Wednesday, January 28, 2009

European coffee buyers sniffing around Costa Rica

By Vanessa I. Garnica
Tico Times Staff

With pen and paper in hand and an abundance of cameras in tow, a group of coffee connoisseurs, mostly from Europe, have been making their way through Costa Rica this week.

Their goal is to examine every detail of the Costa Rican coffee making process, from the moment a bean picker grabs the fruit to the instant it's dropped off at the mills to be weighed, peeled, washed, dried and placed in storage.

The group is part of the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE), whose members are coffee roasters, buyers and distributors from throughout the world.

The visitors, coming from places such as the Netherlands, Germany, Ukraine, England, Hungary, Sweden and South Korea are in search of quality coffee, but they are also interested in environmentally friendly coffee processes, fair-trade regulations and fair working conditions for the crop pickers.

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