2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed every single day, and an increasing amount of this is specialty coffee. The third wave of coffee focuses on quality, taste and variety and consumers demand socially responsible coffee, but despite many initiatives to return more value to producers, most of the world’s coffee producers still struggle to make a living. The majority of the value of a cup of coffee is created and remains in consuming countries. This thesis looks at the phenomenon of micro mills in Costa Rica, which started as a reaction to the coffee crisis in the early 2000s. Since then, around 150 micro mills have popped up around the country, run by small-scale coffee producers. These are aimed at the specialty coffee industry, which demands high-quality coffee and transparency in the supply chain. This thesis is based on interviews and participant observation with coffee producers, exporters, importers, roasters and other members of the coffee industry. Data has been collected in Costa Rica and Norway by using qualitative research methods. Three different case studies that follow the supply chain of coffee all the way from Costa Rica to Norway are used to illustrate what effects micro mills have on the lives of coffee producers and what they mean to other actors in the industry. This thesis asks the questions ‘How have micro mills affected the lives of small-scale coffee producers in Costa Rica?’ and ‘How can micro mills enable participation in the specialty coffee segment and how can this benefit producers?’ It concludes that in most cases, micro mills lead to higher prices and higher economic sustainability for producers, in addition to other intangible benefits. It discusses how micro mills allow producers to aspire to something more and move forward in their search for the good life. It also examines micro mills in the larger context of specialty coffee, looking at four different aspects; quality, direct trade, relationships and symbolic value. It concludes that micro mills control a larger part of the supply chain, but still meet some challenges in terms of transparency and power. It shows that producers appreciate more direct long-relationships with buyers, that quality is the most important criteria and that micro mills add value to the coffee. It also concludes that micro mills are a positive alternative for producers who want to enter the specialty coffee segment of the market.