Every year we send employees on what we call “Origin Trips” so they can meet farmers, learn about coffee, and have some fun together. Each year we go to Costa Rica and I have the good fortune to lead that group since the trip began.
This year we visited a new supplier for us called Coopedota based in Tarrazu. A very well-run coop that sells us Fair Trade coffee, they also happen to be the only coffee cooperative in the world that is carbon neutral. They have a famous coffee shop in the front of their mill, and you can bet we got to sample their drinks more than once. Most of their baristas have competed in barista competitions and their skill and knowledge was obvious.
Pictured above is Victor Romera Madrigal, who owns Finca San Pedro, a 4-hectare coffee farm (about 10 acres). He sells Fair Trade coffee and employs pickers from Panama, who happen to be from an indigenous group called the Guaymi.
I asked the Guyami who we met at Victor’s farm to say a few words in their native language called Ngabere. It’s impossible to describe how mystifying it sounded to us. It’s obviously not a Romance based language (European), so we were all flummoxed but thrilled to hear a language so different from English or Spanish. It was beautiful. I've lead many Origin Trips and been to many different countries, but somehow, someway I always manage to find something new and special to share and remember. The world's filled with wonders.