It’s arguable that the ultimate goal of many coffee professionals is to finally go to origin. It’s the root of where our careers or passions for coffee start, and for many of us, it’s perceived as being far out of reach. One typically has to work for a roaster, particularly one that applies Direct Trade sourcing, or be a Green Buyer- which again- is often seen as the Mecca for coffee careers to make their way to a coffee growing region.
But with each drink we serve and coffee we discuss every day, that gap between the lands that grow coffee and those that avidly consume it grow closer and closer together. In that movement, we’ve seen many Barista/Origin exchanges arise. No longer do you need to work for a roaster (and on top of that be selected of all employees to go) to finally make your way to a coffee growing region. For our BGA members, we’ve tracked down some of the D.I.Y coffee internship programs and listed them here, just for you:
- 1-day tours giving an overview of the coffee lifecycle in Goleta, California. Able to do open tours during the summer (1x a month), private tours, as well as industry seminars.
- Sign up here.
- Field Barista Project: 2 -week internship in Colombia where individuals work on the farm in exchange for room and board. In addition, you’ll be asked to share your coffee knowledge. A true “working” internship with hands on experience.
- Applicants must be 24 years of age, and please send CV as well as proposal to Lennart Clerkx.
- 1-day volunteer activities such as harvesting, weeding, coffee processing, etc in San Miguel Escobar, Guatemala. Also the ability to stay long-term.
- Sign up available here.
- 2 – to -4 week internship in El Salvador working on Los Pirineos farm and with Expo Tepaca (exporter).
- Please send CV and expectations to: Gilberto Baraona.
In addition, check out the The Perfect Daily Grind Barista Exchange forum. Here both coffee professionals and coffee farmers list their need/want for an exchange. So for example, you can fill out your application as a barista to volunteer and/or visit. Similarly, producers can post their interest in hosting coffee professionals.
Please know there are many more opportunities for origin visits that we simply weren’t able to include this time. We encourage all those who seek this adventure to look into the many ways you can get yourself to origin!