One of the unique aspects of Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival is that you have a chance to learn something new around every corner. On Monday, November 6, 2017, I attended a culinary demonstration at the Chef’s Showcase Stage. That is located inside the Festival Center. While the main focus of the actual demonstration was Joffrey’s Infused Coffee Cake with Coffee Sugar Glaze, the presentation was about much more than just that.
After the initial welcome, Lisa Shibata was introduced. She is the Senior Manager of Environment & Conservation with the Walt Disney Company. Shibata talked about Disney’s partnership with Conservation International, and their work in the Alto Mayo region of Peru. Her passion for the project was obvious. She shared that the two groups together have taught farmers in the area how to farm better and smarter, without having to cut down more of the rainforest. The farmers have learned to use things such as solar shades to regulate temperature. They have also started planting other crops such as dragon fruit, which can grow in the same area and help to keep the soil healthy and full of nutrients. Disney and Conservation International have also helped out Alto Mayo with health clinics, better cook stoves, and more. Shibata then said that Disney approached Joffrey’s about the possibility of serving a specialty roast from the region at the Disney Parks. The resulting blend is now served in most of the signature restaurants at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort.
Next was Chris de Mezzo, who is a Roastmaster with Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company. He was obviously excited about the fact that the collaboration between Disney and Conservation International helped to teach the farmers in Alto Mayo a new way of farming that did not include cutting down more of the rainforest. De Mezzo talked about how the new stoves are twice the size of the old ones, and that they now vent outside. They also taught the farmers how to pick the right beans. He said that growing coffee takes patience. The pickers need to pick only the red beans, because those are the ripe ones. The beans are then sent to Tampa, where they are roasted. He explained that he had shown pictures of people enjoying the coffee to many of the farmers, and that they beamed with pride.
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The final part of the presentation was the actual culinary demonstration. Chef Robert Alvarado, who is with Walt Disney World Event Operations, demonstrated how to make his Joffrey’s Infused Coffee Cake with Coffee Sugar Glaze. Chef Alvarado explained that the coffee cake batter could be made the night before. As he went through the process, coffee and the coffee cake were served to the audience. The coffee cake was moist and not too sweet, with just a hint of coffee flavor. The coffee served was of course the Joffrey’s Peru Alto Mayo Organic & Fair Trade roast that the rest of the presentation was about.
If you would like to try Joffrey’s Peru Alto Mayo Organic & Fair Trade for yourself, there are two ways to do it. Arguably the best way is to dine at a signature restaurant at either Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resort. It is served on property in French press pots. If you can’t make it to either American Disney, you can order it online. It is available at https://www.joffreys.com/disneyparksandresorts/peru-alto-may0-organic-fair-trade. You can purchase it ground, French press, or whole bean. The package is 12 ounces. Joffrey’s Peru Alto Mayo Organic & Fair Trade is not available in coffee pods, because it is roasted in small batches.