In Costa Rica, Coffee is a Way of Life

From Tarrazú to the streets of San José

May 13, 2016
HOME Farm to Cup In Costa Rica, Coffee is a Way of Life

Ever since arabica beans were introduced to Costa Rica in the 1700’s, the country’s economy and culture has been steeped in coffee. Today, Costa Rica has roughly 70,000 coffee farmers and nearly a third of the country’s workforce is employed in the industry.

In Costa Rica, coffee isn’t just a crop. It’s a way of life.

Despite being a relatively small country in production and size, Costa Rica is very important within the industry. The government is strongly committed to both the quality and sustainability of coffee. The country is very influential among coffee-growing countries in the region, and often pioneers best practices in supporting producers.

In addition to the active role taken by the government, organizations like the Costa Rican Coffee Institute (ICAFE) help improve the profitability of farming by providing resources like agronomy.

Costa Rica is particularly special to Starbucks. In 2004 Starbucks opened its first Farmer Support Center in the capital of San José. Our team of agronomists, cuppers and quality experts works directly with farmers and local government officials to help improve the production of high-quality coffee by implementing better growing and conservation techniques.

But more than anything, the enduring success of Costa Rica’s coffee industry boils down to the passion of its people. Coffee is in the soul of the country.

Above all, the most important thing is the love we feel for the coffee.
- Victor Hugo, La Candelilla Estate,
Starbucks supplier

Starbucks has been offering coffee from Costa Rica since we opened our doors in 1971. They’re featured in many of our finest blends, and have been offered as limited edition Starbucks Reserve® coffees.

We’re thankful to all the growers like La Candelilla Estate and Bella Vista who continue to inspire us with their passion for incredible coffee.

Coffee Facts:

With four mountain ranges and 112 volcanic craters, the combination of high elevation and nutrient rich soil make Costa Rica a coffee grower’s paradise.

Costa Ricans consume more coffee per capita than any other coffee producer in the world.

Starbucks first working farm, Hacienda Alsacia, is in Costa Rica near the Poas volcano. The farm was purchased to better understand and support coffee farmers around the world. Today it’s the center for Starbucks global agronomy research.

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