The first real team challenge of the 2009 NBC just concluded. Each team was required to give a 10-minute presentation on a coffee growing region of this year’s focus country, Costa Rica. The teams’ options were wide open. They could show a video, give a powerpoint presentation, do a song and dance, put on a play, or whatever, and so they did.
Before the teams gave their presentations, though, Flori Marin of Mercanta (and owner of a coffee farm in Costa Rica) and Francois Castelles of Café Noble in Costa Rica gave brief overviews of the country and its coffee history.
Francois also gave an introduction for the charity chosen for this year’s NBC. The teams will be raising money for Fundacion Manos Abiertas. The charity works with children and adults in Costa Rica who suffer from disabilities, such as mental retardation, and who have been abandoned by their families. The Fundacion Manos Abiertas gives those people a place to live and provides medical care.
Team Denmark went first with its presentation. The team members donned coffee bags while music played and danced while giving an informational report on the West Valley Region.
Team Norway put on a play about four friends deciding where to visit in Costa Rica before deciding on the Tres Rios region. The Tres Rios region, where some of the greatest coffees in the country are grown, is also the most threatened region. It is very close to the capital of San Jose and constant pressure for land development, real estate and greater profits than farming have meant that land under cultivation is quickly disappearing.
The Terrazu region was highlighted by a video set to Thriller presented by team Sweden after a brief introduction.
Team Iceland gave a presentation on the Orosi region while developing their own brand of Costa Rican/Icelandic cultural fusion. The team made a cold coffee, a typical Icelandic desert to go with it, and a Costa Rican desert of plantains. All the while the team leader gave an overview of the region from the podium.
Finally, Team Finland wrapped things up with a look at the Central Valley while giving a detailed look at the type of coffee typical of the country, team members made a French press of the coffee for the audience to sample.
Next up, the teams had five minutes to make as many good cups of coffee as possible on the Aeropress.