Francine Ramírez is a Costa Rican who grew up in the city of Alajuela with her mom and dad and two siblings, the middle child. As kids, they loved to play outside all the time and climb trees. Since she was little, Francine loved being outdoors any time she could. Her family used to go every two weeks to a farm that her dad owned, where they raised pigs and chickens, and grew different kinds of tropical fruit trees, a little bit of coffee, and vegetables. Those trips to the farm while being very young made a huge impact on her spirit to pursue a career in agriculture.
In 2006, Francine started to study agronomic engineering at EARTH University, a nonprofit private university with an international alumnae from 41 different countries, mostly from Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa. After 4 years of hands-on education in agricultural and natural sciences, she first worked on an organic farm that grew produce for the hospitality sector. A year later, she found out about a job opportunity in the Tarrazú region, which involved training coffee farmers on good agricultural practices and certifications, quality, and productivity.
Before applying for the job, Francine’s experience in coffee was limited ("I didn’t even drink coffee!"), but this changed in the course of 7 years. She began working with a farming background and then learned everything she could from coffee farming, milling, cupping, roasting, and brewing. Now she is learning about specialty coffee with its rainbow of flavors and different processes.
Ever since then, she has found her sweet spot in coffee.
What she enjoys the most in this business is the human part of it, because it is everywhere: from the farmer to the trader, to the roaster and the consumer. People are involved in every step of the transformation of the bean, which makes Francine realize that this industry has the most passionate professionals you could find. She loves learning about how farmers treat their land and plants, how carefully they mill their cherries through processes that brings out the best potential of the different varieties and produce top quality specialty coffee. At the other end, roaster who thoughtfully roast the beans, baristas who innovate in brewing methods and, of course, the consumer who supports and believes in this long chain.
Francine’s goal in Costa Rica is to hunt for the best coffees and welcome everyone who wants to come to origin to experience our coffee lifestyle.
Her meditation is gardening, and she loves playing with her Rhodesian ridgeback named Chuleta (which means “pork chop" in English) and to take her on hikes. Francine enjoys travelling and learning about the history of the places She's visiting. Whenever she gets a chance, she goes to the beach—there are a few nice beaches in Costa Rica!