From picturesque Costa Rica coffee plantations to urban cafes, and even to the small sweet cups of coffee that Costa Rican locals enjoy daily, Costa Rican coffee is hard to beat. That is why Costa Rica consistently wins awards for having some of the best coffee in the world
So whether you wan to immerse yourself in Costa Rica coffee culture or simply want a quality cup of the freshest cup of coffee around, you need to visit one of Costa Rica’s storied coffee plantations for one of the most incredible experiences Costa Rica has to offer.
The 4 Best Coffee Plantations in Costa Rica to Tour
Although the list of Coffee plantations in Costa Rica that are offering tours as a part of their business is growing, these are the 4 best Plantations to take a tour of as they offer the best experience for either the novice coffee drinker or for someone who enjoys knowing everything their is about coffee.
- Cafe Britt
- El Toledo
- Doka Estates
- Espritu Santo
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about Costa Rica’s incredible coffee farms. Once you do, you will better understand why coffee from Costa Rica is considered some of the best in the world!
Brief History of Costa Rica Coffee
Coffee is the one product, aside from bananas, that everyone seems to associate with Costa Rica and for good reason. Costa Rica is one of the top producers in the world and provides just under 1% of the worlds coffee.
It all started back in 1779 in the Central Valley due to near perfect growing conditions. The Coffee Arabica (vs Robusta) made its way to Costa Rica via Europe when the country was just beginning to get settled. The government, seeing the potential of coffee, encouraged coffee production and went so far as to giving farmers plots of land in order to be able grow and harvest coffee.
The Costa Rica governments willingness to help promote the growing of coffee lead to coffee plantations, (a smaller version of these you will visit on a tour) and ultimately to a major source of revenue for Costa Rica.
Costa Rica Coffee Tours
All these coffee tours are excellent, so any anyone you choose will be fun and a great experience of. However, each one of these coffee tour will be different from one another, whether it be in size, appearance, or location. Taking an in-depth look at each coffee tour is the best way to figure out which one will be the best for you.
Now, I may be a little biased with this article because I used to own a coffee roasting business and I came to understand how incredible coffee can taste if you get quality beans from a quality grower and are roasted correctly.
I don’t think that most people, before they go on a coffee tour, completely understand how the coffee they drink every morning gets to their cup and the intricate process involved in growing, harvesting, packing and shipping one bag of coffee.
They also aren’t aware that coffee does not have to taste bitter and you do not need to add lots of sugar, whip cream and flavored milks in order for it to taste good.
Therefore, one of the best ways, while you are visiting Costa Rica, to find out about all this and how you can brew a great cup of Costa Rica Coffee when you get back home is to go on a coffee tour.
Going on a Coffee Tour in Costa Rica
The cost of visiting a coffee plantation will vary from farm to farm and whether you take a tour that starts in San Jose or you decided to drive yourself, but the tour itself will generally cost you anywhere between $20 – $30
Tours include a coffee tasting, a tour of the plantation, as well as transportation to and from the plantation (if you don’t drive their). Usually there are options for morning and afternoon tours.
You can ,make a reservation with them directly or through any hotel or from the tour shops in the center of San Jose.
4 Best Coffee Tours in Costa Rica
Cafe Britt one of the largest, oldest (since 1991) and probably most well known plantations that offer coffee tours in Costa Rica. You will see there coffee everywhere from the airport to the gift shops and everywhere in-between.
A tour with Cafe Britt will include a visit to the plantation, their roasting facility plus information on how they use eco friendly and sustainable methods for growing and harvesting coffee.
They also include a coffee cupping, which, if you have never done, is a great and informative experience that will leave with a better appreciation on the various flavors that coffee can produce.
Classic Coffee Tour – Duration: 1.5 hours
This place has a family feel to it and you feel like you are at somebodies home and not a working coffee plantation. Since the El Toledo farm uses only organic growing methods you will get better appreciation of how they are able to work with the natural environment around them to produce coffee.
This coffee tour also includes information about the history of coffee in Costa Rica as well as how coffee is processed and roasted on their plantation.
El Toledo Coffee Tour – Duration: 2 Hours
This award winning place is the largest coffee plantation in Costa Rica. On this tour, they will show you the whole process from growing and cultivating coffee to the processing and roasting. They will also give you a brief history of the estate, the different variates of coffee plants they have on the plantation and how it got to where it is today.
At the end of the tour they give you the opportunity to sample up to the 8 different blends of coffee they produce. You will be amazed at the different flavors you get from each blend and should not be missed.
DokaEstate.com Duration: 2 Hours
This is a smaller farm compared to the others but they offer a similar type of experience. When you visit their plantation you will get a tour that starts at the nursery where the coffee trees are grown from seed then you will move on to where the coffee trees are grown to maturity and where coffee cherries are harvested.
You will then move on to where the coffee is pulped (outer layer is removed) and further processed until it is ready to be roasted. You will then be taken to there roasting room where the coffee is roasted to different levels and ready for you to taste. Its a true seed to cup experience.
EspirituSantoCoffeeTour Duration: 1.5 hours
Weather you are a coffee drinker or not, I would still recommend that you go on a Coffee plantation tour when visiting Costa Rica. Not only will you learn a lot about the process of harvesting coffee but you’ll learn about how coffee is grown as well as how it has impacted the development of this wonderful Central American nation.