These trips are nothing less than life-changing. Get ready to rethink everything you know and have your mind blown away. It is not only because you will meet these fantastic people, that would make you feel like a part of the family from day one, willing to welcome you in their homes and share everything they do and know, it is also because that cup of joe you brew every morning will never be the same after you return. Being able to spend the days visiting coffee farms, unfold the mystery of supply chain, catching up with producers, coop representatives and fellow coffee professionals, simply creating relationships (business and personal) that will last, truly makes this an experience you can hardly put the price on. I would not hesitate to go again, and again..... Thank you!
Coffee Origins Trips organised a superb schedule, with visits to a range of different size plantations so we could see how processing changes from the small coffee grower to much bigger commercial organisations. The trip also covered a large regional area of Brazil, allowing us to enjoy the spectacular scenery and also see how the plantations changed at varying altitudes. Highly recommended for anyone passionate about coffee.
I have visited around 80 countries of the world. Many of them by myself but talking about trips in COFFEE I can say that my really best travels have been done with Colin Smith. Just because this man knows EVERYTHING: he knows where to go (former SCAE President), he is extremely patient (former children’s teacher, remember) he explains all the details (40 years and 3 generations in the industry), the trips and itineraries are extremely well scheduled and time-respected (don’t forget, he is an Englishman!). You can consider my words as a call to arms. I urge you to strongly consider joining one of his trips. Because the memories from there you will keep for the rest of your life, believe me.
By Reginald Randall and Philip Randall of Australia, who have completed 5 coffee origin trips — Papua New Guinea, Honduras, Indonesia (Aceh a part of northern Sumatra), Mexico and India — with Colin Smith. A feature of all our trips is the warm welcome we have received upon arrival from Colin Smith and the representatives of the Coffee Industry in the country we are visiting. The trips start with Colin’s leadership and practised organisational skills being adroitly applied in moulding all the participants into a coherent tour party. The management and communication required to co-ordinate travellers from all corners of the world to a common purpose are considerable and superbly exercised by Colin Smith in concert with the relevant Coffee Industry authorities. From the start, the comradery of the tour group is quickly built under Colin’s expert stewardship. The atmosphere is always friendly, the arrangements reasonably flexible, and an excellent coffee origin experience guaranteed. The tour groups are formed by people of many nationalities and backgrounds, all with a common interest in coffee. Friendships are easily formed and the tour group quickly forms a travelling community where all travellers are supported by each other. The combination of Colin’s warm personality, his thirty plus years in the coffee industry and his high motivation produce a true example of an excellent tour guide for your Coffee Origin Trips! A coffee origin trip is the most amazing and authentic way to experience a country. You meet friendly locals practising their professions and trades, sample the local cuisine and experience the stunning countryside associated with the cultivation of speciality coffee. On tour, Colin keeps you well informed facilitating your education in all aspects of the coffee industry. A coffee trip with Colin Smith is one of the few ways you can safely visit some of the remotest and exotic coffee growing regions of the world. Colin has an extensive network of personal and business contacts in the coffee industry to ensure you receive firsthand knowledge and experience of the local coffee growing and processing economies of the country you are visiting. A Coffee Origin trip with Colin Smith is the way to discover the true meaning of “Farm-to-Coffee Cup”, all aspects of the cultivation and processing of coffee are explored, experienced and explained. You will visit plantations and farms, processing plants, and participate in tastings of the local coffee harvest. The experience can be addictive and you will find yourself checking on upcoming trips. Many thanks We recommend Colin Smith and his origin coffee tours to everyone! Reg & Phil Randall
I have been on six coffee origin trips with Colin and David and enjoyed how unique and beneficial each of them has been for me as a coffee enthusiast and also for my business meeting farmers, exporters, and making new friends!
I am so thankful that I received the Java/Bali origin trip invitation! Colin and David are the best organizers that you could ask for. They have thought of everything that you will need, from the origin specific supply list and travel documentation, to the in country travel and lodging.
If you have made solo origin trips you can appreciate all of the pre-planning that goes into each visit. These seasoned coffee buyers will help you navigate the local landscape while providing you with an enjoyable coffee sourcing experience!
James Combs, Combs Coffee, Texas, USA.
Before I went to Indonesia so many people told me that going on a coffee origin trip wold be a life changing experience – and I agree, no other words can say it better. To me it’s like a short trip that lasts long in your heart. It’s not only about learning about coffee, but also people you meet would teach you the best thing – friendship. Speciality coffee will always bring you speciality friends. Colin and David organised a great trip, and I hope to join them again one day.
Pornsamon Chareewayruroj (Nuun), Pana Coffee, Bangkok
Date - January 2018
Destination – The state of Karnataka, India. Including Bengaluru, The Balanoor and Badra Estates in the Chikmagalur district, and Mangalore.
I am not a seasoned traveller and so embarked on this journey with a degree of trepidation. However, after being greeted and reassured by chief organiser Colin Smith, a trip of a lifetime ensued. This coffee origin trip was fun packed from start to finish and achieved the perfect balance of travel, education, socialising, rest and reflection.
Day one began and the pace was set; we ate breakfast with the CEO at The Indian Coffee Board before sitting on our hands at the Coffee Auction in Bengaluru. In the afternoon we had the pleasure and honour of meeting the one and only Mrs Sunalini Menon "Asia's first lady of coffee" who introduced us to up and coming farmers and allowed us to “cup” a number of the finest as well as developing Indian Coffees. We then travelled to the renowned Balanoor Estate where for me the experience became ever more captivating not least because of our most generous and charismatic host Mr Ashok Kuriyan and his enchanting family. A short testimony could not in any way reflect the range and depth of learning and development this experience provided on this plantation and the magnificent surrounding area! We learnt about and drank amazing coffee, shook hands with and harvested beans alongside seasoned pickers before enjoying a Kingfisher on the mountain watching the sunset and tracking Bison. My advice and recommendation: If you are interested in coffee, agriculture, the sustainability of our industry and all those it supports, like meeting wonderful people and are intrigued by fascinating parts of the world - do it, do it, do it !!!!
I was very pleased, when Colin Smith started the field trip program all those years ago because it was one of my dreams to visit coffee farms, and it could be fulfilled under the organization of SCAE, safe and planned.
Colin always made it very interesting, diverse and full of information which I was looking for. He also took into account all the suggestions that participants had. It was also very good to meet fellow roasters and different people from the coffee chain. I am very thankful I could participate on these trips.
In June 2017 I joined a field trip with Colin and David to Indonesia. A magnificent journey through Eastern Java and Bali. Not only because of the beautiful farms we visited, but also because we were able to see multiple stages of the coffee industry. For me, it was a memorable trip due to the things I’ve learned about coffee. But mostly because we experienced a lot about the Indonesian culture and lifestyle.
The origin trip to Mexico was the best starting point to get to know the coffee sector. A small group of passionate people who have been in the business for a long time, still curious and open minded. All facets were discussed, I learned a lot, in a relaxing way. The experience and certain knowledge is difficult to distil from books. I recommend it to everyone. Colin and his team ensured that everything was arranged and enough variation was offered. I am sure to be part of one of the future trips.
I could write a book about all the things we’ve done in Indonesia. From visiting coffee estates to enjoying a lunch with the local people, everything was included. Besides learning a lot about coffee from the local people and the farmers, I also learned a lot from the other people who joined the trip. People who came from all different parts of the world which became very close friends. Coffee origin trips brought me three very important things: coffee, culture and friendships.
“Have just returned from San Jose with Coffee Origin Trips I would highly recommend for both coffee professionals and enthusiasts alike. The exposure and insight you gain in these trips in amazing, I’ve been in the coffee industry for many years and I’ve learnt so much from visiting origin, meeting the farmers, visiting the mills and just seeing first-hand the passion, care and attention the farmers put into delivering amazing quality coffee. The trip is well constructed and maximises the time allocated, every day there was something new and when we thought it couldn’t get any better, it did! We were promised at the start of the trip that our visit to Costa Rica would be life changing….. and it certainly was!”