Sprudge.com’s First Tiger and co-founder Zachary Carlsen is in Belo Horizonte, Brazil for International Coffee Week. It’s a whole scene.
At the massive International Coffee Week in Belo Horizonte, the non-profit organization SEBRAE built a cafe on the show floor – and we’ve never seen anything quite like it. It’s a razzle-dazzle ginormous two-floor dream booth.
We sat down with SEBRAE’s Priscilla Lins and asked her what the deal was. What’s the deal, Priscilla?
“When we thought about the space, we wanted people to look inside and think, I want to open my coffee shop like that,” Priscilla says, “because we don’t have many cafes like this Belo Horizonte. We wanted to show people from Belo Horizonte the ‘third wave’ coffee shop that’s popular in the US, Australia, and Europe. I want a cafe like where I live.”
The cafe offers complimentary manual brew coffees, a full espresso menu, and a rotating selection of cakes, cookies, and snacky treats.
Over some cake, Lin tells us more about her work. “SEBRAE is a non-profit organization that helps rural and urban enterprises,” Lin tells us. “We work with industry, service, and agribusiness. We have milk, fruit, coffee – we are an agribusiness state. But coffee is really strong – we are the biggest state producer.”
Behind the cafe there’s a cachaça stand, a cheese purveyor, a sweets maker, and a vendor with giant wheels of preserves. These businesses are all supported by the organizational efforts of SEBRAE. “We work with the farmers with cost of production,” says Lin, “We want them to know how much the coffee costs – they don’t know. We have a management program for farmers and cooperatives.”
The two bar barista setup pumps out espressos all day; this cafe stays open well passed 8pm.
Upstairs seating with free wifi and second-floor snacks for those who want to escape the hustle-bustle of the show floor or take a private meeting.
The baristas know their stuff, and are well-versed in a variety of brew methods.
Did we mention they’re roasting right there? This is a booth at a tradeshow.
An enormous sign above the baristas showcase the four growing regions of Minas Gerais.
“You’re used to it! But we aren’t! This is new for us,” Lin says. We aren’t used to booths like this, folks; even at the Boothapalooza of MICE 2013 in Melbourne, nobody cracked the two-story threshold. We’ve just never seen anything quite like it. Only in Brazil!