Andrés Hernández is 25 years old and lives in Bogotá (the capital of Colombia). He works as a quality analyst and gives courses for baristas (the people who then prepare perfect coffees for us in a café). Together with his brother he has a company dedicated to the commercialization of coffee. They are also looking for ways to improve the quality of production and as a result the prices. He is into relationship coffee and says “I want to connect the coffee farmer and the consumer”. I met him at the coffeeshop “Arte y Pasion” in Bogotá when I was there with a Colombian scientist from Austria.
1. What is it that links you to coffee? Why do you work with coffee?
I belong to the fourth generation of a coffee family in the community of Garzón, Huila. Through my family I learned a lot about coffee, the exchange with them awakened a special passion that led me to delve more deeply into the whole world of coffee, especially into the world of “post-production,” that is, everything that happens after the harvest.
I work with coffee because it is important to me to contribute to the whole coffee community. For me, this includes both farmers and consumers. It is important to me to create working relationships between many people and thus improve the sustainability of coffee production and marketing.
2. What did you do before you worked with coffee?
I started my professional career with coffee!
3. What is the most important thing about coffee for you? What is „good coffee“ for you?
For me, the most important thing about coffee is the people who work along the entire value chain to produce a good cup of coffee. It is very important to highlight the work of each one of them and, through the common value, to emphasize all the efforts made to continue contributing to a coffee culture!
For me, a good coffee is a coffee with a history, where the emphasis is on contributing to the coffee community: a coffee that delights people. But it is also a coffee with a well-balanced flavor and pleasant taste.
4. How do you drink your coffee (preferably)?
I prefer espresso and filter coffee from the V60.
5. What do you think about fair trade?
I think it is one of the fairest ways to have a trading relationship with the producers. However, I think there is still a lot of development that needs to be done before a truly fair trade can be achieved through direct trade relations.
6. Is there anything else you would like to add?
I would like to see even more coffee education in the world of coffee, including for the consumer. Only this way can consumers really appreciate the quality of good coffee which can lead to the development of a genuine coffee culture worldwide.