Roast And GO, our first coffee-roasting contest, is just around the corner and it works like this: Buy a box of Genuine Origin Reserva Guama Danta from Honduras, roast it up, mail it in by Dec. 14 and, if you’re one of eight finalists, cross your fingers on Dec. 16 when a panel of three judges, at Rise Coffee in St. Louis, determines their favorite and sends that roaster on an all-expenses-paid visit to Honduras, to meet the folks who made that coffee possible.
We’re thrilled to share that one of the evening’s judges will be Joshua Tracey, general assistant manager and trader at Molinos de Honduras, the mill that worked with the producers and guided their beans from the field to our warehouse in Pennsylvania.
Below are some details about Joshua and his thoughts on the contest and Reserva Guama Danta.
Joshua Tracey is half Canadian (father’s side), half Costa Rican (mother’s side) and grew up in Costa Rica. He went to college in the United States on a tennis scholarship, studied international business as an undergraduate and earned an MBA from Southeastern Louisiana University.
He joined Volcafe in 2013, as part of a two-year training program that sends participants through the entire operation, from the field (picking coffee), to the cupping room (he’s a Q Grader) to the trading desk.
In 2015 he moved to Honduras to lead Volcafe’s Specialty & Sustainable projects, which includes Volcafe Way and Genuine Origin, and he wound up taking a lead role in establishing the supply chain for Genuine Origin, from gathering materials to establishing sourcing, logistics and exporting.
Joshua was recently promoted to the role of General Assistant Manager & Trader at the Volcafe operation in Honduras. “I’ve learned, grown and developed pretty quickly in the coffee segment within Volcafe,” he says, “and I hope to keep rising to the challenge.”
Joshua’s thoughts on the competition
“It’s an incredibly exciting opportunity to be able to judge the coffees that we at Molinos worked so passionately on were so committed to this past year, sourcing, caring for, preserving and preparing them. It’s truly an honor to be part of something that will help uplift the image of Honduran coffee and hopefully start planting the idea that, as an origin, we have both a lot to offer and incredible potential.
There’s a picture in our main office that was bought by Don Fernando Barzuna, who was GM in Honduras a while back. It’s an outlined map of Honduras, filled with roasted coffee beans and captioned: “Café de Honduras: The best kept secret!”
I believe the secret’s getting out, and it’s very exciting and inspiring to be a part of that movement.
I’m also looking forward to seeing the industry from the other side. It’s very useful to learn what the roasters are doing, how they’re add value and how they use the coffees, depending on consuming demands. They are way more up to date with the latest trends and third-wave development, and we as origins must ask to join the conversation, in order to provide the best quality and service and value to the chain.
Joshua on Guama Danta
It’s a real honor for the entire Molinos team to have our coffees showcased in such a platform! And it highlights the entire team, because it truly was a collaborative effort between the producers, the technical assistants, the warehouse personnel, the quality control team, the purchase officers, production and the logistics departments.
It reflects an understanding that true quality requires dedication and care throughout each part of the chain. The work that we are doing is real, and the results are real, so it is great to be able to share this message with everyone and encourage them to keep improving and creating impact along the supply chain.
It also invigorates us to continue working directly with producers, building long-term relationships with them and their families, taking active roles in communities and fostering the agricultural practices that are the pillars of Volcafe Way: quality, productivity and resource efficiency. It validates that we’re on the right track, in striving for quality not only in coffee, but in service and our social and environmental responsibilities.
There is still much to improve, learn and grow — it’s a never-ending process. But that’s what makes coffee so dynamic and interesting. You never stop learning. And we’re in relentless pursuit of the best coffees Honduras has to offer! In Honduras, coffee isn’t just something we do, it’s a way of life. •