The benefits of living in this beautiful country are vast, especially when you are in the coffee industry. Some of the best coffee fields are located a few hours away. The appropriate time to pick the coffee cherries is approaching, and to ensure the quality Bohio wants to offer, we planned a trip over to Tarrazú to experience and compare various green bean coffee providers. I could write about what I learned in the coffee fields that day, but to be honest, I learned more about how to plan a field trip than I did about coffee.
1. Check to ensure your mode of transportation is adequate for the journey you are to make.
Google Maps said the fastest route from Bohio to Tarrazu was 2 hours and 41 minutes; the alternative routes being an hour more than that. Google Maps did not say that majority of the shortest route was an unpaved, uphill, rocky, dirt-road. The car we took was designed for 3 adults and 2 children, and that’s pushing it; we were 5 adults. The comfort level of the 3 adults in the backseat declined by the minute. An hour into the journey, at a 63% comfort level, we hit the unpaved, uphill, rocky road. Siri didn’t communicate the conditions of the trip with the car, and as we advanced forward, our transportation grew more and more weary of the path that lay ahead. Stopping for several moments to rest before climbing a hill and rolling backwards to gain enough energy to proceed, we had entered into the storybook “The Little Engine That Could”. Half-way there, our little engine gave out- RIGHT IN FRONT OF A MECHANIC. What are the odds…?! I know Mr. Calderon, the driver, was frustrated, but the travelers in the backseat were stoked to get out and stretch. A temporary fix to the clutch and we were ready to continue, slowly. Close to extending our day trip into an overnight trip with another stop at the mechanic in Tarrazu, we made it out in just enough time to hit all the traffic on the Google Maps alternative route through San Jose. It would have been faster for us to take the bus, but field trips are about experiencing new things and bonding with one another- oh, we bonded so hard in the back seat I think we became one.
2. Communicate departure time and teach attendees how to set an alarm.
When you’re a child going on a field trip with school, the bus leaves whether you are on it or not. No man left behind is a motto Bohio follows but didn’t know of until that morning. The departure time was communicated properly, 7:00 a.m. At 7:40 a.m. we were still sitting at Bohio waiting on a very important individual, the one that is to roast all the coffee we were going to look at. But no complaints here; the tardiness gave me enough time to enjoy a much needed mocha before the unexpected journey ahead.
(in case you were wondering which individual, Oscar, lead barista and roaster)
3. Leave prepared.
A packing list was not provided for this trip, so no one was prepared for the mosquitos. Turns out, mosquitos love coffee just as much as we do.
4. Explore the possible differences between your dialect and the dialect of the area you are visiting.
BUENOOOO. That was the only word that anyone understood all day coming from the locals in Tarrazu- even though 3/5 of us are native to Costa Rica, still… Bueno this. Bueno that. Bueno Bueno Bueno. Everything was bueno, or atleast that’s all that was understood.
5. Food should always be involved.
If you want to keep the field trippers happy, want to make anyone happy, feed them.
After the extended journey to Tarrazu, we stopped at an incredible local cafe, La Casita. We spent the whole afternoon snacking on coffee cherries. While waiting for the second mechanic, we stuffed our faces with plantain chips and cookies, some eating a fare amount more than others. Final meal of the day- pizza. The amount of space in the car grew smaller as the day pressed on, but our comfort level increased with each food encounter.
6. Don´t forget to take a professional photographer with you.
You never know where the photos could end up.. You could end up being the next model for Urban Outfitters!
Photos by: Nick Saraceni
Story written by: Anna Boswell