Costa Rica–A Coffee Plantation

January 12, 2017 Paul Groves

(Day 8 of 111) Costa Rica
Like many people, I am very fond of coffee, especially French Roast coffee. So, it was very interesting to visit a family-owned coffee plantation. This one was about 50 acres. Coffee originated in Africa, but since we are only 10 degrees from the equator in Costa Rica, the beans grow well here. The coffee grows at the higher elevations (that is, the Aribica beans) which produce the best coffee. It is grown on the hills, so it has to be harvested by hand.

I was surprised to find out that the coffee bean is actually a seed from a red berry on the coffee plant. Inside each sweet-tasting berry, you can squeeze out two seeds. The berries are picked and then sorted using density. The berries are dumped in water. The better seeds sink. The lesser seeds float. The beans have to be fermented, dried, and finally roasted. It is the roasting step that actually gives the coffee it’s distinctive coffee flavor.

The difference between a blonde roast and a dark roast is only about two or three minutes of roasting time (15 minutes for blonde, 17 minutes for French Roast, and 19 minutes for dark roast). We also saw some beautiful tropical flowers in the Doka Coffee Plantation’s butterfly garden. A great visit where I learned a lot.