Happy Sunday coffee morning together!
There are few things in life more important to me than an amazing cup of coffee every. single. day. My morning coffee is the main reason I go to bed at night, it's what I look forward to every day in the morning and in the afternoon and like I say to my team; "it's the liquid of life." Water? That's a distant third to coffee and beer and I despise water. So, when we discovered the greatness of Panamanian coffee well...it helped seal the deal for the place we would live one day and build a place where we could share it with others.
I first learned about the amazing life of coffee when traveling to Italy in my teens. In Italy, coffee is for all morning, all day, and all night. They're doing it right for sure. Well, it was there that they served a team full of teenage athletes espresso after dinner every night. Needless to say, we had longer and higher energy nights...my apologies to the coaches for that!
Fast forward a few years to the early 90's when I met this amazing woman who I can safely say opened my eyes to coffee and how to do it right. Mel was this tiny, but incredibly strong woman, the most amazing mountain biker I had ever seen, and on any given day, you could find her covered in coffee dusts and oils, under mountains of coffee beans as she slung around massive sacs of coffee that i'm sure weighed more than she did, roasting all day long in Frisco, CO (between extreme mountain bike rides undoubtedly fueled by her trade). So, I knew I loved her coffee but it turns out, I didn't know the half of it.
Essentially, she and her husband started a company called Conscious Coffees in Breckenridge, CO and this is where I learned the importance of what it means to support their global mission of socially and ecologically-responsible coffee.
As one of the most widely traded commodities in the world, coffee is tied to the exploitation of workers and environmental degradation of this beautiful planet. When done responsibly, it empowers families, their farms, and the communities that surround them.
And by the way, tastes a LOT better too!
After living on Mel's coffee for over 20 years, we moved to Panama and had to find a new source. We knew Panama had incredible coffee but finding the perfect fit took a bit of time. Remember the #2 of the great places of Panama? Near La Amistad National Park in the mountainous region of Panama is where you will find the best coffees of the world are grown. Up in the mountains over 6,000 ft. is the beautiful Mount Totumas Eco Lodge and cloud forest where they sustainably grow and harvest their shade grown organic coffee.
We are thankful every day to have made friends with them so we can share their coffee in our restaurant with our guests. Years ago when we were planning/dreaming about how we would use our land to provide food for our guests we naively thought we would be able to grow coffee too. Some things just really need to be handled by experts and the right climate. We are merely expert daily drinkers of coffee and our expertise ends there.
There's this place called "The Bean Belt" which is a band of tropical regions around the globe near the equator. You can picture the equator as the waist of the globe wearing a big fat belt and this is the where the treasured beans come from that fuel everyones morning brew. Panama is known in particular for having the world famous-award winning Geisha coffee bean. In the photo above the family of Mount Totumas is hand sorting their Geisha beans.
The Dietrich family hadn't originally planned on getting into the coffee business but found that they not only had the perfect location for shade grown, hand picked, organic arabica and geisha beans, but that growing it would also help them reforest and regenerate their lands from the damages caused by cattle. Their small self-sustainable plantation creates jobs, benefits, and pride in their land by their local people as well as a great vibe for their Eco lodge and adventure business.
Thankfully for us we get to pass on this experience to our guests each morning. You won't find this coffee in stores; you gotta know the right people (kinda like us ;)). So, if you love coffee, we'd love to serve it to you. Join us some day soon to experience a cup for yourself.
Your Friends in Morrillo, Cari and Ryan Mackey Owners and Hosts Morrillo Beach Eco Resort Grab that coffee and let's release some baby turtles to a life of freedom in the open ocean. We have $1,000 to go to meet our fundraising goal. Click on the baby turtles they'll get you there: