Ximena Rubio (Photo: Mayra Marruenda)

The world’s first Spanish-language coffee podcast recently hit the scene, and based on the numbers, the world was ready. The new podcast, Coffee People MX, launched in late 2017 with an inaugural episode titled “La experiencia y la hospitalidad en una barra de caffe,” which got more than 100 listens in the first 24 hours after its release. The podcast was created by wholesale trainer and sales representative (and Sprudge contributor) Ximena Rubio and photographer Claudio Castro, who decided to create a podcast after noticing that not a single Spanish-language one existed. “I realized people could not wait anymore,” says Rubio, who first got the idea looking at last year’s Sprudgie award nominations. Seeing that there were enough coffee podcasts in the world to create a competitive vote, she was excited. But when she found out that they were all in English, she realized someone would have to step up and create one in Spanish.

Because this podcast is the first of its kind, Rubio and Castro want to make sure it serves as big a market as possible by being accessible to non-coffee people as well as seasoned professionals. “We want anyone to be able to listen to it; it’s not just for coffee people, it’s for anyone interested in coffee,” says Rubio, contemplating a nerdier vibe sometime in the future. “Right now, it’s important to do something accessible for everyone; the fact that anyone can listen whether they know a lot about coffee or not, that’s great for starting out.”

The pair plans to release episodes twice a month. The debut focused on the importance of hospitality, service, and essentially getting customers curious about coffee. The episode features David Birruete of Casa del Fuego and Cucurucho and Carlos de la Torre of Avellaneda and Cafe con Jiribilla, some of the most renowned shops in Mexico City’s thriving coffee scene at generating meaningful and intriguing experiences around coffee. “Right now the format is just conversations, a little bit of debate, a little bit of interview,” says Rubio. “But in the future, I want to start doing interviews on farms as well as interviews in other cities than Mexico.” In the long term, the pair hopes to cover events and people in new locations across Latin America and beyond.

The podcast has a storytelling element to the approach, focusing on how people become engaged with coffee and where that engagement goes more than on the coffee itself. Reflecting on the inspiration for the name, Rubio credits Castro’s focus on the importance of people in coffee. “Everyone has a history,” she says. “The person who brews your coffee isn’t just a barista: he has a life, he has a whole story. We want to talk not just about the coffee, but about the people brewing it.” Considering Rubio and Castro met at a coffee shop and the podcast emerged from that experience, the approach makes sense; the podcast itself is rooted in the human interactions that come from coffee, and the pair wants to honor that history.

When I ask how English-speaking folks in the U.S. can support this podcast, Rubio says that anyone who wants to offer financial support could help by investing in the podcast’s growth. “We’re doing this ourselves right now because we believe this project is important, and we know that if we keep doing great stuff, others will want to invest in the project and help it grow.” She also calls for anyone interested in bringing content to the podcast to get in touch. “We would love to have you come and talk to us,” she says. Anyone interested in either sponsoring or appearing on the podcast can email Rubio and Castro at coffeepeoplemx@gmail.com.

Rubio is incredibly encouraged by the response. “There is so much demand—it’s actually even more than I expected.” The second episode, which will focus on how aesthetics and branding of third-wave coffee shops can help promote growth, is now available for listening, and the creators are excited to keep the momentum rolling and keep reaching new Spanish speakers. As consumption of specialty coffee in producing countries continues to rise, demand for media and education in Spanish and other languages continues to increase alongside it. Hopefully, Coffee People MX represents the first of many great podcasts for coffee-loving audiences outside of English-speaking countries across the world; stay tuned.

RJ Joseph (@RJ_Sproseph) is a Sprudge staff writer, the publisher of Queer Cup, and a coffee professional based in the Bay Area. Read more RJ Joseph on Sprudge Media Network.

Photo by Mayra Marruenda courtesy Ximena Rubio.

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