Traviesa THE EXPERIENCE OF COFFEE ALCHEMY Visiting Traviesa gave me a broader vision of the meaning of passion, this time around a blessed fruit: coffee. I have been drinking it for years without sugar; I enjoyed its aroma and flavor every morning. But, only during this conversation with Felipe Cisneros, owner and founder of Traviesa, I discovered the background of the art behind it, which makes thousands of people fall in love with the experience that this coffee bean causes in those who decide to immerse in its universe. In Traviesa coffee is more than a drink; it is that habit that every gastronomist wants to transform into a unique experience. Felipe is well aware of this. He started this tour 15 years ago and gradually discovered how to perform an in depth extraction of its aromas, colors and flavors. The coffee served at this shop and cafeteria comes from local producers. Traviesa chooses the best Ecuadorian bean and brings it to your table. Through this experience you will feel how much respect is expressed for a process that begins with small and large farmers that work hard to take it to its perfect growth each grain of a wide variety of coffee. The harvest that occurs between April and May of each year is called Traviesa, hence the name of this roasting shop and cafeteria that seeks that every consumer gets to know the alchemy process of coffee, from the harvested pepa until the enjoyment moment of drinking it. “In Traviesa, the client is expected to get to know the coffee producer and the community behind its preparation,” says Felipe. “We have a group of baristas, men and women, trained to prepare the best coffee. We have a coffee roaster and someone ready to handle the polishing process of what seems to be a rough diamond, that precious stone, into its most perfect transformation. The roasting of the grain is alchemy that includes countless chemical processes to obtain the expected flavor. There is valuable knowledge in that process, and behind it, countless families who work directly or indirectly to bring the best coffee from Ecuador to this place.” Felipe works with producers in seven Ecuadorean provinces, including Carchi, Loja, Imbabura and Pichincha. Thanks to Traviesa, visitors can get to know that hidden culture. “You have to see coffee as a space to share, to smile, to work, to talk with friends or family. Coffee is a moment; it is an excuse, it generates the perfect environment to communicate. That is why we created a menu that blends perfectly with that experience.” Everything in Traviesa has an intention and a concept; nothing is left to chance. The same care they give coffee, they give it to the food they prepare to offer exquisite dishes to their customers. They work with cheese-makers, bakers, and local farmers. Every ingredient they use comes from small producers to create unique visual and sensory experiences through the food they serve. “Everything we do is original, creative, special. Everything is exclusive. We put the same effort in coffee than we do in our prepared products. People who love cooking complete our team of baristas, there is no official chef, but we sit together and think about what can we prepare.” The art of making coffee is held in a perfect recipe, says Felipe. Sugar is not required because new and interesting flavors are found. A balanced extraction is what we want. Coffee acts with physical and chemical reactions, through which heat activates molecules responsible for aromas and flavors. As it is well known, there are two large coffee mother varieties: arabica (acid) or tall coffee, and robusta (bitter) or low-altitude coffee. From these main types, other varieties distinguished by their flavor are derived, not only in tasting, but also in grain characteristics, its branches, leaves, height of the shrub and the fruit as such. “Aroma is a consequence of roasting. There are different coffee aromas: fruit, chocolate, aniseed, woody… All of them are distinguished by the roasting profile. As for the flavor, there are sweets and acids”, explains this expert who shows his interest in the subject in every word he says, exposing that behind Traviesa is a journey of passion and knowledge that seeks to spread internationally the art of coffee growing in Ecuador. Interest in this field has increased in this past years, and the coffee community in the country is growing. Traviesa has become a referent, consolidating a work team that not only has great knowledge in the subject, but also feels and shows love and passion for coffee. They also have a mobile coffee bar that maintains the style of a small cafeteria format, which brings aromas and flavors of the unique Traviesa coffee to the event of your choice.