Episode 5: Tito

Meet Tito. He lives on a mountain in Panama, is a rebel and doesn’t listen to anyone. 

Which is why he makes a terrible decision: he buys a coffee farm instead of getting an education.

Tito is now stuck, chained to a system that will keep him poor.

But Tito doesn’t give up without a fight.

He will spend the next 30 years trying to prove he hasn't made the worst decision of his life. 

Everybody was telling me I was crazy. The only lunatic growing coffee, with such low prices, was me!
Don Tito.jpeg


Further reading

Need a sound mixer? Contact Dom Edgley

The Filter Stories logo is made by Headquarters

A big thanks to Oscar Peña Sanchez of Mucho Gusto Panama

Episode 4: Amish

This is Raymond. 

Raymond's family want him to spend his life using a horse instead of a car, to live off the grid and have little contact with the outside world.

But young Raymond is curious and explores the outside world. His father reacts by moving the family into an even more isolated community.

Fast forward 20 years and Raymond is pulling espressos in Melbourne. 

How did Raymond escape? And how did he end up as a barista in Melbourne?

I felt trapped. It’s hard for a five year old to leave their family.
Amish Final Episode.JPG


Further reading

Need a sound mixer? Contact Dom Edgley

The Filter Stories logo is made by Headquarters

A big thanks to Charlie Gundlach of Color Coffee Roasters in Eagle, Colorado

Episode 3: Berries and Lemon

Meet Martin, the best barista in Kenya.

He has a dream to open a cafe.

Except, he can't. Kenyans don't drink coffee.

He has a plan: he’s going to win the World Barista Championships to change coffee drinking culture in Kenya forever.

But, he's all alone and up against the richest barista teams in the world. Can he do it?

I knew I had lost everything. So I had to gather all the other marks that I could. And that’s where my confidence and courage comes out.
Martin dreams to open a cafe. But he can't.


Further reading

Need a sound mixer? Contact Dom Edgley

The Filter Stories logo is made by Headquarters

Want practical information for opening your own cafe? Check out the Keys to the Shop podcast.

CupOmatic - the app that keeps your cupping on track

Martin’s 2015 performance in Seattle, 2016 performance in Dublin & 2017 performance in Seoul

Martin’s appearance on CGTN Africa, France 24 and the BBC

Brian, who roasted Martin’s coffee in Dublin, works at Silverskin Roasters

Kyle Ramage & Lem Butler operate Black & White Coffee Roasters in North Carolina

Episode 2: Firefly

Meet Murray.

He is one of Ecuador's most famous coffee farmers.

But there's a problem. He's only earning $2 profit from 250 espressos. How does he survive?

While he struggles, his farm is splashed across Instagram and roasters say they have his interests at heart. 

This is the real story behind the glossy Instagram posts. 

The reality might change how you look at your next cup of coffee. 

The one time I didn’t have money for fertiliser, we sold the car. And that was a damn nice Volvo I had. And I didn’t get any money for it because it was a stupid thing to sell. And I sold it for shite because I needed the money quick. The first guy I was like, ‘dude, whatever you want to give me’. 
Murray overlooking parchment.jpg


Further reading

Perfect Daily Grind article - A Broken Coffee Market: Why Specialty Coffee Farmers Are Going Bankrupt

Need a sound mixer? Contact Dom Edgley

The Filter Stories logo is made by Headquarters

Murray Cooper's photography Facebook fan page

Los Cedros Reserve (where Murray volunteered for 11 years and is once again under threat)

Four Worlds Coffee - a green bean merchant offering something closer to direct trade

Episode 1: Asheville

Meet Sarah.

She has just landed her dream job working as a barista for the best cafe in North Carolina. Her cafe will soon be featured in the New York Times and grab international attention. 

But it has nothing to do with the coffee. 

Rather, her bosses will hurt many women in her community. 

This is the real story about misogyny damaging the life of a young woman, her struggle to regain control and bring her community back together.

This is the first ever episode of Filter Stories, the untold stories hidden in your cup of coffee. 

The property manager says ‘I just want you to know that we have to have a professional business in here. We can’t have “Go Women Power!” signs on the windows’. Me and Lindsay looked at each other with pure shock.

Further reading

Trade and Lore - Sarah's cafe

Boss Barista podcast - a feminist podcast deconstructing the patriarchy in specialty coffee

The Filter Stories logo is made by Headquarters