Costa Rican coffee is worldwide recognized by the quality of its coffee. If you are a coffee aficionado stay with us an discover the secrets of our “grano de oro” (golden seed)
Today, June 28, but 128 years ago, the municipality of San José had the vision to urge the population to plant coffee, starting the Costa Rican coffee legacy. Its aroma, flavor and quality have been awarded worldwide including breaking records in the most recognized international auctions.
Costa Rica and coffee are written naturally together and with such a deep meaning, and from now on the country is ensuring its future with important research that solves the threat of global warming. But how did everything begin?
Costa Rica coffee and its beginnings
In 1720 the first seeds of the Arabica Coffea species were introduced, arriving from Martinique Island in the Antilles. These seeds were sown in the 18th century in the soils of Costa Rica, establishing Costa Rica as the first Central American country to have a coffee industry.
1820 was the year for Costa Rica´s first coffee export, managing to send 2 quintals of coffee to Panama.
In 1821, government support was essential in encouraging the cultivation of coffee by giving away land to all those who were willing to commit to this new harvest. The plan was a success, achieving in that same year the number of 17 thousand coffee trees in production.
Thanks to the opening of other markets such as the United States and Europe, the country experienced a flourishing coffee industry that allowed the nation a unique socioeconomic development in the area.
Why is Costa Rica coffee of quality?
The soils where Costa Rican coffee is sown are volcanic soils of low acidity, which represent the ideal conditions to grow quality coffee.
Costa Rica has 8 coffee zones: Brunca, Turrialba, Tres Rios, Orosi, Tarrazú, Central and Western Valleys, and Guanacaste.
The greater part, 80% of the coffee area, is located between 800 and 1,600 meters of altitude, between temperatures of 17 ° and 28 ° c. These areas have rainfall of between 2,000 and 3,000 millimeters per year.
The collection work is manual, and the Costa Rican coffee sector uses the beneficiated by wet process, the pulp removal is done the same day of the grain harvest. Then the best grains are graded, increasing the quality of the coffee. The process of benefiting from coffee in the sun lasts 7 days. And they also use mechanical drying for a period of 24 hours, achieving 12% humidity, the optimum point for the coffee bean.
The Guanacaste coffee
In Guanacaste, coffee cultivation takes place in small areas with very specific conditions.
In our Chorotega province, there are two well-defined seasons: dry and rainy, with an annual rainfall of 2,250 millimeters.
It is characterized by having a hard and small coffee bean, classified as a Pacific type and with an exquisite aroma. The production is between 50,000 and 70,000 fanegas per harvest.
Otherwise, in the area of San Carlos and Sarapiquí, rainfall times are more extensive throughout the year, with annual precipitation of 3,500 millimeters. Classified as Atlantic type and producing a small harvest.
Cerro Azul in Nandayure of Guanacaste stands out as a sector of coffee industry qualified as one of the 5 Blue zones worldwide. The Blue zone is characterized by having an unusual amount of people over 100 years old.
In the area of Guanacaste, the coffee is soft and with a good balance between body, aroma and acidity, this makes this coffee very popular.
The Sustainable Costa Rican Coffee
Costa Rica not only has quality coffee, but it has also ensured that its plantations comply with a sustainable model. Costa Rica set itself the goal of being the first neutral carbon country, so coffee cultivation will be an important part of this change.
In Costa Rica the use of insecticides in Coffee crops is not allowed, eliminating chemicals applied by air and applying other techniques for the control of pests. Most of the coffee plantations work with interspersed shade that helps decompose the leaves and returns organic matter to the soil.
Coffee plantations, after natural forests, are considered the second most important “forest” in Costa Rica, since they contribute greatly to the conservation of the country’s watersheds.
Furthermore, Costa Rica aims to be the first country in the world to apply the first coffee NAMA. NAMA stands for National Appropiate Mitigation Actions, and includes a series of government actions that seek to reduce carbon emissions in economic activity.
This project will allow Costa Rica to go to the forefront and have the first certified coffee in the world as low in emissions, becoming an example for the whole world.
When visiting Costa Rica, visit one of our coffee zones or contribute by purchasing our quality coffee. This will help strengthen the economy and move forward with our sustainability goals.
Stay at our luxurious Vacation Rentals and your personalized concierge will help you experience the best coffee in the world, Costa Rican coffee.