Are you like me - a vague sense of inadequacy at having never travelled to a coffee growing region? Don't you wish you could tell others about your time in Huehuetenango, Yirgacheffe or Minas Gerais? At the very least, you could become confident of the pronunciation!
I'd love to visit a grower in his or her own home, meet family members and see their situation first-hand.
But I have another nagging feeling, and that's the one that asks whether this would benefit them significantly.
An efficiency-driven, perhaps rational, approach would be to leverage a relationship with someone who already travels regularly to origin. International relationships may require significant investments of my money and time. How does that compare to the cost of trusting an intermediary with the task?
On the other hand, the potential for increasing my confidence and for producing good marketing material means that a 'direct trade' arrangement also has merit.
I wonder what the real world outcomes of each approach suggest?