Direct Trade – Costa Rica, Dota

By Darby Pritz

The term “Direct trade” is thrown around quite a bit in the coffee world but doesn’t speak very specifically about the relationship between roaster and source. We’d like to share the story of how we connected with Dota so you can continue on this journey with us.

This photo was taken on my brother's trip to Costa Rica. Our friend Jose is the furthest Left.
This photo was taken on my brother’s trip to Costa Rica. Our friend Jose is the furthest Left.

This is our friend Jose Hidalgo.

Jose is from Costa Rica, but attended John Brown University in Arkansas with my brother Joel. They became very close and my brother visited Jose in Costa Rica after graduating. But the first time I had true contact with Jose was after my brother’s funeral last year. This deep loss connected us. When tragedy strikes, it can leave you grasping for any remnant of your lost loved one. Jose was one of those remnants.

I’ve shared quite a bit about my brother’s death in previous blog posts. Jose connected with each of these, as Joel was his close friend. And as he followed our journey of healing he noticed that we source and roast coffee. Since then he’s been working with us to form a relationship with one of the coffee farms near his home in Costa Rica.

Jose now acts as translator and helps us navigate the overwhelming nationalization process involved with importing coffee. It’s been an amazing learning experience and we look forward to visiting Coopedota (the processing co-op used by the farm that grows our coffee) and the farm in the near future! We hope to experience everything from harvesting the fruit to touring the processing facility.

We want to assure you that this will be a long-lasting relationship

…and our goal is to provide you with as much information and involvement as possible. It has always amazed us how many hands are involved in making each cup of coffee, so bringing awareness to the consumer is something we’re excited about. And the more we are exposed to the people and processes from which our coffee originates, the more we are challenged to uphold a standard of quality when this incredible product finally arrives in Brooksville.

Not only is this an incredible opportunity for us as a coffee roaster, but I love the connection we now have with one of Joel’s closest friends. I still have so much to learn about the loss of my brother and it weighs heavily on me everyday, but I can’t help but think he would be happy to know this is all happening because of him. We want to honor his life, his sense of adventure, his role as a devoted friend, and the support he showed as a brother.

Annette Blackwell says

We love reading your blogs. It’s so nice to feel so connected since we live so far away. Keep telling us what is going on in your life. We love you.

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