Costa Rica has World's Best Premium Coffee Bean!

December 03, 2016
by: Juan

Our coffee production is 100% caturra and catuaí variety from the Arabica specie, which produces a grain of greater quality and a cup with best organoleptic features; pleasant, aromatic, etc. Planting Robusta coffee is prohibited by law since 1989, it produces a lower quality cup.

Our coffee is grown in ideal conditions due to fertile soils of volcanic origin and low acidity. More than 80% of the coffee-growing areas are located between 800 and 1,600 meters of altitude and temperatures ranging from 17 to 28 ° C, with an annual rainfall of 2,000 to 3,000 mm.

Costa Rican coffee farmers have more than 200 years cultivating quality plants, allowing plantations to adapt to the characteristics of each area.

Today Costa Rica's coffee is grown in 8 producing areas around the country which gives a singular taste according to the zone.

These 8 producing areas are: Central Valley, West Central Valley, Tarrazú, Tres Rios, Orosi, Turrialba, Guanacaste, and Brunca.

Coffee Areas

Central Valley Area

The provinces of San José, Heredia and Alajuela; make up the Central Valley It is the most populated region of Costa Rica, where the capital, San Jose sits. Here began the plantations of coffee, then were carried to the other seven regions.

The cultivation of coffee began in the last decade of the 18th century; in 1820 was the first export of 100 lbs. of coffee to Panama. With coffee and its export, mainly to Europe, arrived to Costa Rica the railroad, the mail, the printing press, the first University, Culture and education and the National Theater was built, among other works.

With the Pacific slope influence, these privilege lands have wet and dry seasons well defined, favoring the establishment and successful production of the crop. The coffee region Central Valley extends from 900 to 1,600 meters of altitude, however, more than 80% of coffee plantations are located between 1,000 and 1.400 meters. The altitude and climatic factors affect the size and hardness of the coffee bean and influence in certain components of the quality of the drink, especially the acidity. These elements bring together the characteristics of Arabica coffee, which offers a drink of aromatic, delicate, and good flavor.

The soils have a light degree of tropical acidity product of its enrichment by volcanic ash; they are rich in organic matter that favors a good distribution of the roots, retain moisture and facilitate oxygenation. The combination of features inject strength to the plant and is one of the many factors that contribute to the excellent quality of the Costa Rican coffee.

West Valley Area

The inhabitants of San Ramon, Palmares, Naranjo, Grecia, Atenas, Valverde Vega and Alfaro Ruiz in the province of Alajuela, in the Western Valley, enjoy a pleasant climate throughout the year, with well-defined dry and rainy seasons.

The first settlers brought the coffee crop from the Central Valley , which has given life and progress to this region. The grain is grown in volcanic soils exceptionally fit and slopes of the Central Western Cordillera.

About 85% of coffee growers harvest from 1 to 100 quintals (one quintal equals 46 kilograms or 100 pounds) and the average production of the area is in the range of 400,000 to 600,000 quintals of Hard Bean, Good Hard Bean and Strictly Hard Bean (HB, GHB, SHB).

Of the Arabica variety, predominates the caturra and catuaí varieties established in an approximate area of 22,000 hectares; in some cases there are remnants of the Villa Sarchí variety.

The Western Valley is one of the most complex regions in the production of high-quality beverages thanks to its microclimates and harvesting of ripe coffee in summer time. Also are constant the good agricultural practices in the farms and the benefit in harmony with nature in which the producers, processors and exporters are committed.

Tarrazu Area

In the mid-nineteenth century residents of the Central Valley migrated to the southeastern region of the country today known as Los Santos, which owes its name because most of its districts have Santos names. Coffee farming became the fundamental activity for the socio-economic development of the region.

Tarrazú is protected by mountain ranges on the Pacific slope, it is a sanctuary of mystical forests and birds. It produces an internationally renowned coffee, which is sown in small valleys and slopes of the highest mountains in the country.

Located to the southeast of the capital, San José, Tarrazú cultivates Arabica coffee of small size, blue in color, good appearance. Its lands produce approximately 650,000 quintals, coming from around 22,000 hectares, made up of small farms with an average size of 2.5 hectares. Coffee is marketed at 95% as strictly hard Bean (SHB).

The coffee production is located in ideal conditions for the cultivation, in soils in its great majority of sedimentary origin, for its acid components. Most of the plantations are under shade, with different trees from the area.

The Santos is characterized by a rainy season of seven months (May to November) and dry (December to April) well defined, a situation that favors the flowering of coffee and the collection, which covers a period of five months, from November to March.

It coincides with the dry season, which allows a uniform ripening and high quality fruit. It also facilitates the use of the sun for proper drying of the coffee.

Tres Ríos Area

Tres Ríos is located a few kilometers east from the Costa Rican capital, San José. Its origin dates from 1820 by the Central Valley's expansion of the coffee area to other provinces, which grew strongly during the 1840s until the middle of the century.

Its lands are influenced by the slope of the Pacific and the Irazu volcano, what makes that in the area be produce a very special gourmet drink that is known as the Bordeaux of Costa Rica.

Tres Ríos enjoys well defined wet and dry seasons. It produces a grain that is characterized by its physical hardness and closed groove; it is known as Strictly Hard Bean (SHB) central.

Tres Ríos, as coffee zone, is small and very homogeneous in climate and soils, which have a degree of tropical acidity produced by volcanic ash, rich in organic matter and with good texture.

The conditions of their soils promote a good distribution of the roots of the coffee plants, an adequate retention of the humidity and the oxygenation of the soils. This combination of features provides vigorousness to the plant and is one of the factors that contribute to the quality of the coffee in Costa Rica.

Orosi Area

Is one of the most ancient regions of Costa Rica and among its treasures sticks out the colonial temple, in use since 1743. Orosi is located in a valley 40 kilometers from San Jose, the capital. Its coffee tradition dates back more than 100 years, so the community has developed around this economic activity. The highest parts of the Orosi's mountains are covered by forests protected by private biological reserves and national parks, so the area maintains its climatic characteristics without alterations caused by human development.

Orosi and the surrounding communities (Cachi and Paraiso) present a special feature in terms of its climate, are influenced by the slopes of the Atlantic and the Pacific. The rainy season is concentrated between May and November, with an average of 210 days, so it is considered a rainy area. The dry season, from December to April.

Orosi produces coffee on farms with altitudes of 1,000 to 1,400 meters; Cachi between 1,000 and 1,300 and Paraiso of 1,200 to 1,350 meters above sea level, in soils of volcanic origin of high fertility.

Turrialba Area

The economic activity of the Turrialba region arises with the opening of the railroad to the Atlantic. The main city is located to the northeast of the volcano, which bears its name: Turrialba.

During the administration of the first President coffee grower of Costa Rica, Braulio Carrillo (1833-1842), the first grain plantations were promoted near the cities, driven by legislation and ease access to land, which opened the doors to this new production area.

With the operation of this railway, the transfer of agricultural products to the center of the country for sale, distribution and export was a reality; then the cultivation of coffee became an important economic activity for this relatively new producing area.

Land use is interesting since it is common to observe the combination of coffee cultivation with sugar cane and pasture. In an area of 8,500 hectares, including the canton Jimenez, caturra and catuaí red varieties are grown under shadow of leguminous trees and timber species, mainly the Laurel. The soils are of volcanic and alluvial origin.

Guanacaste Area

The Guanacaste Region is characterized by the exploitation of coffee cultivation in small areas, distributed among the provinces of Guanacaste, Puntarenas and Alajuela (Sarapiquí and San Carlos). The coffee areas are located in the mountainous zones with fresh temperatures of the Central Volcanic Mountain Range and Guanacaste mountain ranges.

Most growers are small farmers whose harvest fluctuates between the 50,000 to 70,000 quintals per year; a high percentage is classified as Pacific type. The high temperatures in which the crop is established cause that about 85% of the plantations present regulated forest shade, predominating erythrinas trees or poro, musaceae, ingas or guabas, exotic fruit and timber species. This type of production is known as "Sustainable Coffee Growing".

The coffee plantations of the Guanacaste region are develop in andisols soils of volcanic origin characterized by their great fertility and excellent structure. Also in Sarapiquí and San Carlos, although to a lesser degree, in inceptisols towards the middle and high parts and ultisols in the lower ones. As in the other coffee regions, the Arabiga species are cultivated, with the caturra and catuaí varieties predominating.

Guanacaste has two seasons: dry and rainy, well defined; Except for Sarapiquí and San Carlos, where the rainy season can be extended for a longer time, although of little intensity in the summer. In Guanacaste and Puntarenas provinces, the average annual precipitation is 2,100 millimeters with a warm climate, especially in summer when temperatures above 30 °C are reached.

Brunca Area

Brunca is a region located to the South of Costa Rica and composed by the cantons Coto Brus, Buenos Aires and Pérez Zeledón. In this region coffee growing began in Perez Zeledón at the end of the 19th century, because the first settlers came from the growing areas of the Central Valley and brought the deeply rooted Costa Rican coffee culture.

The coffee crop in Pérez Zeledón is developed in a wide range of microclimates with altitudes ranging between 800 to 1,700 meters and average temperature of 22° C. These conditions allow obtaining a coffee with several characteristics capable of satisfying the most demanding tastes. The area of cultivation is estimated at 12,000 hectares, distributed in 4,200 farms, which favors that the resources generated are distributed to large numbers of the population.

The Coto Brus Valley is located on the slopes of the Cordillera de Talamanca, which divides Costa Rica into two slopes: the Pacific and the Atlantic. Coto Brus economy depends almost entirely on coffee cultivation; there is a record of 2,600 coffee producers and its harvest involves 75 communities. The Coto Brus region, on average, is higher and more humid. With temperatures ranging between 18 and 26° C.

The coffee portion of Buenos Aires is mostly located at the base of La Amistad International Park, combining coffee production with rural tourism.