So you may or may not have seen that recently I took part in my first ever international coffee swap and it was an incredible experience.
A few weeks back I sent a DM to an Australian chap called Tim Messenger, or ‘Bike Hike Brew’ as you may know him- and I proposed the idea of a coffee swap to him. It was as simple as that. We both picked coffee from our local roasters and sent them to the other side of the world. What I didn’t expect from this was the relationship I would build with Tim whilst this exchange was taking place. Delivery checks turned into ‘what do you work as?’ and ‘how have you brewed your coffee today?’ etc etc. Through a simple coffee exchanged I made a social connection with a guy who lives in Australia, that I may never meet. That’s just incredible!
I DM’d one of the roasters at Bailies Coffee roasters to see what he would recommend me sending to Australia. After he gave me a few options I decided to buy a bag of ‘Honduras La Florencia‘.
To give Tim a better understanding of the coffee scene here in Northern Ireland I also sent him a Belfast Coffee Map and an Indy Coffee Guide that details the coffee shops across the province. I packaged it all up and sent it on its way.
After what felt like a few months (actually 11 days, but who was counting) I got text from my wife to say that the sacred package I had been going on about had finally arrived! The rest of my shift at work dragged in as you can imagine. As soon as I got home I opened the packaged to find out what Tim had sent.
Side note: Tim has documented his version of the coffee swap on his amazing blog which you can see by clicking right here! Back to the blog
I received a bag of 5 Senses Coffee, limited release, ‘Acacia Hills, Geisha’ (you can find a review of this coffee here!). I was pumped already, I also received a postcard, some Australian mints and a pin of the Australian flag! I immediately opened the coffee and brewed it through a v60. I have followed 5 Senses Coffee on Instagram for quite a while now with the hope of one day, getting to Australia and trying there coffee for myself. Never would I have imagined that I would be drinking it, in my kitchen, in Northern Ireland!
It’s no new revelation that social media has taken the world by storm. We 100% now live in a digital world, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Through social media platforms like Instagram I’ve been able to connect with Tim and make this coffee swap happen. As Tim put it on instagram ‘How small is the world thanks to social media’, this statement is something I highly agree with.
I would highly recommend to those coffee enthusiasts out there to try a coffee swap with someone on the other side of the world. Make those connections with people you may never meet but share an interest with, we now have the ability to do so! I hope to make a few more swaps with Tim in the future and I am loving continuing getting to know this great guy and following him on his journey. I just want to thank Tim for taking the jump and agreeing to the coffee swap and also making it an enjoyable experience for me.