Nick's Coffee Sourcing Adventure: Cup 3

Let's get to Cup 3! If you need a refresher on this series, click here!

After an incredible week in Colombia's Eje Cafetero I had a few more weeks to enjoy Medellín and was able to spend time with a cousin who visited me towards the end of June. We were fortunate to have SAG Tour Medellín give us an amazing experience through Guatapé and Comuna 13. During our tour through Comuna 13 (Sector 13/16 of Medellín) -a neighborhood once known as the most dangerous part of Medellín- we visited Museo de Cafe Yipao, the only true coffee experience from seed to cup in the comuna. Museo de Cafe Yipao was a unique experience because it marked the first time I befriended local people who are familiar with Medellín's specialty coffee culture. As a bonus, I had an opportunity to sharpen my barista skills during our visit!



This experience started a new chapter and new experience in Medellín from making friends to earning a few extra pesos. After my visit, I expressed interest to the lead barista, Manuela, in volunteering at Cafe Yipao so I can experience a hands on approach in learning more about the barista side of coffee -no better place to learn than in the origin! They were delighted to welcome me and day-by-day, I became a barista. From a Pour Over to a French Press to an Aeropress, I learned the intricacies and science behind different brewing methods. The knowledge I gathered from this experience was priceless. As an added bonus, I was able to meet different tourists that came in and out of the cafe museum.

While volunteering, I found myself teaching English to some of the tour guides from SAG Tour Medellín. Ironically, I learned the Comuna 13 tour route well enough to start giving tours on my own. So, what did I do? I started escorting English tours for SAG Tour Medellín. This not only helped put a few extra pesos in my pocket but it also allowed me to make connections with different people from around the world, business related or not. It was also a great opportunity to understand and have empathy of the horrors that Medellín has had to overcome over the last 40 years.

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