Culinary News from The Culinary Institute of America

Student Learns All About Coffee

coffee beans on vineKelsey Woodworth, a bachelor's degree student majoring in applied food studies, and Apple Pie Bakery Café  Manager Matthew Waldron were in Honduras in March on a once-in-a-lifetime trip, learning all about coffee from the plant to the cup. They received the all-expenses-paid trip from Counter Culture Coffee, a Durham, NC-based indie coffee roaster.

"The CIA is really good at offering awesome opportunities," said Woodworth before embarking on the trip. "This is a fantastic and generous opportunity—a chance to study abroad and go to places I have never been. I am going to be a human sponge and soak up every part of this beautiful experience."

Woodworth and Waldron participated in each step of the coffee production process at origin—from harvest to export—and learned about the benefits and challenges of building long-term coffee relationships. Topics on the trip included coffee botany, organic agriculture, processing, contemporary challenges and opportunities for farmers, the structure of coffee cooperatives, milling and exporting, and Honduras’s socio-political history as it relates to the coffee industry.

More than 30 CIA students applied for this unique learning opportunity. Upon returning from Central America, Waldron is sharing what he learned with CIA students in the Beverages and Customer Service course in the dining room of the Apple Pie Bakery Café. Counter Culture Coffee, which has an ongoing relationship with the college, will be a presenter at the CIA's annual beverage symposium on the New York campus on April 13.

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