Just back from Costa Rica and I have a new discovery . . . when women in coffee unite in a country of origin, amazing energy forms. I made the wise decision to attend the 1st International Women in Coffee Conference in Orosi, Costa Rica. I was surrounded by nearly 100 fabulous women in coffee, representing 11 countries.
During the conference, we heard amazing stories about what is
happening in the coffee regions of Central and South America. Coffee producers shared their challenges and successes. ICO Executive Director Nestor Osorio was present praising the work of the International Women's Coffee Alliance. Judy Ganes highlighted industry trends and predictions.
Then we headed to Costa Rican coffee farms. We strapped our picking baskets around our waists and marched up the
mountain to experience the tedious challenges of picking coffee beans by hand. Ten minutes into the process, I had a new appreciation for what is involved in creating a quality cup of coffee. With sore feet and aching backs, we headed to a processing mill to see the next step in coffee production.
Farmers arrived in trucks with their day's
harvest to have their beans weighed, receive payment and head home to start the picking process all over again come sunrise.
I returned back to Illinois with my eyes wide open. Now, each morning when I sip my cup of coffee, the aroma takes me back to the hard working coffee farmers in the hills of Costa Rica.