We traveled to Panama to find the first coffee from there that we would be purchasing. Before the trip, we had already cupped lots of samples from various farms and were therefore able to plan a very specific itinerary. After arriving at the border in Paso Canoas, we suddenly noticed that we somehow managed to involuntarily having crossed the border already, before being able to return our rental car. After a few minutes of driving around, we managed to inofficially return to Costa Rica and return our car. A few stamps and documents later, we were able to cross the border on foot.
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Instead of jetting around half the globe for just a few days, we try to always combine origin trips with vacations. That’s what we did this time, too. We spent almost a month in Costa Rica and Panama. We thus had a lot of time to discover the countries – mostly Costa Rica – and the beaches. When we arrived in San José after a few weeks, coffee was at the center of our trip once again. We had contacted several farms before, but we ended up visiting only one farm. We were convinced by the work they do and we have since bought their coffee.
Shortly after Christmas we travelled to Mexico to get to know the country and people and to evaluate a possible cooperation with a coffee producer. Already more than 6 months earlier we discovered E-Café Chiapas on Instagram, a reasonably small producer with three own farms and a processing site. E-Café Chiapas also works with very small coffee farmers who operate microlots. And they produced one of the winning coffees for the Cup of Excellence Mexico 2018 with a cupping score of 89.6.