amazing food and fellowship. There's no better way to experience that firsthand, than at the Roots 2023 conference.
We had the opportunity to showcase our coffee to top culinary leaders, celebrity chefs such as Maneet Chauhan from Iron Chef and Michael Voltaggio from Top Chef, farmers, academics, food scientists, journalists, research and development experts, and consumers from all around the world.
This year's theme was “regenerate”. Regeneration means to bring vitality and renewed growth into our communities and our ecosystems. Conference participants discussed the regenerative process of the food we cultivate as it is grown and prepared, how we recharge ourselves and the teams that support us, how we can revitalize the direction and impact of the Food & Beverage industry, and so much more.
We had the opportunity to be a part of this regenerative process by showcasing three different coffees with the intent to “regenerate” and use every part of the coffee plant in each cup we served.
For breakfast, we served Peru Honey Experiment coffee on pour over. This unique coffee has tasting notes of shortbread, pear and honeycomb. The process of making this coffee involved floating fresh cherries, pulping them, then adding the coffee with attached mucilage into individual plastic barrels. This coffee fermented for roughly two days inside the vats with added fruit and yeast, then was transported to––and dried on––drying beds built by Don Julio, at roughly 1200 masl. The drying process took approximately 18 days for the entire lot of honeyed coffee.
For lunch, we served our signature cold beverage Entera Coffea, which used the entire coffee plant including the leaves, the pulp from the cherries and, of course, the coffee beans to make a perfect nitro cold brew.
Our dinner coffee was a coffee pairing of our newest release Colombia Apote Honey. This coffee has tasting notes of melon blossom, honeycrisp apple and agave. We served it with a homemade non-dairy creamer that Brandon Bir made from corn, melon and lentils. This coffee was paired with the melon sorbet at the famous Chefs Dinner––it was a hit.
To end the weekend, our very own Brandon Bir spoke on a sustainability panel. When asked about his efforts towards sustainability in the coffee industry, he said that the farmers he works with are “doing things more sustainable than people who have access to the internet.” He also said, “I am fortunate enough to see sustainable practices in Ethiopia and take those practices and share them with farmers in South America and Central America.”
We cannot wait for next year's conference!