[Photo Sparks] The brew of success: coffee, women and entrepreneurship!


PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In this showcase, we feature some of the artistic creativity and women’s entrepreneurship at the second annual Coffee Santhe (‘fair’) in Bangalore!

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Much of the world knows about India’s tea – but less is known about India’s coffee industry. “The world needs to know the story of Indian coffee, it has some of the finest shade-grown coffees such as Monsooned Coffee,” says Jose Rene Martinez, who is an Assistant Attorney General in the US and also runs his own coffee roasting business. Socially-aware consumers today want not just good coffee along with exotic posters of coffee-growing areas around the world, but the story behind the blends and the communities who produce them.

And it is women who are the backbone of India’s coffee industry, says Sunalini Menon, who heads the India chapter of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA). The alliance was founded in 2003 to empower women in the international coffee community and recognise their participation in all aspects of the coffee industry. It cites World Bank estimates that more than 500 million people in the world are dependent on coffee for their livelihoods, of which 25 million are coffee farmers.

Exact figures of women’s composition of the coffee industry workforce are being compiled and analysed, says Josiane Cotrim, who founded IWCA’s Brazil chapter. International linkages between women’s associations of coffee growers will help sustain equitable and fair practices in the industry, according to Mary Allen Lindemann, community builder at Coffee by Design in Maine.

This coffee community has also attracted attention from international trade organisations, says Jennifer Gallegos, business development director at Fair Trade USA. All these experts along with a range of women coffee growers, assessors, exporters and coffee-shop entrepreneurs addressed the media in Bangalore earlier this week.

To support such causes, IWCA’s India chapter has organised a Coffee Santhe (‘fair’) in Bangalore for coffee lovers, entrepreneurs and art fans at Chitrakala Parishad (see my coverage of earlier fairs here, such as Chitra Santhe and Sampoorna Santhe). The three-day event features a wide range of coffee varieties and related processing machinery, artwork from coffee beans, organic coffee, ready-made packaged decoction, creative coffee mugs, art competitions, entrepreneurship workshops, live music by Bangalore blues band The Chronic Blues Circus and the world’s first Women’s Brewmaster Championship.

And while you enjoy this Coffee Santhe photo tour (over a cup of coffee), also check out these witty quotes and proverbs about coffee from around the world!

Coffee and love are best when they are hot. - German proverb

Coffee should be black as Hell, strong as death, and sweet as love. - Turkish proverb

A cup of coffee commits one to 40 years of friendship. - Kurdish proverb

Coffee is our bread. - Ethiopian proverb

What goes best with a cup of coffee? Another cup. - Henry Rollins

I don't understand decaf, it's like sex without the sex. - A.C. Van Cherub

When we drink coffee, ideas march in like the army. - Honore de Balzac

Coffee smells like freshly ground heaven. - Jessi Lane Adams

Got a creative photograph to share? Email us at PhotoSparks@YourStory.com!

See also the YourStory pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups,’ accessible as apps for Apple and Android devices.


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