Since announcing the opening of their new roasting and sourcing program in late 2011, our friends and partners at Caffe Ladro have been working on developing a variety of projects and regular buying relationships with coffee producers in Latin America. And in El Salvador, Ladro’s work with the Ortiz, Mendez family at Finca Talnamica and Natamayaย is beginning to have awesome results: dry milling and processing handled by Emilio Lopez at Cuatro M, plus meticulous lot separation by the Ortiz & Mendez families have combined to produce coffees with higher scores and more sparkle in the cup.


Your Sprudge Editors were happily, randomly seated next to the Mendez family during one of the lunches at SCAA Symposium 2013, which is where we met Amalia Mayita Mendez, the Wesleyan-and-RISD educated daughter of the Mendez family. She’s got an academic background in photography, and has seen her freelance work published by the likes of The New York Daily News and El Diario. Mayita is part of the new generation at origin – from Rwanda to Colombia – who were educated outside their home countries, and have now returned home to make life and coffee more awesome alongside their families.


Seattle residents, you have a chance to meet Mayita Mendez, who will be appearing (alongside her mom!) at the Fremont location of Caffe Ladro on June 18th, from 6pm to 10pm. Guests will have a chance to sample some of Ladro’s new coffees from the Ortiz & Mendez families, snack on pupusas from Seattle’s beloved Salvadoran restaurant, Guanaco’s Tacos, and sip beer from Fremont Brewing.


As part of this event, Caffe Ladro will be exhibiting original photography taken by Mayita Mendez in El Salvador – these photos are what you’ve been seeing throughout this feature. Ladro will also be launching an ongoing program at this event, wherein $1 from each bag sold of Finca Natamaya will go directly to a foundation that does community outreach and infrastructure building in Canton Ojo de Agua, El Salvador. Ladro’s investment in this rural community will, among other things, help to convert a dry plot of land into a working soccer pitch for the kids in Ojo.


Learn lots more about this project, meet Mayita, and try some coffees – there’s more information right here on Facebook.ย