In the first month of 2013, Mark has been jet setting around the globe. Early in January (before our planned family vacation) Mark took a work trip to a Costa Rican coffee farm.
Mark and 6 other members of the 'Bou Crew visited Hacienda La Manita.
He earned the trip for his high performance and sales for Amy's Blend.
The farm provides all the beans for the popular Caribou seasonal bean blend of the same name.
Hacienda La Minita is perched on the side of a mountain, which is a three hour truck ride from the San Jose airport.
While there, the 'Bou gringos picked beans with the farm workers.
There was a picking contest.
It should come as NO surprise Mark won the competition amongst the 'Bou Crew.
He is as driven in the fields as he is in his career.
After picking, the beans are cleaned by machine, then hand sorted by a room full of women with 'delicate' hands.
By the time we buy a pound at Caribou, 75 people have come in contact with those precious beans.
It was an amazing trip for him.
Some of the Costa Rican stories Mark returned with revolved around a Mexican friend.
It seems Jose Cuervo is a tough guy to shake at Hacienda La Minita. The hosts bring him out for many games for the guests.
Of course there were delicious meals served in the Main House before the games.
Juanita is pictured on the left (above). She has worked on the farm for 30 years, and holds a position of esteem in the kitchen.
(Not pictured - The Gringos also attended a small-town local festival, put on to celebrate the bean harvest.)
The farm had a pool, which the 'Bou crew took advantage of after the games with Jose Cuervo late one evening.
Then, after four quick days away, it was time to head down the mountion on the winding farm road, to the coast, and onto a plane.
The 'Bou Crew gringos returned to their more "corporate" lives back in the United States.
The States - where we drink high quality EXPENSIVE coffee, made from high quality beans, picked a world away. A place where those people who pick the beans have NO IDEA what a latte or mocha is!