I understand how to take green coffee beans to the cup; roasting, grinding and brewing. What I wasn’t familiar with was how coffee went from soil to green beans. While talking about this on the Coffee Forum Matias Zeledon (costaricacoffee on the forum) introduced me to his plantation in Costa Rica. Down to Earth Dota Estate is located in Providencia, San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica. Matias runs a program for people to come and learn about growing coffee.
My wife and I decided to go and left on Sunday Jan 23, 2011 for five days on the plantation. For our trip, we got up at 2 am, off to the Toronto airport at 2:45 for a 6:30 flight. We changed planes in Charlotte, North Carolina, then flew to San Jose, Costa Rica. Matias had sent details on where he would meet us and thanks to Michael Alan’s video on the airport, we had no problem meeting.
The trip to the farm involved driving across San Jose and south to a ranger station, then onto a 14 km dirt road. Now, I live 4 km back a dirt road, so I thought how bad could it be? To haul coffee, Matias drives a 1987 Ford F Super Duty pickup. I thought the drive to the farm was going to be just over an hour, not three, so when Matias offered to send a minivan to bring us to the ranger station, I said – no, just bring the truck. We were in for a rough three-hours drive. The 14 km (9 miles) of dirt road requires a 4×4 with low range. We were in a mountainous region, so one side of the road is a wall; the other a cliff. As we drove in after dark, we didn’t realize this. In the next post, I will talk about our first drive to the plantation the next morning.