Claudia Escobar is on a mission, one that takes her on long, 2,000-mile journeys into the heart of Colombia’s Antioquia Mountains outside of Medellin to find coffee cultivated by small, women-owned coffee growers.
Working directly with farmers is essential to Escobar, whose company TeamCoffee sells nothing but 100 percent Colombian Arabica coffee grown by woman. You can find TeamCoffee’s wares each Saturday at the Energy Corridor Farmers market.
“Our Coffee is picked by women heads of households,” explains Escobar. “Every cup of our coffee that people brew is supporting woman farmers and their families, giving them access to better economic conditions and social lives, especially when it comes to providing education for their children.”
For Escobar, TeamCoffee is more than a purveyor of high-quality, specialty coffee.
She makes the time-consuming journey to the Antioquia Mountains frequently, trading directly with farmers. By keeping track of the entire coffee growing process, TeamCoffee ensures that its beans are selected and picked by woman.
“We’re dedicated to dedicated to building good relationships with woman growers to ensure not only good working conditions but also ecologically sound planting techniques,” says Escobar. “The Direct Trade coffee we bring to the Energy Corridor Farmers Market is the best.”
Called caficultoras, the coffee producers Escobar works farm shade-grown plantations, a method that nestles coffee plants under and around trees. Larger plantations often level huge amounts of acreage, leaving no trees and impacting bird and native species populations.
“Shade-grown coffee protects the Colombian ecosystem,” Escobar explains. “We love to work with caficultores that love and are proud of their business.”
TeamCoffee roasts and sells whole bean and ground coffee from those caficultores, along with chocolate-covered coffee beans and a unique product, coffee cubes pre-sweetened with panel, an unrefined cane sugar juice.
Escobar’s gourmet coffee products are just some of the many locally produced vegetables, fruits, meats and epicurean goodies shoppers find 8 a.m. – noon each Saturday at the Energy Corridor Farmers Market, 14710 Grisby Road, just southeast of IH-10 and Hwy 6.
To discover more the Energy Corridor Farmers market – or to apply as a local vendor – visit here.
For more about Team Coffee, visit here.