Cuando el Café Habla

When Coffee Speaks: The Narratives Behind Coffee

The Book: “When Coffee Speaks: Stories from and of Latin American Coffeepeople”

Back cover reads: Whatever your sentiments towards or knowledge of coffee, the stories coffee has to tell are surprising, intriguing, and always human. Part travelogue meets anthropological field notes, part … Continue reading

Featured · 1 Comment

Cuando el Cafe Habla (When Coffee Speaks): Stories from Caficultores

Humanity of Commodity: Working Project Rationale Everything has a story. No one of us, no moment of anyone’s life, fits a template or follows a formula.  We are all the … Continue reading

Featured · 4 Comments

That Business Model is Looking Good

I’ve finished the book so the blog is back! I just finished writing and putting together “When Coffee Speaks,” a collection of interviews with people who work in coffee. The … Continue reading

October 3, 2013 · 2 Comments

Coffee Year in Review

It’s coming up on a year since I left  to begin this odyssey. On August 28, 2012, I departed Newark Liberty International Airport for San Jose, Costa Rica with a … Continue reading

August 26, 2013 · Leave a comment

When Milvia Speaks

Conversation with Milvia and her Goddaughter Melissa in Boquete, Panama. Recorded March 26, 2013. When did we start? My husband took charge of the finca in 1946. His father died … Continue reading

August 22, 2013 · Leave a comment

The Sound of the Machete

There is a certain sound that metal-on-plant makes. As the force of a swinging machete hits tree branches, plant stalks, or grass blades, the metal rings out with a particular … Continue reading

August 19, 2013 · 2 Comments

When Don Guillermo Speaks

Excerpt from a conversation with Guillermo, a coffee grower in Antioquia, Colombia. Recorded April 26, 2013. Guillermo and I are seated in white plastic chairs- the kind that populate every … Continue reading

August 14, 2013 · 1 Comment

From Sod to Brimming Silos

Interview with Gloria Muñoz, recorded May 15, 2013 in Chinchina, Caldas, Colombia If you could just say a little more about what you were telling me before, about how your … Continue reading

August 9, 2013 · Leave a comment

There’s Something Special about Potenciana Coffee

Arabica coffee (the smooth mild stuff) grows best in volcanic soil at least 1400 meters (~4500 feet) above sea level. Often, the more spectacular the conditions for growing coffee, the … Continue reading

August 5, 2013 · Leave a comment

Kickstart “When Coffee Speaks”

It’s alive. Now through September 1st I’m running a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money necessary to self publish a short “sample run” of When Coffee Speaks. When I interviewed … Continue reading

August 2, 2013 · Leave a comment

Another Kind of Organic

30 some years ago the UDSA standardized the definition of organic for the purpose of regulating the production and sale of agricultural products free of chemical inputs. But the larger, … Continue reading

July 30, 2013 · 3 Comments

Get Behind Your Coffee

I’m back. I’m back on the grid and in the grind and on the payroll and in the system. I’m no longer rogue and independent and only as traceable as … Continue reading

July 13, 2013 · Leave a comment

Café de Lejos

No he olvidado nada. Conocí a mucha gente en los ultimos 10 meses. La parte mas dificil de conocer a tantas personas es tener que despedir a tantos. Cada despedida … Continue reading

July 5, 2013 · Leave a comment

The Story behind the Stories

The following is my story, as per early December 2012. (And I didn’t even have to translate it!) I’m sitting in the middle of the Costa Rican mountains, surrounded by … Continue reading

July 2, 2013 · 2 Comments

Grind Wait

Just over two weeks have lapsed since I got off the plane from Colombia. And every day has reminded me why not very many people have read my blog over … Continue reading

June 23, 2013 · 4 Comments

Last Drop

Right now I’m sitting in an old Spanish colonial home converted to a cheap hostel in Colombia’s prettiest Caribbean city, Cartagena. Street noises are drifting in with the breeze: whirring … Continue reading

June 6, 2013 · 7 Comments


People become what you tell them they are, and if someone tells people that they live in the land of the Colombian Coffee Landscape World Heritage Site, they will turn … Continue reading

June 5, 2013 · 1 Comment

Collective Regurgitation

Tell me your story. Don’t retell me what someone else has said about you, has told you about yourself, tell me what you know about you, what you’ve seen and … Continue reading

June 4, 2013 · 1 Comment

Crow Flights

We’d like to think that airplanes have given us the capacity for crow flights, that because we can take a plane from one place to another we can travel “as … Continue reading

June 1, 2013 · Leave a comment

Water from Above

In Colombia I’ve spent about as much time in offices as I have out in cafetales. This project very early on evolved from being just about coffee growers to being … Continue reading

May 30, 2013 · Leave a comment

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1 other follower


There was an error retrieving images from Instagram. An attempt will be remade in a few minutes.


© Rachel Northrop and and, 2012-2013. 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Rachel Northrop and or with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.