Aside from the stunning scenery, plethora of wildlife and world of adventures, Costa Rica is also home to a thriving coffee industry. With its fertile landscapes and volcanic soils, the Central Valley was the birthplace of coffee in Costa Rica and it has developed into one of Costa Rica’s most important exports.
Coffee in Costa Rica first announced itself to the world in the 18th century, when the golden grain or ‘grano de oro’ first began to fuel the economy of Costa Rica.
Today, Costa Rica’s grano de oro is recognized as being some of the best coffee in the world and as with many things in Costa Rica, the whole production process has been carefully designed to be as eco-friendly as possible. There are certain cafes, coffee-themed hotels and plantations which offer a unique and full Costa Rica coffee experience and below are just some of our favorites.
♦ Doka Estate Coffee Farm – Alajuela
The Doka Estate is located on the fertile slopes of the Poás Volcano and has been growing and roasting award-winning coffee for three generations. One of our favorite activities while exploring the volcanic landscapes surrounding San José is the Doka Estate Coffee tour that gives you an intimate understanding of the coffee production process from the seed to the cup.
The Vargas family has owned and operated the Doka farm since 1940 and their roasting factory is the oldest in Costa Rica with it being declared an Architectural Heritage for Humanity site in 2003.
Exploring the coffee estate in this way will give you a newfound appreciation for the time, effort, work and care that goes into making the perfect blend of coffee. Having tasted the coffee of the Doka Estate we recommend buying the coffee there, even if it is at the start of your Costa Rica itinerary as they have the best prices for their star coffee roast, the Peaberry AA.
♦ Kalú Café – San José
While staying in Costa Rica’s capital of San José, make sure to visit the beautiful and contemporary Kalú Café. The Kalú Café Cafeoteca is a space that is designated to exploring the diffusion of Costa Rica’s coffee and culture and serves up the best coffee from boutique producers from all different areas of Costa Rica.
Together with the master barista and toaster you will be able to choose and taste the exceptional varieties of coffee grains and beans before you sit back and relax with your favorite coffee beverage.
Aside from providing a great Costa Rica coffee learning experience, the Kalú Café serves up some tasty treats to have alongside your coffee especially the cheesecakes. We also recommend getting your coffee souvenirs and presents to take home from Kalú Café.
Address: On the corner of Calle 31 & Av. 5, in front of Banco Improso in San José’s Escalante neighborhood (Closed on Mondays)
♦ Hotel Finca Rosa Blanca – Heredia
Set amid stunning coffee plantations high above the Central Valley forests on the outskirts of San José, the Finca Rosa Blanca ensures that your stay is no less than spectacular. A favorite among honeymooners traveling to Costa Rica, the Hotel Finca Rosa Blanca offers its guests a special tour of its 30-acre organic coffee farm, processing plant and roasting house where you’ll also be able to enjoy a coffee-tasting at the end.
The beautiful grounds of the Rosa Blanca are not just limited to coffee and while exploring the sustainable crops you will come across all sorts of produce from bananas and plantains to oranges, mangos and limes.
To ensure you appreciate the beauty of this deluxe inn and its surroundings, the rooms have unforgettable views over the coffee plantations and spring-fed swimming pool, further adding to the romance of it all.
♦ Don Juan Coffee Farm – Monteverde
High up in the Cloud Forest Reserve of Monteverde is the Don Juan Coffee Farm. Here you can learn how coffee is roasted and how the production and processing of coffee transform coffee beans into a drink with a delicate flavor to meet the various markets and tastes.
Owned by one of the first families to settle in Monteverde, the Don Juan Coffee tour has a strong focus on the history and tradition of Costa Rican coffee.
As an important part in Costa Rica’s cultural identity, you’ll be introduced to the unique bond between the age-old authentic coffee production and consumption and how this tradition turned Costa Rica into a country known for its peace, stability and progress.
♦ Alma de Café – San José
Housed within San José’s National Theater, considered to be one of the finest historic buildings in the capital, is Alma de Café. Surrounded by the exquisite interior of the theater, the Alma de Café not only serves up aromatic Costa Rican coffee but it is one of the most beautiful cafes in the city.
The atmosphere is simply enticing as you lose yourself in the ceiling fresco of the theater which in 2014 was named by USA Today as one of the ’10 Great Ceilings Around the World’.
Evoking feelings of the 1900s in Vienna rather than the present day, the Alma de Café is the perfect place to enjoy a coffee in Costa Rica’s capital.
Address: National Theater of San José, Av. 2 between Calle 3 & Calle 5 in San José’s Catedral District