Costa Rican coffee is grown on predominantly small farms, or "fincas". As an optional activity during our stay at Santa Elena, our tour group visited one such local coffee plantation. A Central American coffee-growing country with a well-deserved reputation for fine coffee, Costa Rica produces wet-processed Arabica coffees. After being harvested, the ripe cherries are immediately taken to state-of-the-art processing facilities, known as "beneficios," where the wet-method processing begins.
Our well-informed guide took us step by step through the entire coffee farming, harvesting and production process (punctuated by samples here and there). We also learned (and sampled) about chocolate as well as cane sugar processing.
But what set this tour apart was the passion in the voice of our guide concerning responsible farming that no man can match. Our tour group came out of this tour with a better appreciation of coffee production and, seeing the bigger picture, the finer aspects of ethical farming, sustainable agriculture and environmental responsibility. Tired of the daily grind? Come here. I came out with seven bags of Costa Rica's Finest. Recommended. Grade A-minus.
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