Illustrated Airplane

Get updates from Blue Bottle

Sign up for stories, coffee tips, and special gear

An Impromptu Visit with Aida Batlle, Coffee Phenom

Tasting, talking, and a fair share of swooning

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.

Read more about Aida in The New Yorker and on Sprudge.

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.

Be the first to hear about limited-release coffees, exceptional coffee producers, and brewing gear by signing up for our (occasional) emails.

All photos by our friends at Fig and Peach Photography.


By Blue Bottle Staff

Published Dec. 23, 2015

Share This Story

Also In The Frequency
It’s like best in show (with plenty of coffee)
By Michael Phillips