I spent a year living in Costa Rica and, as a travel writer, my sole job was to flesh out the hidden gems of the country. As a coffee lover, you may already know that some of the best coffee in the world comes from Costa Rica. More specifically, many people consider Britt Coffee Farm the Mecca of Tico coffee. I spent some time on the farm and with the owners of Britt to find out just why so many people ordered Britt coffee around the world.
Costa Rican coffee production began in the late 18th century, although the beans weren’t local. This country’s coffee is coffee Arabica and comes, originally, by way of Ethiopia. The reason so many people adore Tico coffee is because of its consistency. That’s a natural phenomenon that happened because the environmental factors in the country just happen to be ideal.
The Best Beans and the Best Region
There are two types of coffee beans, with Arabica being the preferred variety. It also demands more care to grow. Costa Rica is the only country whose law requires the strict use of only Arabica beans.
Although Arabica beans provide a great foundation for coffee, don’t forget about volcanic ash. Costa Rica has the highest number of active volcanoes in the world, which causes rich minerals to create very fertile soil.
It’s because of all those volcanoes that the soil is perfect for growing coffee. A little acidic, volcanic ash evenly distributes plant roots which leads to oxygenation and retained humidity. Consider the soil of Costa Rica similar to a hydrotherapy pool. There’s the perfect temperature, moisture and expert care put into it to create an unbeatable product.
Above the Soil
Those volcanoes also serve another great purpose. Much of Costa Rica is mountainous and the central valley is over 4,000 feet. This high altitude makes coffee beans mature slower than average, which leads to a richer, more aromatic roast. Surprisingly, the farming of coffee beans in Costa Rica is also exceptionally innovative and simple.
You can’t discount the farming when wondering at the great flavor of Tico coffee. For a country with buses heaving black smoke and no real thought to recycling, the coffee farms are incredibly sustainable and green. Inventive solutions to pests, like tempting them with rum around the beans and drowning them, are far superior to pesticides.
Get a Taste
If you’ve yet to try Costa Rican coffee, you’re in for a real treat. Every coffee lover should have a bag of their favorite roast, tended with care and made rich from the volcanoes, in their cupboard. Check for free shipping deals from Costa Rican coffee growers such as Britt.
However, if a trip to Costa Rica is on the horizon, I highly recommend touring the farms. You’ll enjoy a cupping session, which is the real way to taste for quality (spoiler alert: it’s cold). Free samples are also abundant, both of coffee and chocolates. The country might be known for the beaches and zip lining, but don’t overlook the delectable cups of Joe.