At Café Britt, we are committed to only offering the finest gourmet arabica coffee, produced by farmers dedicated to environmental protection. Our sourcing team purchases coffee from both cooperatives and estates.
Groups of small farmers often band together to produce and sell coffee; this is called a cooperative. During harvest season, the members of the cooperative benefit by sharing the costs of processing. They also allow farms to sell coffee as a group when they are too small individually to fulfill large orders.
Costa Rica has a long history of cooperatives, both in agriculture and other industries. They improve the quality of life for farmers and their communities. In fact, the prevalence of cooperatives is one of the reasons that Costa Rican coffee farms are generally small and owned by individuals and families.
Café Britt works with one of the largest cooperatives in the region with over 3,500 coffee producers. Together the farms encourage socially and environmentally friendly production practices.
Estates are bigger farms that are large enough fulfill orders alone, without needing to obtain beans from other farmers. They often mill their coffee on the plantation. Estates have control over quality from beginning to end.
Purchasing from estates is called direct trade, because, as roasters, we work directly with the estate growing and processing the beans. In Costa Rica, these are also usually family-owned.
Café Britt occasionally works with estates for specialty coffees. For example, our Heritage Blends are often sourced from estates.