Barista Champion reflects on her Sumatra coffee origin trip
The Starbucks Origin Experience takes partners (employees) from behind the counters of stores, corporate offices and roasting plants and brings them to work alongside farmers in coffee growing regions.
It’s an experience Nopparat "Yong" Arpornsuwan won’t soon forget. The 2016 China and Asia Pacific Regional Barista Champion recently traveled to Sumatra as part of a Starbucks Origin trip.
While in Sumatra, the group of partners learned about coffee’s journey from farm to cup. They had a chance to visit the newest Starbucks Farmer Support Center, along with a coffee tree nursery and a smallholder coffee farm.
“I love the way that I connect with farmer[s],” Arpornsuwan said. “One farmer that helped me pick up the coffee cherry, yeah, I think is amazing...I almost cry.”
She returned home from the trip with a desire to share what she learned.
“When I come to this trip, I feel that, oh, I must inspire other[s] to care more about our coffee, to love more about coffee and share this to customer[s] and partner[s],” Arpornsuwan said.
Arpornsuwan joined Starbucks Thailand in 2002 as a part-time barista and is currently a store manager in Bangkok. She’s also training to become a district manager.