Coffee Producers’ Soccer Tourney in Costa Rica

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It doesn’t always have to be about coffee, you know. People who love great coffee tend to share other interests, as well, we’ve found, be it music tastes, favorite books, and even games we love.

The soccer tournament organized by Café Imports that took place this weekend in Costa Rica was epic, bringing together producers from all over the country to not only play soccer, but to get to know the visiting roasters, as well as share and learn from one another.

The soccer tournament organized by Café Imports that took place this weekend in Costa Rica was epic, bringing together producers from all over the country to not only play soccer, but to get to know the visiting roasters, as well as share and learn from one another.

The team at Café Imports, for example, loves soccer, which happens to be the very most popular game in Latin America. So they’re likely to kick a ball around when they travel to origin.

Café Imports made jerseys for the special soccer event, which included producers from all over Costa Rica as well as buyers from Colectivo Coffee, Castle Coffee, and Code Black Coffee.

Café Imports made jerseys for the special soccer event, which included producers from all over Costa Rica as well as buyers from Colectivo Coffee, Castle Coffee, and Code Black Coffee.

But Café Imports’ Noah Namowicz took it a few giant steps further this past weekend when he and some coffee buyer pals from Colectivo Coffee (Milwaukee, Wisc.), Castle Coffee (Santa Barbara, Calif.), and Code Black Coffee (Melbourne, Australia), were in Costa Rica: knowing that Café Imports producing partners the Aguilera brothers had a regulation-size soccer field, Noah organized an all-out tournament that included a whole bunch of different coffee producers from Costa Rica, buyers from roasting companies in the United States and Australia, and Café Imports folks.

The Aguilera brothers have a regulation size soccer field carved into their land. Well aware of this ahead of time, Noah organized the soccer tournament to celebrate camaraderie in the area.

The Aguilera brothers have a regulation size soccer field carved into their land. Well aware of this ahead of time, Noah organized the soccer tournament to celebrate camaraderie in the area.

“We held a soccer tournament gathering together some of the major growing regions and top producers within those regions at the Aguilera brothers’ regulation-size field they literally carved out of the side of the hills on their property,” Noah tells us.

Players warmed up before the tourney.

Players warmed up before the tourney. The guests from Colectivo, Castle, Coda Black, and Café Imports split up to play on different teams.

Teams included Rio Jorco Micromill, Aguila Bros Micromill, Tarrazu, and West/Central Valley. Scott and Nathan of Colectivo Coffee, Joe Tynan of Code Black Coffee, and Todd Stewart of Castle Coffee Roasters (The French Press), also donned jerseys and hit the field.

These coffee producers like a good soccer match as much as great coffee, it seems.

These coffee producers like a good soccer match as much as great coffee, it seems.

“While the game was exhilarating and great fun, I couldn’t help but be drawn to the small conversations and tours between the Aguilera Bros and the other visiting producers,” says Noah. “I was swept away by a flood of questions about technique, machinery, varieties, processes, theory from one producer to another in this setting. We were told that a “meeting of the minds” on this scale is extremely rare. Imagine if all the top chefs in the world all met for a BBQ and pickup game of baseball; the things that would be talked about, and the knowledge that would be passed around. That is how I felt this soccer tournament was. What a special thing to be a part of.”

Noah said besides some fun matches, the afternoon was filled with a lot of talking and sharing as the coffee producers from all over Costa Rica got to know each other better.

Noah said besides some fun matches, the afternoon was filled with a lot of talking and sharing as the coffee producers from all over Costa Rica got to know each other better.

In the end, the Aguilera Bros won on their home field.

About the Author

Sarah

Sarah Allen is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.