Visiting a coffee farm can be an eye-opening experience, even for coffee aficionados. While you may have a conceptual understanding of all the hard work and often low pay that goes into getting coffee from the plant to your cup, […]
Visiting a coffee farm can be an eye-opening experience, even for coffee aficionados. While you may have a conceptual understanding of all the hard work and often low pay that goes into getting coffee from the plant to your cup, meeting farmers and seeing the crops firsthand can help you more fully appreciate this amazing beverage.
However, many people do not have the means to visit a coffee farm, whether that’s temporary due to the pandemic or if traveling to locations suitable for coffee growing is cost-prohibitive, among other reasons. Fortunately, it’s possible to get a virtual taste of what a coffee farm is like.
Three ways to do so include:
Book a Virtual Tour
Due to COVID-19, many farms that previously offered in-person tours switched over to virtual visits. These often include videoconferences to get more of the personal, interactive connection.
For example, Café Monteverde in Costa Rica offers a 45-minute, live virtual tour, where participants can ask a farm guide questions to get a deeper understanding of the full plant-to-cup process. Or you can book a virtual tour through Airbnb Online Experiences, like this one in Colombia.
Virtual tour prices vary, but essentially for the cost of a couple pounds of coffee, you can find a great, often customizable experience. Even after the pandemic ends, virtual tours could be a revenue stream some farmers want to keep. If you don’t see one available, try emailing a company that offers in-person tours to see if you can set up a virtual one.
Watch “Day-in-the-Life” Videos
Seeing scenic shots of coffee farms can help you appreciate the natural wonder of coffee, but to get a deeper appreciation for what goes into actually creating a cup, it helps to see what it’s like to work as a coffee farmer.
If you can’t physically pick the cherries yourself, you can watch “day-in-the-life” type videos, where coffee farmers share a bit about their work and their lives overall. From Kenya to Vietnam to Jamaica, you can find so many different types of stories about farmers on YouTube.
Read Interviews With Farmers
While the visual aspects of a virtual coffee tour or a video about a coffee farmer can be helpful, you can still get a sense of the hard work and complexity that goes into producing coffee even just by reading about it. For example, this interview from Paulig Barista Institute with a farmer in Kenya is an insightful read. Or next time you’re browsing online for your next pound of coffee to purchase, see if your favorite coffee companies have published similar types of content on their own blogs.
Even if you think you know a lot about coffee, taking some time to more thoroughly immerse yourself in coffee farming, including virtually, can go a long way toward making you appreciate your next cup even more.
Jake Safane is a freelance journalist and content marketer living in LA who’s worked for companies like The Economist. When’s he not drinking coffee to fuel his writing, he enjoys baking vegan goodies and exercising.