March Coffee Madness could not start off better than with Pablo Castaneda of Kafes Guatemala. Raised among generations of the coffee culture of Guatemala, Pablo started his own company. He was kind enough to share with me his story
How did you first take an interest in coffee? well I was born in the business, one way or another my family had been involved in the coffee business. I guess my passion came integrated since I was born and everyday it becomes stronger. I founded my company, Kafes Guatemala almost 10 years ago internationally. We export directly to the customer in the U.S. I make sure we have quality control in every aspect of coffee, at the end it is my legacy. It is amazing to hear so many good comments about my coffees. As a coffee taster I'm so surprise and sad what the final consumer is getting at the shops or so. I'm in the business of making people HAPPY!!
What part of the process do you like the most ? I think the most amazing process is the human side and its value, we need people for everything. Harvesting, handpicking, roasting, tasting, packing....etc. We take pride of our workers and their know how. Without them we would not be able to do anything with such a great quality.
What is the most difficult part of the process? I don't think there is a difficult part when you love what you do, I guess we do worried about bad weather or hurricanes but that is out of our hands for sure.
Which of your coffees sells the most? I have two best sellers, Don Pablo's Ensenada Blend. This coffee is my invention and I put it together almost 4 years ago. A blend of 4 different coffees and 2 different coffee regions. Also we have the Royal Antigua, an amazing coffee from one specific altitude from the Antigua Guatemala region.
What is your favorite coffee? Can you guess?......yes my Don Pablo's Ensenada Blend, LOL.
I know you do some wonderful volunteer work please share with readers what you have bend doing to help folks. I don't see it just as a volunteer work, I see it as part of who I'm. I had been blessed in so many ways and my country needs help. 60% of the population is struggling with poverty, so I'm very involved with helping them empower their lives and become self sufficient. Just to give you an idea , since I went to the Guatemalan Harvard, why not share my know how in business with the people that can't afford that education. I believe we will be in a different place if each one of us can share a talent with others. We are so in to ME, ME , ME I have learned doors will be open when you focus on others.
What is something you have "brewing" in the future? Brewing a lot of new coffees for sure, but most important brewing new programs. Just this coming week we are having the first ever Kafes Guatemala/Belmont University health fair at one of the coffee plantations. Teachers and students are coming to serve and help our workers and at the same time to inmmerse in their work and culture. Everyday we are going to have clinics but also, part of this team will go in to the coffee fields, work and get training from the workers. By doing this we can empower and build confidence in so many ways. Also we are going to have one specific day to help the school that is right next to the coffee plantation, over 100 kids are going to be helped one way or another. The University as well see this as a great opportunity to learn, share and teach others, and best of all share with another culture and language. I'm very excited as I'm traveling as well to some Universities in the U.S. to share more and more with teachers and students about my business beliefs , as an internatinal business man I see things different. By the way coffee is one of my businesses so that's why.
Pablo is an amazing man, with roots deep in coffee tradition. He is taking his business and his kindness internationally. Show Kafes Guatemala some love
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