Thursday, July 22, 2010

Guest post from Costa Rica

From Texas niece Molly, 15, who has been enjoying the Central American coffee wonderland of Costa Rica and blogged about her trip to a coffee plantation....

The coffee plantation trip had seemed like a really good idea on Saturday. That is, of course, before I'd been told we had to be on the bus by 6:30. In the morning. So when my alarm went off at 5:30 am the next day, I was not a happy teenager. It's hard to get excited at such an early hour, no matter how much free coffee one is promised.

But I'd made a sacred pact to my coffee-addicted mother that I'd bring back some Costa Rican café, so no matter what I had to make that bus.

Once at the plantation - fortified with coffee and encouraged by the first real sunshine since being in Costa Rica - my mood had definitely picked up. For one, the countryside is absolutely breathtaking. Hilly and in lush shades of green, it was hard to decided what to look at during the bus ride. Acres and acres of land were covered exclusively by coffee plants. Enough to last my mother a week.

And so it's no surprise Costa Rica supplies 3 percent of the world's coffee. Though this is a small percentage as compared to Brazil (32%) and Colombia (12%), the tour guide declared that Costa Rica is more about quality than quantity. As a result prices are a bit higher and therefore not as popular with big name coffee companies (Starbucks uses a LOT of Costa Rican coffee in their blends...a LOT). Despite this, many coffees may be 10% Costa Rican beans and the rest would be cheaper beans.

We received a tour of the facilities, learning about the process of sorting, drying and roasting. The growing season runs through the end of the year and beans grow at individual times, so a busy could have beans ready by September and other ready by December.

Having just seen the process the coffee went through and tasted the samples of the coffee roasts, I'd decided on the Peaberry AA roast for my mother. As they explained it, Peaberry AA is made from mutated beans. Though normally a coffee bean as two halves, in the Peaberry blend the beans are just one bean without having halves. This has a sweeter, purer taste - a high quality coffee.

For myself, I decided on organic, which was a darker roast. Plus some chocolate covered expresso beans. What can I say? I've got a sweet tooth.

With my new knowledge and beans in tow, I left a very happy teenager. Beats sleeping in anywday!

For more information: Doka Estates Café Tres Generaciones S.A. - Coffee Brand; Tel: 506-2249-5252;

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