Looking Back on My Costa Rica Adventure

My study abroad program was two weeks in Costa Rica studying the supply chain of the coffee industry. It was so much fun but also it was exhausting and came with lots of challenges. I only had some Spanish vocabulary background from high school, but basically no experience speaking the language. So it was very…

Reflection Part II: The Pura Vida Effect

Upon arriving in country, we sat down with our host mom to sign a contract stating that we’d be respectful of the house, follow basic rules, etc. All was going smoothly until we reached the last bullet point.                 -Student must speak/communicate in Spanish and only Spanish. My…

Reflection Part I: American Girl in Tico Culture

In 11th grade, I took a writing course that focused on the power of storytelling. One of my classmates shared a story with the class about her experience travelling back to her family’s roots in India. She spoke of how excited she originally was to meet her people, however, her dream didn’t go quite as…

Thomas Angelo Scholarship

            I am very thankful and honored to have received the Thomas Angelo Honors Scholarship.  This scholarship helped lessen the financial burden for my family and made it easier for me to attend Plus3 Costa Rica.  Once again, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity that the Thomas Angelo Honors Scholarship and Plus3 Costa Rica…

Time Really Does Fly

I cannot believe these two weeks are over.  I feel like it was just yesterday that we were getting off the plane and waiting in the long line at customs, but tomorrow is the day we head home.  Throughout these two weeks,  I have learned way more than I expected about the coffee industry, and…

It’s Been Real… and It’s Been Fun

I am excited to go home and harass a stranger in line at Starbucks about the coffee making process (if I can still bear to drink the trash at Starbucks). I feel as though I could now write a book about coffee because I am so well versed in the topic. I probably won’t be…

What I Learned in Coffee School is…

Get ready, this one’s a long one. I can’t believe that my last day in Costa Rica is actually here. I have learned more about Costa Rican culture, and of course about the coffee process, than I would have imagined. I will definitely be a proud coffee snob back in the States. I analyzed the…

I had the time of my life

Before coming to Costa Rica, I never thought about where my food, or drinks for that matter, originated.  Market omelets came from market and that was that.  Never had I thought about where the eggs, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, onions, or cheese came from.  At most, there was a farmer a ways a way who raised…

There’s love in every cup.

Coffee plays a large role in the life of a Tico. Over the past two weeks we have had the chance to study the coffee supply chain and daily life in Costa Rica. It’s a staple part of their diet, but they do not drink what we consider “Costa Rican coffee.” Much of the best…

¡Despedida Costa Rica!

I have spent two weeks traveling across Costa Rica, visiting multiple different coffee plantations: Doka Estate, Café Britt, Life Monteverde, Café Rey, and Coopedota. Each is different and approaches the coffee making process in their own way. The industry, culture, and environment of coffee is so complex. Being here has given so much depth to…

Coffee Addiction and Learning Logistics 

Now that the trip is over, it’s time to analyze everything I have learned about logistics in the coffee supply chain. It has been an awesome two weeks of learning and experiencing.   1. Coffee farms The first step in the supply chain of coffee is the coffee farms. The logistics at the farm have to…

Two Weeks That Went Too Fast

The past two weeks have exposed me to more coffee than I have been in my prior 18 years. I have seen six different coffee plantations and learned almost everything there is to know about how coffee is first planted to when it finally arrives in the consumer’s hands. I now have a deep understanding…

A Farewell to Plus3

I had my first cup of coffee sometime around 9th grade. I’d occasionally bring thermoses to my high school when I had extra time in the morning (rarely). I slowly amped up my intake during the summers leading up to college, as I worked every day and struggled with consistently waking up so early. It…

Adiós

Over the past two weeks, my group and I have thoroughly researched the coffee making process. This has helped me develop a greater understanding of coffee, as well as a greater appreciation for everyone involved in the coffee making process. We visited many coffee farms this trip, including Doka, Café Britt, Starbucks, Life Monteverde, and…

And the Journey Comes to an End

Before I got to Costa Rica, I never drank coffee and it only represented something that was for a caffeine rush. Yet, two weeks later, I have visited 6 different coffee companies and seen how their production chains work and tasted many of their different blends of coffee. I have learned about the entire story…

Blog 11: Hasta Lluego Costa Rica

The past two weeks in Costa Rica has taught me a lot about the coffee industry here in Costa Rica. This large industry comes with a very detailed supply chain, from a plant to the end product that is consumed. My assigned topic was sourcing and this blog will go into detail about how companies…

We Made It

Here we are! These past two weeks have flown by, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every second of it. Throughout this entire experience, I’ve been looking at everything we’ve learned about the coffee supply chain through a certain lens. Whether we were at a coffee farm, processing plant, roaster, or packaging plant, myself and my group…

Adíos

The past two weeks in Costa Rica have been amazing. Every day has been jam-packed with activities which took us all over Costa Rica. Besides all of the fun adventures, I learned way more about coffee than I ever thought I would. I appreciated the hands on learning experience where we never had to sit…

Last but not Least

Today we visited our final coffee plantation, Coopedota.   Coopedota operates as a coffee cooperative, where 900 individual farms send coffee beans to a central location to go through the milling, roasting, and selling processes. The end of the trip was very cool, as a barista showed how to make different coffee drinks! Coopedota operates as…

C900perative

Today, we visited Coopedota, a cooperative based out of the Tarrazú area. They grow their coffee and import other coffee from 900 farms in the region. Their main business is in the milling process, but growing and roasting still happen in the facility as well. These farms bring their picked coffee cherries to Coopedota in…