Ziplining at 60 mph thru the Jungle!!!!
1. Costa may be known for its pristine beaches, temperate tropical climate, and friendly, progressive citizens, but did you know it’s also one of the finest coffee growers in the world?
2. In fact, these days, the small Central American nation produces 56.438 ounce of coffee per hectare, the highest crop harvest of coffee beans anywhere in the world.
3. There are more than 100 coffee trees per person in Costa Rica. With a population of 3.7 million citizens, that means there are about 400 million coffee trees in the country!
4. Aside from bananas (and now, sunburns!) Costa Rican’s main export is coffee. Every year more than 300 different varieties of Arabica coffees come from Costa Rica.
5. While they export huge amounts of coffee beans, Ticos (Costa Ricans) keep a lot of their beloved coffee right at home. You’ll find a “chorreador” in Just about every home in Costa Rica, the apparatus used to make a pot or a mug of coffee that’s been described as a ‘coffee sock.’ The chorreador consists of a wood stand that holds the cloth filter that holds the coffee grounds, and then the hot water is poured through, first absorbing into the cloth and seeping slowly into the pot or mug below.
Bold, rich, + delicious facts about coffee in Costa Rica
6. There are plenty of coffee-producing countries around the world in similar latitudes, but no one loves their own export more than Ticos. In fact, their per capita coffee consumption is the highest of any coffee-producing country in the world.
7. You may see a good number of tourists at the airport carrying these corridors, as well as bags of coffee beans or ground coffee, as it’s become one of the most popular souvenirs for tourists to bring home. What’s better than smelling and tasting Costa Rican coffee every morning when you’re back home, instantly transporting you back to your vacation?
8. A unique combination of ecological and climate factors create the perfect environment for coffee growing in Costa Rica. Much of the country’s soil has been powdered with volcanic ash from Arenal and other volcanoes, enriching the soil with just a hint tinge of acidity. Additionally, the soil is also rich in organic matter. Together, the soil becomes the perfect host for coffee plants, whose root system can thrive and also get the perfect balance of humidity and oxygenation.
9. The elements for coffee growing perfection don’t stop there; 70 percent of Costa Rican coffee is grown in the country’s mountains, with an altitude ranging from 3,280 to 5,580 feet above sea level. Rising above the tropical rainforest, the mountainous environment facilitates a perfect temperature between 63 to 73 degrees, consistent humidity and rain, and daily sunlight. Add them all up and you have some of the world’s best conditions for coffee growing, almost identical to if you set up a coffee growing operation in a greenhouse.
Facts about coffee in Costa Rica
10. Growing coffee in the highlands allows the trees to grow more slowly than in the super-humid and tropical jungle lowlands. Slower growth means the cherry of the coffee trees can ripen more slowly as well, which helps develop enhanced and richer aromas and tastes within the bean.
11. Coffee has often called “The Golden Grain” in Costa Rican history, as it’s had a fundamental impact on wealth, international relations, social policy, and even the arts in the young country.
12. Coffee growing and distribution is so engrained in their history and daily life that the calendar was largely based on growing and harvest seasons. For a long time, the school year was based on the coffee growing calendar and still to this day, the tax year for Ticos runs parallel to coffee cycles, beginning in October and ending in September the following year.
13. Only Arabica coffee beans are grown in Costa Rica. That’s not just a preference; it’s actually the law. The growth and production of Robusta, the world’s second most common coffee variety, is strictly prohibited. These measures are in place to preserve the highest standards of quality, not watering down (pun intended) the highest standard of bean that Costa Rica is famous for.
14. Costa Rica still holds the distinction of being the only nation in the world that has an executive order (N°19302-MAG, 4 December 1989) that bans the growth and production of any variety of coffee other than Arabica.
15. Costa Ricans are so passionate about keeping the highest standard of coffee that they mark their best beans with the term ‘SHB’ which stands for ‘Strictly Hard Bean. So if you see ‘SHB’ on a package, you can be assured that the beans were grown in the highlands or mountains at least 1,300 or more meters above sea level
Look for part two of this blog, where we cover the rich and bold history of coffee in Costa Rica and the growing, harvesting, and roasting process they use today to produce the best coffee in the world