What I learned in coffee school is…

Coffee farms are much more complex than I initially imagined they would be. The number of management decisions that must be made, both on a day-to-day basis and in the long term, is staggering. Additionally, farm managers often must make their decisions based on predictions and trends rather than on hard facts. One of the most…

Coffee co-ops: socialist scum or the GOAT investment?

While many coffee producers choose to control the entirety of their production process, from growing to grinding, many also choose to become part of cooperative organizations, also called co-ops. Coffee co-ops are made up of many small farmers that sell their coffee crop to one processing company that then can either resell the coffee after…

Money Talks

Costa Rica’s extensive development into the world agriculture market was made possible in large part by their booming coffee industry. Costa Rica made a name for itself not by producing large amounts of coffee, like Brazil or Columbia, but rather by creating very precise, high-quality gourmet blends of coffee that cost more to produce and…

How hard could it be?

Visiting the Life Monteverde farming complex gave me a very interesting perspective on the daily life of Tico farmers. To the uninitiated, coffee farming seems relatively straightforward, or at least as straightforward as farming any crop can be. However, coffee plants are very finicky growers and difficult to harvest. These challenges require lots of innovation…

Quake and Bake

Costa Rican agriculture has been greatly influenced by the immigration of Quakers and other North American settlers into the cloud forests during the mid-to-late 1900s. For example, some of the North American Quakers who moved to the cloud forest to farm, such as our speaker, Marvin Rockwell, had extensive medical experience, they could aid Costa…

Analysis of Rural Rainforest Areas in Costa Rica

The areas of Costa Rica through which we traveled on the way to Monteverde are much less developed than the town of Heredia and are made up of large, rolling hills covered in dense rainforest trees. The communities of people living there appear to rely on farming as their main source of income. Largely, the…

Technological Advances and Their Relation to Coffee Production

Coffee producers have benefitted greatly from the increased availability of technology. New methods for coffee harvesting, processing, and drying have made it easier for these companies to guarantee the uniformity and quality of their products. For example, precise temperature control and heating times during the coffee roasting process would not have been achievable without the…

Analysis of Café Britt’s Role in Latin American Coffee Supply Chains

Café Britt is a Costa Rican coffee roasting company that is known for its gourmet-quality coffee and its very successful marketing strategies. While other companies, such as Doka, grow, harvest, roast, package, and sell their own coffee, Britt focuses only on roasting coffee beans and marketing them under a strong brand name. Britt acts as a manufacturer…

Digging Deeper into the History of Costa Rica

Central American countries are typically known for being unsafe, anarchistic, and impoverished. While this is not the case for all regions of these countries, it is certainly a common set of characteristics for them to have. So, knowing this, why is Costa Rica so wealthy and stable compared to its neighboring countries? After listening to…

Mis Primeras Impresiones de Costa Rica

Prior to entering Costa Rica, my perception of the country as a whole was that it is very rural, hard-working, and family-oriented. After taking an extensive walking tour of the town of Heredia today and learning more about the Heredia and San Jose areas during our orientation,  my perception of the country is mostly the…

My Take on Costa Rican Sustainability Initiatives

For such a small country situated in such a historically turbulent area of the world, Costa Rica has certainly been effective at branding itself as a beacon of progressive policies and environmental friendliness. While many countries with similar natural resources and geographic locations to Costa Rica are still struggling to maintain stable government and infrastructure,…

Meet Plus3 Costa Rica 2017!

Welcome to the Costa Rica Plus3 Study Abroad Program! Professor Ryan Teeter and Laura Caroll, Academic Advisor, are traveling to the Costa Rican Central Valley, Monteverde, and Tarrazu with 20 College of Business Administration and Swanson School of Engineering students from May 6 – May 20. In addition to numerous cultural experiences, the trip will include visits to…