I have a confession to make. I am sitting in The Common Cup cafe in one of the world’s coffee growing hotspots in Monteverde, Costa Rica, where the owners grow and process their own coffee, and I have ordered a Mocha. Thousands of coffee growers are turning in their graves at the lack of sophistication of destroying the taste of a beautiful coffee with chocolate. And Heyner, one of the partners who was kind enough to serve me the coffee, did not so much as flinch when asked, far less give a look of disdain or mutter a ‘tsk’ under his breath. And the Mocha was great, as was the Cortado, which I have to admit I tried as well to see what the taste of the coffee on its own would be like.
The other partner I met here, Ken, is a very amiable American who made a natural transition from law in the US to coffee farmer in Costa Rica. He was kind enough to take time out from packing coffee bags to send to his clients around the world, and shared some interesting facts about coffee growing in Costa Rica. The most astounding for me was that despite the involvement of the Fair Trade movement, coffee production here has declined by about 35% over the last 6 years as farmers have been unable to make enough money to keep going. So Ken and Heyner are doing the best thing and taking matters into their own hands.
The coffee they sell is about 20% cheaper than Fair Trade coffee. At the same time, they are launching a collective to sell and export coffee beans globally to individual consumers and affiliate coffee businesses that would make the farmers about 10 times the revenue of Fair Trade, which is still only just over 10% of the price paid by a final buyer of the coffee. The initiative will be launched at ThriveCoffee, and you can read more about it at their current site, Gourmet Coffee Costa Rica.
By the way, if you are a coffee-loving friend of mine, drop me an email and I’ll send you a pack of their coffee. I am buying five to send to the UK that I will share with our coffee-loving friends. Note that I am talking beans here, so you need to love coffee enough to have your own grinder. Neither Paola nor I are coffee drinkers, so please do let me know as otherwise some great beans will just sit in our house taking up space!
And if you want to get beans direct from these guys, either for your home as they sell direct to consumers, or to a business, then you can contact them at email@example.com.
P.S. I just read that all net profits from The Common Cup are used for local community projects in Monteverde with a focus on youth. Loving it more and more.