We travel to each origin several times per year. In most of the cases we can take people with us. Please note that when we go on these trips we are working, it is not a holiday.
The benefits of going on an origin trip are many, and varies depending on the type of trip (cupping or not). You will learn about different aspects of the coffee supply chain, and start building relationships with different producers. You get to see where your money goes and meet the farms or washing stations your coffee comes from. On a cupping trip you’ll be a part of our purchasing process, and of course get to taste all the coffees we end up buying before everyone else. These trips are reserved for people with purchasing power at their company. On a non-cupping trip there will be more time to visit farms/washing stations/micro mills, getting to know people and taking photos for marketing purposes of your coffee. We will prioritise current customers who want to come on these trips. If you’re not a roaster or green buyer these trips are not for you, but you may be interested in Origin Approach.
You have to organize your own flights, visa, travel insurance and vaccines. We will organize hotels and travel at origin. We recommend bringing USD cash and Visa card.
Register your interest:
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost?
This varies. You have to pay for your own flights, hotel, transport and food. This varies a bit from origin to origin, and whether we are staying in a city or rural area. Hotels in cities are about USD 100-150 per person per day, 60-80 if in a rural area. Transport is about USD 150 per day, split between everyone, so this will depend on how many who comes on the trip. Food is about USD 30-50 per day.
Do I have to organise my own flights and hotel?
You have to book your own flights, but we take care of hotels and transport in origin.
Will there be any spare time?
Once in origin we will organize the full day with activities, as such there is no spare time. You can of course choose to book a later flight home for “tourism days” on your own.
The Nordic crew shares their origin travel tips:
What’s your favourite origin to visit, and why?
- Morten: Ethiopia, but it’s a kind of love/hate relationship. Love because it is a beautiful country with wonderful people and a great culture. And the coffees are world class! Hate, because I can’t stand injera and most Ethiopian food. And sometimes that’s all there is.
- Joanne: I don’t think one place can be my favourite, there is a different value in each place, things I enjoy that I don’t find in the other countries I visit. Right now I am spending more time in South and Central America and am finding Colombia both challenging and beautiful to visit.
- Kaya: Well, I have only been to Colombia, Costa Rica, Kenya and Ethiopia. And all of them are amazing in their own way. But if I had to choose, I’d say Ethiopia. Because its such an amazing country. It is the most challenging. Both work wise & personal for me. Difficult to get around, so political, a bit scary but mostly super nice and sweet people.
- Andreas: My favorite origin is a couple; Ethiopia, Colombia and Kenya. All of them due to authenticity and for the great hospitality (and coffee).
- Jamie: Burundi – the culture, the insanely nice people, the incredible nature and driving up and down the hills everywhere. Their super dedication to the coffee. Crazy drivers. And it’s a little edgy and rough. So… long story short, kind of everything about the country is why.
- Alec: They’re all special in their own way. Have been to El Salvador the most, and that’s close to my heart for a variety of reasons, not least because of pupusas. Ethiopia is one of the most special places I’ve ever been, totally unique culture, huge diversity, very complex, and I love Ethiopian food.
- Alex: I love Burundi. It’s so raw. It puts life in perspective and makes me appreciate it more.
Why do you think it’s good for roasters to go on origin trips?
- Morten: It’s the best and easiest way to get first hand information about coffee in general and fully understand the complexity of the coffee supply chain. Even if you only visit once you will most likely be able to take better buying decisions in general, and it help you sell and market coffee as a product.
- Joanne: There are so many things you understand before you travel, but at the same time you don’t understand at all until you see them in front of your own eyes. I really enjoy how questions come out of people because of what they see around them, and also because of the questions from the people they travel with. So every group I have traveled with is a completely different experience based on the personalities, perspectives and curiosities of the individuals in the group. It kind of leads us on the journey.
- Kaya: I think is a great learning experience as you get so close to the product. As well, learn to respect how much elbow grease there is behind a really good cup of coffee.
- Andreas: I think you only understand the complexity of coffee after having been to origin. It is also extremely important to know who you are dealing with – there are actual people behind all coffees. You basically appreciate good coffee so much more after understanding the workload and all the steps before being able to consume a cup.
- Jamie: Actually knowing where your coffee is coming from and not just reading it from a book or seeing a picture gives you so much more connection with the farmer and the product you’re selling. Shaking that worked hardened hand that touched your coffee. Looking the woman or man that made that coffee with all that damn hard work in the eyes, seeing the shimmer of years of hard work in their eyes looking back at you. Nothing will ever come close.
- Alena: You stop thinking about origin as an abstract word. “Farmers”, “hard work at the farm”, “coffee processing” all those things come true. And this is the best way to see our own place in the whole supply chain. It helps to understand what value each of us brings to coffee industry.
- Alec: No matter how large or small you are, if you decide to go to origin, you will learn a lot and re-orient yourself in the value chain. You will see how much work goes into producing coffee and how complicated it can be at every level. My advice is to make sure that you know why you’re there. Not just so you can manage your own buying and investment decisions, also to find the relationships you want to grow with. And of course so you can share what you’ve learned with your staff and customers. Communicating the work and people behind a cup of coffee is really powerful.
- Alex: Roasters need to experience the energy and investment needed to produce coffee, and see first hand all the complexities of the value chain. It will most definitely affect their approach to buying and selling of the product.
What do you always pack when you go on an origin trip?
- Morten: Used to be a bottle of Zacapa, nowadays, Immodium!
- Joanne: Hand grinder, I like to brew the coffees that I have been cupping. Snacks, nuts usually for the road so that we don’t have to stop for food.
- Kaya: Protein bars, instant soup and pictures of my family. Including my cat.
- Andreas: I always travel with carry on bag only – don’t need more than that.
- Alena: Hand grinder for good coffee, extra charger, sunscreen SPF 50. Boots for the muddy fields:)
- Jamie: Some great quality tea or a bottle of wine. Preferably both.
- Alec: Immodium, granola bars / protein bars. Car sickness pills are helpful too to keep your stomach in good shape and help you get some sleep on long car trips. And a small notebook and pen to write down impressions.
- Alex: I always pack some active charcoal and noise canceling headphones.
(check out our full blogpost on what to pack for an origin trip)