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Friday, January 16, 2004 The Story of Mi Cafecito

Behind every cup of coffee there is a story to be told, and Mi Cafecito is no exception. Mi Cafecito is the brand of coffee that is produced by the co-op here in Sarapiqui and it was started by CoopeSarapiqui´s manager, Alvaro Gomez. He grew up in a coffee farming family and when he was a boy, his father and grandfather used to keep some of the coffee they had grown and picked and they processed it right in their very own home. They would remove the husks from the beans, dry them, roast and then grind them, all in a very artisan way. It was a meaningful thing for the family to produce their own coffee from start to finish, from the bean to the cup.

Over the years, the tradition died off but Alvaro never forgot that homegrown taste. Years later, in November of 2000, while working for the coffee cooperative CoopeSarapiqui and facing a severe crisis in coffee prices, Alvaro revived the idea in the form of Mi Cafecito.

Instead of just giving their green beans to the co-op, the producers starting getting a kilogram of coffee back so they could consume the finished product in their homes. Word quickly spread in the community about the tasty new coffee and the co-op recognized that Mi Cafecito could be a product not just for the producers, but for the larger community as well.Today, Mi Cafecito is sold in the two grocery stores operated by the co-op here in Sarapiqui. CoopeSarapiqui is hoping to expand so that its brand of coffee can be known far and wide. The Roasted Cherry Coffee House in Ottawa was selling it over the Christmas holidays and there may be a few bags left if you hurry.

We drink Mi Cafecito with breakfast, lunch and dinner and often in between. It´s a great coffee and is extra special to us because we are living with the man who helped inspire it--Alvaro´s father. Tali is now 67 and he and his wife have taken very good care of us. After we leave here, I´m sure we won´t forget them or the taste of their coffee either.

Meagan Fitz

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