After graduation, I took an agriculturally focused trip with a group of friends to Monteverde, Costa Rica. I was still frantic from the aftermath of a busy school year, and I was excited for a change in pace.
I couldn’t wait to visit a place and live in a state of Pura Vida, a simple life.
The farm owner greeted us with a smile and a cup of coffee on the first day in Monteverde. This farm depended on agritourism as their primary source of income. We stayed in the cabins on their land, and each morning ate a meal made from the products grown on their farm. Throughout our days, we split into our small groups and toured local farms. Each farm had its own story. Most of the time, farming activities revolved around ensuring the health of their land, as well as the health and happiness of their family.
Everything there truly is a simple life.
-Their backs hurt from bending over, so they raised the beds to a higher level to prevent family members from developing chronic back pain.
-They notice that climate change is altering their growing patterns, so they create a group that educates others on climate change while they switch their farms to a regenerative farming model.
Each farmer and their land lived a happy, sustainable life. This perspective of life gave me an earthly connection to the coffee that I drink.
The farming techniques were unique for each farm. Most relied on terrace farming, which is a way to plant along a steep slope and prevent erosion. It was a way to make sure that they could utilize every section of their land to its potential and create a mutualistic benefit with the untouched woodlands that surrounded their crops. However, the peaceful mutualism didn’t stop there. Each farm owner made sure that the labor on the land was fair and equal. You could tell that everyone working had a passion for their work. The love and friendly conversations with all workers added community value to the coffee that I drink.
In addition to our farm tours, we practiced our Quaker values with, naturally, more coffee drinking. On Sunday, during our trip, we spent time in reflection while attending a silent Friends (Quaker) meeting. I took this hour of silence to reflect on the beauty of the trip and how I can use this experience in my “new adult” life.
I noted the relaxed look of everyone in the room. They weren’t thinking about where they needed to be or what they should be doing but simply just enjoying everyone's presence. During these services, if anyone feels lead to say something, they stand up to share their thoughts. A local community member stood up and shared a story. They said something that gave me meaning to the coffee I drink.
They said, “there is no such beauty than the beauty of the area where you belong.”
This comment gave me excitement to return to my hometown and opened my mind to a new perspective and a new way of coffee drinking. My trip to Monteverde, Costa Rica, was a perfect introduction to my life outside of college. When I returned home, I found myself in a conversation with a local business owner who was in search of a coffee roaster.
Well, now, here I am.
I am grateful to share my coffee experience with everyone around me. This experience deepened my passion for agriculture and love for coffee by adding earthly connections, community values, and meaning. I want you to experience these connections through Upshot Roastery when reading my blogs to help you realize your impact on a local and global level. Through my blogs, I will share with you the stories of the farms I buy coffee from and how your coffee drinking is so much more.