A Cool Coffee Cooperative

During our adventures today, we had our final plantation visit. We went to the Dota plantation, and I really enjoyed being there since we learned about a new, interesting way for a coffee company to be setup. 

While the other plantations we visited were traditional companies, Dora was a cooperative. The main difference between the two is that one person makes all the decisions in a traditional company, while all of the producers have a say in what happens in a cooperative. There are several advantages and disadvantages to the cooperative approach. Some advantages to the approach include that everyone’s opinion is considered, decisions are made as a collective, and resources are pulled together in order to get high quality technology which is difficult to attain. In addition, the major disadvantage is that it takes much longer to make any decision. 

The community of Santa Maria de Dota is highly impacted by the cooperative. The organization provides jobs to 3/4 of the people who live there, and the workers are paid well enough so that they can afford to feed their families all year long. Dota provides education to the community by teaching people about their technology and how to maintain a good coffee plantation. They also fund the senior center as well as sponsor local school athletic programs. To add to that, it is notable to state that, because Santa Maria de Dota is not a major tourist location, Dota’s coffee production is the main thing that supports the area’s economy. 

The Cafe Privilegios is also an important aspect of the community. This organization promotes a social experience. It sends kids to school where the can learn to become baristas. This way, the younger generation will be taking an active part in their community. 

A part of our lecture involved discussing different techniques which are used to make coffee. I found this very fascinating. Because I do not drink coffee, I was not previously aware of any of these techniques. Moreover, the 3 approaches that we learned about are drop, immersion, and pressure. The main difference between the approaches is related to how long the coffee interacts with the pressure. Furthermore, my preferred preparation technique is the drop method. This is because it results in the lightest coffee which is akin to tea. As someone who is not a fan of the strong taste of coffee, the drop method would be the most enjoyable way for me to drink it. 

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