HomeCoffee10 Minutes with Amaris Gutierrez-Ray

10 [More] Minutes with Amaris Gutierrez-Ray


Our interview with the Ladies in Espresso Undertaking founder continues with a dialogue on the present state of affairs for girls within the espresso world and future targets for the group.


Featured photograph by Jakub Dziubak by way of Unsplash

Editor’s be aware: Yesterday we printed half one of our interview with Amaris Gutierrez-Ray, founding father of the Ladies in Espresso Undertaking (WICP), and at present we’re persevering with with half two. Please be aware: This interview has been edited for size and readability.

Barista Journal: Are you able to inform us extra in regards to the present state of affairs of many ladies within the espresso world? Has it improved in recent times? Do you see the potential for a constructive change?

Amaris Gutierrez-Ray: Oh sure, there’s been plenty of progress! There’s all the time progress. However there’s equally all the time extra to do, and I really discover that encouraging. It means we every have a task to play, and values to uphold and frequently examine as we co-create the world we wish to stay in. I feel there are nonetheless many challenges, together with an absence of entry to profession alternatives, obstacles to pursuing academic alternatives, the double burden of balancing household care {and professional} progress, (and) the inner battle of discovering your individual place and worth and self-worth (that is additionally step one towards constructive psychological well being).

The ladies I’ve spoken to over the previous couple of years crave extra training, extra instruments to spend money on themselves and their companies. When analyzing what I hear, I can see the challenges and successes very clearly. However most of the time, when talking 1:1, the ladies I’ve met have been so diligent and action-oriented that it doesn’t really feel unattainable. Ladies already know the options to the challenges they face, and so they’re already engaged on reaching them. I’ve actually come to assume that generally the difficulty is simply that individuals don’t all the time ask them, or hearken to what they’ll already see.

The Ladies in Espresso Undertaking desires to create energetic alternatives for girls in espresso. How precisely?

Ladies are already creating alternatives for themselves of their careers. However there’s nonetheless not as a lot visibility and normalizing, and appreciation of the intense contributions to espresso that girls have completed. A way of group helps this—WICP has helped create that area of visibility. We have now related people to organizations that may curiosity and have interaction them, and that has been rewarding to see. I typically really feel there’s a lot extra we may do. That is the primary space the place I want to develop and discover a approach to create measurable outcomes.

Seven women pose together outside
Amaris, backside proper, at a Beneficio Don Esteban + Fincas Mierisch + WICP gathering in February 2019. Photograph courtesy of Amaris Gutierrez-Ray.

Possibly I’ll take this second to notice that I exploit the phrase “energetic“ so much, principally as a result of I wish to create extra consciousness that fairness takes work. It’s true that many organizations want monetary assist, and that’s one approach to contribute, however motion is essential. Ladies accomplish that a lot. Being a robust ally ought to imply that we don’t take it as a right, that we do the work to coach ourselves and never look forward to another person to do it for us, and that we discover methods to use the rules straight in our personal lives, that we study to stay the values of allyship. 

Final month was a really busy time for WICP, being concerned in a number of actions on the Specialty Espresso Expo in Portland, together with a very fascinating challenge known as “Story Undertaking.” Are you able to inform us extra about what occurred? How was the collaboration with IWCA International?

It was fantastic! I’ve seemed as much as IWCA International my entire profession, and so they have been beneficiant sufficient to permit me to share their sales space area to conduct brief audio interviews with producers who have been attending the Expo. Blanca Castro, particularly, is an unbelievable chief and life pressure. She was a wonderful collaborator and information and helped me body my targets and parameters for the weekend. My intention was to speak to producers about two key subjects: how one can measure the advantages of attending a espresso convention for producers (an funding, for positive), and the way producers take into consideration high quality and worth.

It appears to me that in recent times the trade has been discussing the worth of those occasions for producers, whereas they appear to be designed with out producers in thoughts, and whether or not we are able to encourage change to raised meet producers’ wants and pursuits. In a way, high quality and worth are all the time linked in a particular manner. And once more, it’s not all the time mentioned with enter or consideration from producers. One among my subsequent tasks is on this very theme. So I used to be curious to listen to from producers straight about their opinions. (Additionally, one among my targets is to speak about ideas that aren’t particularly about girls’s points.)

The expertise was wonderful, a real whirlwind, however wonderful. I used to be capable of conduct 10 audio interviews with IWCA chapter members and ladies producers from Honduras, Uganda, Colombia, Ethiopia, and Guatemala. I’m nonetheless assessing how one can compile them for the general public, and hope to have the ability to share them very quickly. 

A group of women including Amaris wiht long hair and glasses, and one man, pose together with six people in the back and three in front.
A WICP x PGE Gender in Espresso documentary screening in NYC. Photograph courtesy of Amaris Gutierrez-Ray.

You’ve gotten completed lovely initiatives previously, and have new initiatives nonetheless in progress. What in regards to the future? What are your targets? Do you might have any new tasks in thoughts?

The principle objective this 12 months is to launch a program known as TWICE with collaborators Stephanie and Giselle. Alongside the way in which I’ll host digital panel occasions on the subject of “What Suggestions Producers Need to Hear from Roasters“ (with IWCA chapter members as panelists), “ Have Values-Primarily based Conversations together with your Logistics Companions,“ and a pair extra “Careers in Espresso“ panels. I’m all the time open to concepts. I crave collaboration and work greatest when I’ve somebody to plan issues with! I’m additionally eager about how one can have in-person occasions once more. I hope to discover a manner to do this once more this summer season. 

Apart from supporting WICP, what else can we actively do to assist assist girls in coffee-growing nations? What about girls in your entire espresso trade?

Purchase women-produced espresso! In case your native roaster doesn’t have espresso produced by girls on their cabinets, ask them about it. It is a nice approach to present roasters and importers that there’s a marketplace for it. If these roasters find yourself shopping for extra espresso produced by girls, it may end up in exhibiting producers their work is effective and wanted.  

Are there any remaining phrases you want to share with us?

Ladies are miraculous, and after we come collectively, something is feasible. As a producer from Honduras, Andrea Rubi, stated to me: En la unión está la fuerza—“The energy is within the becoming a member of.“


Tanya Nanetti (she/her) is a specialty-coffee barista, a traveler, and a dreamer. When she’s not behind the espresso machine (or visiting some hidden nook of the world), she’s busy writing for Espresso Rebellion, a web site about specialty espresso that she’s creating alongside along with her boyfriend. 




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