Local roastmaster travels to coffee’s origins in Brazil | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Local roastmaster travels to coffee’s origins in Brazil

Annie Flanzraich
Photos by Christian Waskiewicz / Special to the TrChristian Waskiewicz, president and roastmaster of Alpen Sierra Coffee Roasting Company, cupping all of Ipanema Coffee's specialty offerings for purchase selection by Alpen Sierra at Fazenda Conquista.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Christian Waskiewicz brought back more than luggage to the states when he returned from a week-long trip to São Paulo, Brazil, to taste local coffee beans and meeting local growers.

“To date this was my most inspiring trip,” said Waskiewicz, the president and roastmaster of Alpen Sierra Coffee Roasting Company. He has also visited Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Ethipoia in the past nine years on what he calls an origin trip.

“On an origin trip I seek out outstanding great new coffees, sources for coffee and broaden my horizons,” Waskiewicz said.

On this trip Waskiewicz travelled with other roastmasters from the United States. In the past he has travelled as a tasting judge for coffee competitions.

During these trips Waskiewicz visits local coffee farms and estates and meets the people who produce the coffee.

“We visit with the farms and the villages and look at new direct relationships and buying channels,” he said.

He spent a week in the Mogiana, Cerrado and Sul de Minas regions, visiting different speciality coffee estates.

“It’s like a visit to Bordeaux, France,” Waskiewicz said. “These estates are so quality-oriented.”

Waskiewicz was also able to experience varying coffees tastes that resulted from the three different coffee processing methods used in Brazil.

“It creates a unique flavor,” Waskiewicz said.

On origin trips Waskiewicz learns new ideas about what’s going on in the coffee world. For example, Waskiewicz said there is currently a major innovation happening in the coffee world when it comes to espresso.

“It’s about enjoying espresso for what it is, it’s so different than filter coffee,” he said.

He also plans to bring single-origin espressos to Alpen Sierra Coffee. Normally, espresso comes from many different regions.

“This will really preview the coffee of Brazil,” Waskiewicz said.

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