At our final company visit today, we toured Coppedota Café Privilegios Santa Maria de Dota. We have toured many coffee plantations these past two weeks, however Dota differs from the rest as it is a cooperative. This means that it has many producers, specifically 900, that all contribute to the production and decisions of the company, rather than one person controlling everything. This is a unique approach to running a coffee plantation and it comes with both advantages and disadvantages.
Positively, Dota is run by a democracy, which ensures that every producer has a voice in the decisions made in the company that they represent. However, with 900 opinions to consider, decisions definitely take longer to make than if it were up to just one person. Additionally, there may be some pushback among larger producers who think they should have more of a say than the smaller ones. This goes back to the idea of democracy, which clearly can be seen as both a positive and negative aspect of a cooperative.
Despite any disagreements, without this cooperative, the community of Santa María de Dota would not be as well developed as it is without Coopedota. Coppedota gives back to it’s community by creating a senior center, sponsoring school and athletic programs, and training Ticos to be baristas. This is where Café Privilegios comes in. Since Ticos do not want to be coffee pickers, they must find other jobs to make their living. Café Privilegios provides the resources to train Tico children in the barista business so that they can go off and work for bigger companies with their newly developed skills.
Finally, while I am not the biggest coffee drinker and usually stick to the basics, I would have to say that my favorite preparation of coffee is definitely medium roast to start off. Getting more specific, I think I prefer either the honey or natural process over the wash process. Last but not least, while I probably would get scolded for this at Coppedota, I definitely will use coffee grinds or even k-cups over the whole coffee beans when making coffee simply because of convenience.