We don't often think of cacao and coffee in the same thought and yet, the number of similarities between them is truly astounding...
For the first event of the season, we decided to host a community event that would inform and engage all those who attended. After speaking with industry leaders, we invited four panelists for the event named Trade Routes: Finding Parallels Between Coffee & Cacao, so that they could give us insight into both the similarities and differences between the two.
From the coffee side, we invited Estefania Hernandez from Colombian Exotic Coffee and Carolin Gutierrez from Tres Marias Coffee Company. Bringing up the cacao side of things, Kathy Johnston from Mirzam Chocolate Makers and Abdullah Algaz from COVET Chocolate Makers completed our board of panelists.
The evening of the event, our audience arrived early and got to mingle with our panelists whilst enjoying samples from each of the panelists comnpanies. The actual discussion began in earnest, moderated by our very own Ruthie Knudsen. Topics like pricing, harvest practices, economics and the "specialty" aspect within both industries were covered with the audience asking questions at the end.
We wanted to make sure that the evening ended on a high note, so a raffle draw had been organized. The winner, Mohammed Alnabi, walked away with a gift bag full of specialty coffee beans, chocolate from both makers and various Cafe Rider goodies and a genuine Colombian sombrero!
All in all, it was an engaging evening of deeply enthusiastic conversation about both cacao and coffee. If you missed the first one, don't worry - we're just getting started with these types of discussions so stay tuned for the next one!