Last month, Amsterdam’s Bocca Coffee Roasters hosted Europe’s first The Coffeewoman event. Roasters, buyers, educators, business owners and baristas gathered for a series of candid and sometimes challenging discussions about ways in we might all break from the status quo for the betterment of an industry in which men typically hold the positions of power.
“The event was about taking a break from topics that are talked about on a day-to-day basis — like quality, roasting, profiling — and instead focusing on social issues that are happening in the coffee industry,” explained Sara Morrocchi, one of the event’s organizers.
Inspired by The Coffeewoman movement in the United States, which aims to “support, encourage, and inspire” women in the coffee industry, Morrocchi, Cerianne Bury, and Karina Hof decided to bring the concept to Europe.
“The idea started on a rainy day at Bakers & Roasters, where we found ourselves venting about the politically charged moment that we live in, like Trump elections, Brexit and some very disappointing political referendums that were happening in Italy. And the common thread of all these events was the sense of exclusion,” said Morrocchi. “When we look at our industry, we often pat ourselves on the back for working in a liberal and progressive environment. Yet when you scratch beneath the surface, there are issues that we struggle with — issues like gender, race relations and social injustice.”
Keynote speaker and renowned ambassador to coffee producers Aida Batlle kicked off the event, sharing the story of her her beginnings in coffee farming before eventually becoming the first woman to win at the Cup of Excellence coffee quality competition in 2003. Battle is a fifth-generation coffee producer and today operates four farms (Finca Tanzania, Finca Los Alpes, Finca Kilimanjaro and Finca…