Picture your favorite Red Bay mocha, that exquisite blend of rich coffee and velvety chocolate that tantalizes your taste buds. Behind the scenes, we have a secret ingredient that takes our mochas to the next level – Cru Chocolate, the artisanal chocolatier that stands as our premier choice for crafting the perfect indulgence."
Join us in this intimate conversation as we explore Karla's personal and professional journey, her connection to her Hispanic roots, and the delicious ways in which she infuses her heritage into every piece of chocolate she creates. Together, we'll unravel the flavors, traditions, and stories that make this collaboration between Red Bay Coffee and Cru Chocolate a celebration of heritage and a delightful fusion of coffee and chocolate. So, grab a cup of your favorite Red Bay brew, settle in, and let's embark on this journey of flavor and culture with Karla from Cru Chocolate.
Could you tell us about your background and heritage?
I was born in Honduras into a family deeply rooted in the coffee industry. My family owned coffee farms, and my grandfather was a co-founder of the Association of Coffee Farmers in Honduras. Growing up surrounded by coffee, cane sugar, and cacao farms I developed a profound connection to the world of what we know as commodities, their flavors, the language around them, and the social and environmental issues that these industries face.
My father is from the Caribbean side of Honduras which is why my last name is Irish, it carries the history of African-descended people in Central America during the British Colony. So I would say my heritage and background is like many of us, several parts of whole cultures. We are not a piece or a part of, we are whole individuals with a diversity of backgrounds.
Can you share a specific aspect of your Hispanic heritage that holds significant meaning for you and has shaped you as a person?
One aspect of my Hispanic or multicultural heritage that has shaped me is the strong sense of community and respect for the land. In every culture, there's a deep appreciation for the hard work and dedication that goes into growing crops, It instilled in me a commitment to sustainable practices and a responsibility to honor and preserve the environment. It's the land and the territory that creates our culture.
How does your Hispanic heritage intersect with your passion for the coffee industry? Are there any cultural elements that drive your enthusiasm for coffee?
My heritage and my passion for the coffee industry intersect in various ways. Firstly, the emphasis on community and hospitality is mirrored in the coffee culture. The idea of 'sobremesa,' or "cafecito" where people come together over a cup of coffee to share stories and build connections, is a cultural element that drives my enthusiasm for coffee. Additionally, the commitment to quality and ethics in coffee production aligns with the values I inherited from my family's coffee farming legacy.
What is your personal coffee ritual?
My personal coffee ritual is a blend of tradition and innovation. I start my day with a cup of chocolate, I add mushrooms, coffee, butter, and anything that I hear from a trusted friend that is good for me. My morning ritual is an invitation to health and spiritual connection, it sets the intention for the day and prepares me for what is ahead.
This ritual not only reflects the multitude of our heritage but also the mission of Cru Chocolate: to make coffee and chocolate better, ensuring that coffee shops can maintain their ethics and flavor integrity while serving a great mocha to their customers.