Coffee arrived in Costa Rica in the late 18th century, and thankfully so. The combination of Costa Rica’s soil, rich in organic matter, with the “golden bean”, produce some of the best coffee the world has ever known, and the people of Costa Rica work hard to keep it that way.
Growing coffee in Costa Rica is a fine tuned process, a production that has developed into an art form, and a passionate business in Costa Rica. Many coffee plantations are small scale, family owned and operated, and they closely regulate the quality of their coffee. Not only that, but Costa Rica is the only country that legally requires coffee farmers to use the Arabica species of coffee, the highest quality coffee bean. The Arabica species yields a tasty, superbly aromatic and well-balanced coffee. Arabica are the premium beans, they are temperamental and take longer to grow but produce a superior bean.
Once the beans are planted, the mountainous volcanoes of Costa Rica add their own special ingredients for growing coffee. Over the past millennia, volcanic eruptions have spilled rich minerals into the soil making it extremely fertile. And at over 4,000 feet, the high altitude of the Central Valley allows beans to mature slowly, which is harmonious with the Arabic species. Slow growth creates a harder and less porous bean. Hard bean coffee has higher acidity, bringing out the coffee’s aromatic features.
Take that superior bean and put it in Costa Rica’s super-charged soil, in a fantastic climate, and you get an incredible combination. Costa Rica’s soil is able to promote a good distribution of the coffee plants’ roots, which in turn retains humidity and facilitates oxygenation, all incredibly good for the growth of the plant…as you can imagine. And this unique interaction of plant and soil lends to Costa Rica’s coffee having a special quality all on its own.
Today, coffee is deeply rooted in the history and culture of Costa Rica. The country took so well to coffee, that it’s the country’s major export business and a backbone of their economy. Developments in culture, education, and prosperity can all be attributed to the production of coffee in the country.
Although Costa Rica has the perfect environmental factors for growing coffee, it is passionate people that make the most out of what Mother Nature has to offer, and ultimately, it is the people of Costa Rica we can thank for making our morning brew richer, fuller, and tastier.