Unidos estamos, dividos caemos

Coppe Dota is a coffee cooperative in Costa Rica. This means they pool together coffee from about 900 farms in the central valley and roast and sell it. This comes with many pros and cons. The pros mainly include being able to compete with large companies. The individual farmers can pool together resources and help each other out to produce the best product possible. This helps everyone in the coop mutually. However, when it comes time to make decisions on going in different paths a cooperative can hinder progress. Getting 900 individuals to agree on a single course of action is either impossible, or very time consuming. Compared to having an executive board to make decisions, like in a normal company, this process takes more time but nearly ensures that everyone is at least ok with the direction being taken.

The cooperative also helps the local community. Each farmer is a part of the community and therefore feel a need to give back. Having an entire cooperative to help the community is obviously more useful than each farmer doing their small part. The community of Santa Maria de Dota more or less depends on the cooperative at this point. Without it they would struggle. I don’t believe Dota is vital to their existence, as they would likely find other farming or something else to do, but the community would look very different without them.

Coffee to me is something that usually tastes so strong that the difference cannot be tasted in the means of preparation. From one chain to another in the US I have to really pay attention to notice any difference. However, when I was in New York I went to a local coffee shop that prepared coffee in an Italian way using pressure and steam to extract the coffee particles. This clearly tasted better to me. It was a noticeable taste. Now all I need to do is save a few thousand dollars to buy a machine.

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