At about 9:00 a.m. on Friday, January 13 local time (11:00 p.m. on January 14 Taipei time), President Tsai Ing-wen and her accompanying delegation, who were in Central America on a trip codenamed the "Ing-Jie Project," toured the Santa Adelaida coffee cooperative in El Salvador.
After arriving at the cooperative, President Tsai first listened to a briefing from Executive Director Hugo Hernandez of the Salvadoran Coffee Council on the state of the Salvadoran coffee industry and cooperative relations with Taiwanese coffee firms. The president also visited bean washing and bean drying grounds there.
As Executive Director Hernandez was reporting on coffee production volumes in El Salvador, President Tsai told him that there are many coffee lovers in Taiwan, and many members of her delegation were knowledgeable about coffee, so this trip to El Salvador might well be considered a "coffee pilgrimage." Hopefully they would be able to take advantage of this trip, she said, to have some good discussions on how to enable more people in Taiwan to drink fine Salvadoran coffee.
After the briefing, President Tsai and her delegation then went to a "cupping hall," where Mr. Hernandez explained coffee cupping (i.e. coffee tasting ) procedures to the president, and veteran coffee cupping instructor Manuel Vindel gave a cupping demonstration.
President Tsai then tried her skill at cupping, and the hosts served the delegation members 85 cups of fine-grade coffee. The president was invited to smell the aroma of freshly ground coffee, and the hosts explained that coffee quality is graded on the basis of aroma, body, and flavor.
After the cupping was finished, President Tsai and her delegation returned to the briefing room, where they watched World Barista Champion Alejandro Mendez demonstrating the grinding of coffee beans, brewing, milk texturing, and latte art. Everyone had a chance to taste the delicious results.
Among those accompanying President Tsai during the tour were: Salvadoran Vice President Oscar Ortiz; Minister of Agriculture Orestes Ortez (concurrently the chairman of the Salvadoran Coffee Council); Maximo Perez (head of the Santa Adelaida coffee cooperative); National Security Council Secretary-General Joseph Wu (吳釗燮); Minister of Foreign Affairs David T. Lee (李大維); and ROC Ambassdor to El Salvador Florencia Miao-hung Hsie (謝妙宏).