Bringing the Bean to the Customer

As part of the “Make” team, farms were especially interesting because they are where the supply chain begins. They make the crop that other companies down the line use. Visiting the coffee, banana, and pineapple plantations, I learned that the processes to grow, or, make each crop contain a lot of checks and balances. Coffee…

Checkin’ the Quota at Dota

Being a cooperative, Dota has coffee beans sourced from all around the Tarrazú region. Two advantages of this are that their plants are scattered around far enough away to avoid a catastrophic outbreak of disease, and it is easier for each small scale farmer to produce a quality harvest of coffee. However, there is difficulty…

Going Pineapples for Bananas

In the lowlands of Costa Rica, there are many banana and pineapple plantations scattered throughout. Having the chance to visit both types today, we learned about how these plantations operate. Both had a large focus on sustainable farming and put in great efforts to achieve the smallest environmental footprint possible. The main way both of…

Amalgamating Thoughts in Arenal

I was shocked to see the biodiversity when visiting the cloud forest in Monteverde, but I was able to see even more in the rainforest of Arenal. Being at a higher elevation, the cloud forest is a cooler temperature than the rainforest, and there are different animals and plants that prefer these differing environments. For…

The Farming Life at Life Monteverde

When exploring the farm of Don Guillermo’s Life Monteverde, we got the chance to speak with some workers and volunteers. Most of the workers are from Nicaragua who get government permission to travel into Costa Rica each coffee season. At places like Doka estates, housing is provided and paid for by the coffee company, but…

Contemplating Conservation in Monteverde

After discussing the priorities of Monteverde with Don Guillermo, I learned the relationship between sustainability, conservation, and productivity. The natives that lived here for thousands of years before the quaker immigrants had been practicing these three ideals long before any foreigners stepped foot in Costa Rica. They would live along with the forest instead of…

Moseying Over to Monteverde

Our trip to Monteverde further expanded my view of Costa Rica. I had pictured the country as being very forested with houses scattered loosely around. However, staying in Heredia for the whole trip up to this point, I began to picture Costa Rica as being more densely populated. I guess it is only like that…

Getting After it at Café Britt

Today we toured the headquarters of Café Britt, further learning about coffee plants, but also about roasting them. Café Britt roasts and markets coffee along with chocolate in the Americas, but many Costa Ricans don’t drink their coffee. I think this is because of the way they advertise. They used to advertise their company in…

Introducing and Producing Coffee at Doka

Visiting the Doka coffee plantation today was my first taste of the Costa Rican coffee business. Before visiting, I only knew the basics of coffee production so there were plenty of details throughout the process that surprised me. I was mainly surprised at the level of care and planning that goes into producing coffe beans….

Muy Hambre en Heredia

I can’t say I held many expectations coming into mCosta Rica, but I am pleasantly surprised. Arriving at the airport, I was a little bit nervous to be immersed in a Spanish speaking country. However, I was much more comfortable after getting to know the people I was traveling with. I don’t see myself typically…

La Pura Vida me Espera

A phrase common in Costa Rica is Pura Vida, meaning a pure or simple life. However, the reason many ticos can live a simple life is due to the country’s sustainability efforts. Currently about 93% of Costa Rica’s energy is renewable with most coming from hydro power plants, and in 2017 the whole country ran…