Coffee from Costa Rica is one of the most imported souvenirs. There is a reason, because Costa Rica produces one of the best coffees in the world. Small family farms and processing cooperatives are growing thanks to the popularity of craft practices and traditional farming methods. This approach results in the production of the highest quality natural coffee.
The cultivation of coffee is also closely linked to the development and history of Costa Rica, and a trip to a coffee plantation is a great introduction to local history. Coffee tours are popular because there are numerous plantations throughout the country. During this trip you can see the whole coffee production process, from seedlings to the finished product. Each participant also has the opportunity to go through the entire process from picking fruit to smoking beans. There is nothing better than picking up and making coffee yourself.
Coffee is brewed in Costa Rica in a different way than known in Europe or the USA. Here, ground beans are poured with water in a special “sock”, where they are slowly filtered and dripped into a substituted container. This device is called Chorreador and has been used in Costa Rica for over 200 years.
The word chorreador comes from the Spanish language and means “drip”. Before the rise of modern coffee machines, this solution was used everywhere. Even today, technology has not displaced this traditional way of brewing coffee. When asked why, every gourmet has one answer: “When you feel the taste, you won’t want to go back to other coffee brewing methods.”
Ever wonder how the coffee you drink in the morning grows? In Costa Rica, you have the opportunity to get to know this topic in depth and see the coffee plantation with your own eyes. A trip to a coffee plantation is one of the best options for a beautiful day in Costa Rica.
Coffee trees begin their lives in nurseries, where they calmly grow for about a year. After this time they are planted on Costa Rican hills and cultivated terraces. There they grow for another two years before they bear their first fruit. The trees are constantly looked after and pruned so that they do not grow uncontrollably. This makes it easier to harvest later, because it needs to be emphasized that coffee is still harvested by hand today. It looks really beautiful when you stroll among dozens of trees bending with coffee fruit.
The harvest season lasts from October to January, although coffee from the higher parts of Costa Rica ripens later. Pickers focus only on fully ripe fruit, leaving the green ones for the next few days. The quality of coffee is determined by how ripe the fruit was at the time of harvest. The collected fruits are manually sorted to select only the best pieces.
Then the fruit is washed and the outer skin is removed to reveal the best, i.e. the coffee bean. However, removed parts are not wasted, but processed into compost, which will help in the development of new bushes. The extracted grains are dried, remembering to mix and rotate cyclically to prevent mold.
The highest quality coffee is exported from Costa Rica in a “green” state and is roasted on site, according to customer requirements. It is the roasting process that gives the coffee a distinctive flavor. Interestingly, smoking does not lose valuable coffee ingredients. Roasting itself has a very long history, and the first tools were thin pans made of metal or porcelain, used in the 15th century in the Ottoman Empire and Great Persia.
A trip to a coffee plantation is an amazing experience, not only for gourmets of this drink. Seeing a real, natural coffee farm is an experience you will never forget. After that … how many of your friends who are coffee fans were on a real plantation? At TOTIUSO, we organize trips to proven plantations that grow organically and sustainably. Feel free to contact us and book your coffee plantation trip!
Information about Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua and other Central American countries. You will find tips for trips around Costa Rica and a description of attractions such as diving, horse riding and a list of the best beaches in Costa Rica. Everything you should know when planning a vacation. Write to us if you have any questions.