Coffee: A Costa Rican Adventure!

By Silvanna Pacheco, April 1st, 2023

If you live in Costa Rica or are just visiting, you owe it to your taste buds to sample several local cups of coffee. A trip to any grocery store will introduce you to a wide variety of local brands and blends, but with the coffee plantation right next door, why not go straight to the source?

Photo by Cafe de Costa Rica.

Driving around the Central Valley is a great way to enjoy the beauty of the countryside views with the farm animals and the crops including coffee plantations. Most of the country’s coffee is grown in San José, Alajuela, Heredia and Cartago where the rich soil, higher elevations – particularly between 3,900 and 5,600 ft. (1,200 and 1,700 m) and cool weather is perfect for coffee plants. If you are staying in San Jose or surroundings, a great way to spend your day is to visit one of these coffee plantations. You will sample great coffee and learn about the culture and history of Costa Rica.  Most Coffee Estates offer guided tours that include a walk around the farm to get to know the process and history, a typical Costa Rican lunch and samples of coffee products. Here are our top recommended places to visit:

Doka Estate
Sitting on the fertile slopes of the Poas Volcano, Doka Estate has been a family-owned business for over 100 years. It represents three generations of agricultural heritage and Costa Rican history. Enjoy a guided walk around the charming property and learn about the production and traditional techniques of cultivating the coffee bean. The highlight for many will be sampling Doka’s eight different blends of delicious coffee. Doka has been producing award-winning coffee for three generations.

Hacienda Espiritu Santo
Located in the town of Naranjo, right outside of San Jose, this 640-acre coffee plantation offers an immersive, detailed tour of Hacienda. You’ll learn how organic coffee is grown, harvested, and processed. Beginning with planting from the nursery, to cultivation, to the mill where coffee is pulped, selected, and fermented, Espíritu Santo gives visitors a comprehensive understanding of how coffee goes from seed to cup.

This region is known as the region of Los Santos and this local cooperative is located in San Gerardo de Dota. It is the center of the coffee growers of Tarrazu. Established back in 1960, they hold the title as the first coffee processor in the world to be certified as carbon neutral, back in 2011.

Aquiares Estate Coffee
Aquiares is one of Costa Rica’s most historic coffee farms and sits high on the slopes of the Turrialba Volcano, nestled between the Aquiares and Turrialba Rivers. In 1890, Aquiares was founded by farmers looking to take advantage of Costa Rica’s new railroad to the port of Limón. The farm and the community are mutually connected. The farm provides services, land, security and honest jobs. In return, the coffee farm has benefited from a well-educated community and relies on highly skilled professionals from its community to continue functioning.

Aquiares Estate.

Hacienda Alsacia, Alajuela
Hacienda Alsacia is Starbucks’ first and only coffee farm. Despite its large corporate structure, Starbucks aims to make coffee growing more profitable for small-scale farms, learn more about the day-to-day struggles coffee farmers are facing, develop the next generation of disease-resistant high-quality coffee, and share resources and information with farmers worldwide. They are also hoping to lead the way in sustainable farming practice.