Last week, we had the pleasure of welcoming Aida Batlle to our W.C. Morse cafe for an impromptu (and informal) tasting and conversation.
Aida is a coffee producer, yes, but to us, she’s an artist of the highest degree. In her vast “studio” comprising multiple farms, famous volcanos, the local community, and teams of workers, Aida questions every aspect of the process and regularly invents new methods for us to taste and try.
Sometimes she sends us coffee with the message of simply “trust me.” And we always, always do.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that Aida is one of the most lauded coffee producers in the world, but you wouldn’t know it standing beside her, informally sampling her world-renowned coffees. She’s down-to-earth and modest, disarmingly casual, and a tireless champion of the team that she works alongside.
In our conversation, she told us that her favorite part of the process is the harvest—a moment when the farm and the plants are alive with activity and filled with potential. She talked about the importance of “being tough” and having an edge as a woman in the field. And she told us that each of her experiments begin in only five-gallon buckets (minuscule by coffee-production standards).
Aida is direct and economical in her speech, but her warmth exudes in each conversation, filling the room with anticipation and the desire to meet her level of commitment with equal bravura.
We’re always sad to let her go, but eager to get her back to her studio to see what the next harvest might bring.
Aida’s Grand Reserve Peaberry will be available online for limited release on December 29, and if you’re passing through Tokyo, her revelatory Kilimanjaro Cascara Soaked will be on offer there (but is running out fast). NY cafes will offer Aida’s Tanzania Natural in January, and LA cafes will offer Tanzania in February.
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All photos by our friends at Fig and Peach Photography.