Let’s face it – coffee is a life line for so many of us.
You know who you are – and you’d likely have a much more difficult time getting the engine started on the morning without it. Over the past 25 years our coffee culture in North America has changed drastically – and for the better. The simply bitter, burnt, and barely tolerable coffee which we had put up with for many years has receive a big upgrade. Sure we went through the “flavored coffee” era – trying mask essentially bad coffee with raspberry or hazelnut or even chocolate “flavoring”. Fortunately that fad has been mostly put to pasture and replaced with really good coffee options that actually taste like, wait for it : COFFEE! Coffee buyers have become much more selective about choosing the beans that they wish to roast, grind and serve to their customers. They want to know where the beans are grown, how they are grown, harvested, and processed. They want to know whether they are sourcing from a single farm or a coop of small farmers, are the plants grown in full sun or partial shade, what is the elevation, weather and how sustainable the crop is for a community. They can distinguish the subtle nuances in flavors of coffees between the terroirs coffee is grown in as most beans grown are Arabica, so the differences lie in the soil, elevation, rain levels, soil minerals, and the way the beans are processed. Costa Rica offers some of the best coffee in the world and there are coffee tours that are run much like wine tasting tours of California or the Mediterranean. So however you prefer your coffee: french press, drip, chemex, espresso, cappucino or any number of milk drinks , a coffee tour is a great way to learn how that delightful cup made its way to your table.
Here are a few coffee tours we recommend:
El Toledo Coffee Farm is a wonderful small family owned coffee farm in Atenas which is grows its bean free of chemicals and on a biodynamic scale. They go beyond “organic” and they will explain why. The website is very low key , but the coffee tour is run by the owners son, Gabriel who speaks english fluently. He is very passionate about the way that they grown their coffee and their coffee is delicious. Their coffee can be purchased at the farm as well as the Friday Farmers Market in town. It is a pretty special experience – people overwhelming love their visit to this farm and they learn so much.Reservations can be made on the website.
Doka Estate Coffee Farm This is a much larger coffee farm with a much more polished tour, but there is a gift shop and lots of types of coffee to buy. It is also on the road on the way to Poas and La Paz, so it could be combined with those activities in one day.
Tel: 506-7300-7158 Reservations – not necessary to dial the 506 if dialing from within Costa Rica.