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Opening new markets - Guatemalan coffee in Australia

At Dinámica, we endeavor to reach new and exciting markets so that we can share the best quality coffees from beautiful Guatemala with coffee lovers around the world. With hard work we have expanded our partner list in Europe and North America. Australia had been on our radar for some time too and finally we can proudly say that thanks to a key member of our team we have reached a new continent!

Andres “Andy” is a Guatemalan coffee lover who moved to Australia in 2018 looking for new opportunities and partnerships for Dinámica. Before Andy moved to Australia, he collaborated with us photographing and taking video footage in the mill. With this project he submerged himself in the coffee culture. He even moved to Atitlán, a coffee producing region, for a few months, where he dedicated his time to learn as much as possible.

When Andy first arrived to Sydney he worked in a café as a barista and roaster. Three months later, he started working for an importer and absorbed more coffee knowledge until May 2020, when circumstances changed for the worse, we took advantage of it and with Andy we found a way to help us build new relationships and import coffee to Australia. In June 2020 he enrolled in Guatemala’s Rafael Landívar University online program by Agexport, and obtained a diploma in specialty coffee exportation. Little by little, everything started falling into place; Sydney was the first city to request our coffee samples in July 2020, followed by Canberra in November of the same year.

We had a talk with Andy to understand how things work in Australia and he shared with us some of his adventures in this new continent.

(D): What have you enjoyed the most about living in Australia?

(A): Definitely living close to the beach! I lived in Bondi Beach for a year, now I live in Cronulla Beach, around 60 meters away from the sea; just a 3-4 minute walk, and I’m there! Beaches are beautiful, and I really enjoy going for a walk every day.

(D): How was the process of importing the first coffee container?

(A): We imported the coffee with the help of our friends from Opal Coffee, a small import company. They took care of all the logistics on the Australian side. I remember the day I got the notification, it was really exciting!

(D): When it comes to opening a new market and importing coffee, what challenges have you faced?

(A): The first thing that comes to my mind is that when I offered coffee to potential clients this past year, they responded they still had coffee in stock. Clients plan their supply promptly and carefully allocate their budget, which is usually finished by the time we reach them. It has been challenging to find new clients, but thanks to Dinámica I have a lot of marketing support!

Another challenge has been the distance between cities. Australia is really big and traveling from one town to another to meet potential clients or promote the coffee can require up to a 14 hour drive! Nevertheless, the goal is to visit as many cities as possible and once the travel ban to New Zealand is lifted, I plan to go there too.

(D): How is Guatemalan coffee perceived in Australia? Do people like it?

(A): Yes! People like coffee with good acidity, and chocolate notes. You can find coffees from Antigua and even Huehuetenango; it’s incredible how people can actually talk about regions and the geography of Guatemala. In fact, many roasters have already visited Guatemala. Sometimes I feel that they know more about my country than I do!

(D): Finally, in your experience working at a café, what interesting consumption trends have you noticed?

(A): People love espresso based drinks! From espresso to lattes, cappuccinos, flat whites, long blacks (americanos), anything espresso based! You don’t see many people ordering filter coffee (black coffee); but they do drink a lot of coffee! Also, I observed that people are moving away from dark roasts; there’s a significant interest in lighter roasts.

Additionally, in Australia price is not the equivalent to quality. A good coffee and a not-so-good one oscillate within the same price range. I find this really interesting! Also, contrary to what occurs in many Latin American countries, the “refill” culture doesn’t exist here. Moreover, there are no big chains here; it’s primarily medium or small cafés.

It’s also worth mentioning that Australians truly care about coffee’s traceability and in certified organic beans.

For us at Dinámica, Andy’s involvement in the coffee supply chain is exciting. We are grateful that we can explore a compelling market and experience part of the journey with him. With Andy’s support we hope to reach more clients, build new relationships and share more Guatemalan coffee with this new and exciting market!

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