Yesterday, October 1, was International Coffee Day, an opportunity to promote and celebrate coffee as a beverage, with events held around the world.
Costa Rica is known around the world for its lush beaches and unspoiled tropical vegetation. But in addition to the traditional excursions to the country’s volcanoes and waterfalls, Costa Rica’s coffee plantations also attract the attention of tourists. Virtually 100 percent of Costa Rican coffee is of the Arabica variety, which produces a higher quality, more aromatic and delicate beverage.
Coffee is grown in this Central American country on fertile volcanic soils with low acidity, conditions considered ideal for growing the bean. More than 80% of Costa Rica’s coffee growing areas are between 800 and 1,600 meters above sea level, with temperatures between 17 and 28 degrees Celsius and high humidity. The harvesting method is manual. Only ripe beans are picked. In Costa Rica, coffee is only wet-processed, meaning the pulp is removed the day of harvest. In addition, the beans are sun-dried in Costa Rica, a process among the most sought after in the most demanding global markets.
Several receptionists offer tours of the plantations
Most plantations are located in the Central Valley. You can find them in Poás Volcano, Tres Rios, Naranjo, Alajuela and Tarrazú. When you visit a plantation, expect to take a guided tour of the entire farm and its facilities. The coffee expert who will guide you through the facilities will explain the history of coffee in the country, the history of the plantation itself and its daily operation, including how the plants are grown.
While most plantations attract visitors all year round, those visiting the country between the months of October and May can even pick their own coffee fruits. Once visitors learn about the harvesting process, they can enter the factory to see up close how the beans are extracted, dried and roasted.
At the end of your tour, most plantations offer samples of their signature blends, as well as the chance to try other varieties of organic coffee.