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Thirteen students of North Central College, Illinois traveled to Guatemala to learn a little more about that ubiquitous morning brew—coffee. Their project Mission Coffee Can (MCC) will begin airing a video series February 24th that documents the students’ research and experience.

As part of the Students in Free Enterprise competition, MCC’s pitch is to study sustainable business practices in the coffee industry. The students participate in all stages of the coffee bean’s life cycle, from sowing to harvesting, processing to roasting, grinding to brewing. In the end, they’ll know the recipe for a good cup of coffee.

Whether it’s a fix for neurotics, a tonic for sleep-wrecks, or a rite for adherents of the café cult, coffee is custom. Generalizations aside, I’ll add that students and coffee go hand in hand. I confess to my own dependency. Without coffee, both morning and I would remain amiss. There’s no pride in this condition, but I sip solidarity each week on campus where I pass multitudes of others bearing to-go cups.

The coffee industry must be keen on this too, given the proportionate number of cafés on and around campus:

If you savor coffee, a trip south to research the roots, like the MCC project, is a worthy cause. For those interested, the U of M’s Learning Abroad Center offers a similar coffee program in Costa Rica.


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