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History of Costa Rica Coffee

Coffee was brought to Costa Rica during the late eighteenth century. Its arrival was discrete, but definite. Coffee cultivation expanded slowly and with the perserance that great work demands, throughout the Central Valley. The brotherhood of coffee farmers gave way to the spirit that made Costa Rica the first Central American country to establish coffee as an industry.

The first export to Panama, in 1820, became the groundbreaking activity that changed the course of the lives. In 1832, Costa Rica was already exporting quality coffee to Chile where it was re-bagged to be sold to England under the brand of “Café Chileno de Valparaíso”.

It was in 1843, when a group of visionary exporters undertook the complex task of exporting coffee directly to London. Thanks to William Le Lacheur Lyon, captain of the English ship, “The Monarch” it was possible to transport several one hundred pound bags to Europe that helped Costa Rican coffeee become world-renowned.

The growing and trading of coffee changed the face of this humble colony. The country was modernized and young Costa Rican intellectuals could now continue their studies in Europe and return as doctors, engineers and entrepreneurs contributing to the improvement of Costa Ricans’ lifestyle.

The economic bounty that coffee production and trade gave birth to, allowed the country to build the first railroads to the Atlantic Coast in 1890, “Ferrocarril al Atlántico”. The awed inhabitants of the capital of Costa Rica, San José, attended the memorable inauguration of the National Theater, seven years later. The National Theater is cradle of Costa Rican culture and a monument to the foresight of the first coffee farmers.

Costa Rica Coffee were made for each other. The soils have a slight degree of acidity enriched by volcanic ashes, rich in organic matter, that promote a good distribution of the coffee plants’ roots, which in turn retains humidity and facilitaters oxygenation. This combination of characteristics invigorates the plant and is one of the many factors that contribute to the quality of Costa Rican Coffee.

Costa Rica produces excellent coffees. Their quality is unsurpassed and, for this reason, it is recommended to taste them unblended in order the uniqueness of their flover. The varieties grown in the country belong to the “Arabica” spezies, which yield a tasty, suberbly aromatic and well-balanced beverage.

Costa Rica is the only country where only the Arabica varieties, by law, may be grown. The history of Costa Rican coffee production is rich in the development of varieties, which are strong in their constitution and delicate in the quality of their fruit.

Where does the best Costa Rican Coffee grow::

Region Altitude Harvest Season Cup
WEST VALLEY
3940-5575 feet
Nov.- March
high fine acidity
very good body
very good aroma
CENTRAL VALLEY
3940-5250 feet
Nov.- March
high fine acidity
good body
good aroma
TARRAZU
3940-5575 feet
Dec.- March
high fine acidity
very good body
very good aroma
TRES RIOS
3940-5400 feet
Dec.- March
high fine acidity
very good body
 very good aroma
OROSI
2950-3940 feet
Sep.- February
good acidity
good body
good aroma
BRUNCA
2620-3940 feet
August - January
normal acidity
normal body
normal aroma
TURRIALBA
1970-2950 feet
July - Dec
normal acidity
little body
good aroma



West Valley Coffee growing region in Costa Rica

For more information please click on the green map or on the cup.


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