The leading Italian coffee roaster, Lavazza, with the support of the non-profit foundation Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung (HRNS) and the Honduran Coffee Institute (IHCAFE), come together for the first edition of “A Cup of Learning” in Honduras.

The coffee training program, established by Lavazza in 2017, aims to release the potential of young people in coffee regions and equip youth with skills and tools to create new business opportunities in the coffee market.

Over the course of two days, 25 enthusiastic youth (half of whom are women) from the departments of Ocotepeque, Copán, and Lempira, in Honduras, gathered in the main hall of IHCAFE to participate in two hands-on training courses led by Lavazza Training Center experts (Specialty Coffee Association certified), based in Turin, Italy.

At the commencement event, which took place online due to COVID-19 restrictions worldwide, representative from Lavazza, HRNS, and IHCAFE tuned in. “It’s hard to put into words what this event means for us. This is the first ‘A Cup of Learning’ taking place in Honduras”, says Carolina Guercio, Lavazza Foundation Coordinator. “Seeing youth, who are part of our regional project together with Lavazza Foundation and HRNS taking part, excited, and eager to learn, is a great achievement. I might be in Turin, but I felt the energy of youth all the way from here”.

“A Cup of Learning” commencement event with representatives from Lavazza, HRNS, and IHCAFE
Honduran youth took part in two training modules:

  1. Coffee Sensory Analysis
  2. Coffee Value Chain and Coffee Stock Market.

Module 1: Coffee Sensory Analysis

Module 2: Coffee Value Chain and Coffee Stock Market

The Coffee Sensory Analysis training course, led by Massimo Audino and Graziella Giugno, helped youth to better distinguish the sensory differences between different coffee origins and learn how to evaluate coffee samples with physical and sensory analyses. “As part of this technical cupping course, I tried coffee from 7 different origins, including Brazil, Colombia, Papa New Guinea and Ethiopia among others”, explains Selena Castillo, a 26-year-old youth participant from Copán, Honduras. “After commenting on the unique flavors and attributes each of us found in these coffee samples such as milk chocolate and macadamia notes, round and creamy body, and well-balanced acidity, we also cupped coffee from numerous regions in Honduras to compare the difference”. Youth learned about how different factors affect these attributes, like the altitude, the soil, the variety, and the way it is processed.

Technical Coffee Tasting and Physical and Sensory Analyses led by Lavazza Training Center experts based in Turin, Italy

The second training course, led by Claudia Quaranta, Coffee Senior Buyer at Lavazza, introduced youth to the coffee value chain. In addition, a brief overview of the C Market was provided, guiding youth into understanding how trading works, how prices fluctuate and how this could be influenced by coffee from different origins.

Day 2 – youth learn about the coffee value chain and coffee stock market

This year’s edition of “A Cup of Learning” might be over, but the learning journey for youth is just starting! As of 2017, 120 individuals have benefited from this program, acquiring the skills they need to join the work force in 10 countries: Italy, the Dominican Republic, India, Albania, Haiti, Brazil, Cuba, Peru, United Kingdom. Today, 25 youth from Honduras are added to this list.

“A Cup of Learning” is only one of the many ways HRNS is promoting sustainable development within the coffee sector. HRNS’ current project with the Lavazza Foundation will improve the livelihoods of 900 smallholder farmers in Western Honduras. As part of HRNS’ vision to release the potential of young generations to shape rural areas of the future, programs such as “A Cup of Learning” guide youth into taking informed decisions about their livelihoods and act as role models in their community.