Costa Rica - The History of Excellent Coffee Development
Updated: Sep 20, 2018
In Coffee Roasters Asia, coffee bean from Costa Rica is always a popular item. I have thought about the reasons why she would be outstanding among the single origin coffee: the famous representative in Central America coffee; the distinct profile of the coffee flavor, the excellent quality. Besides, I believe there should be something behind to make these reasons happened, and thus the coffee lovers are falling in love with the Costa Rica’s coffee. Now, let’s explore a bit about the history of her coffee development. We may find the answer after that.
The Earliest Country in Central America who Plant Coffee
In 1729, coffee started to appear in Costa Rica. That was from Cuba. It made Costa Rica became the earliest country in Central America and the first country who planted coffee because of commercial value.
The Government Policies
After the Independence from Spain in 1821, the Costa Rica government built up several policies in order to support the development of coffee industry. At that time, it was hundred years after coffee had appeared in Costa Rica, but there was already 70 thousands of coffee tree on her region. We can see the size of its development.
The government policies which supported the coffee industry included:
In 1825, there was tax free policy. In 1832, the Costa Rica government established the law:”If you plant coffee, you own that field”. This law implied that when the coffee farmer plant coffee on a land which is empty and not occupied, that land shall belongs to that coffee farmer. This law encouraged people in Costa Rica to plant coffee, and thus the output and the development increased. (It could also explains why now the coffee from Costa Rica is mostly come from private manor)
We could imagine, when the yield increases, the quality would be different and may need to be controlled. Therefore, in the start of 20th century, there was another policy: for all the coffee manor or the coffee field in Costa Rica, farmers can only plant Arabica coffee so as to ensure coffee quality and to enhance competitive power. Thus, we could understand why coffee from Costa Rica would be maintained in a high quality: coffee beans from Costa Rica are all Arabica. We absolutely couldn’t find any Robusta in it.
In 1948, The Costa Rica government start up a specific coffee department, which may also be known as ICAFE (The coffee industrial company from Costa Rica: Institutodel Café de Costa Rica. It has been ruled by Oficinadel Café at present), mainly responsible for provide counselling to the manor from the improvement of plantation, processing method and sales system. For the export coffee beans, they treat it very serious. Those coffee beans which are classified as fail would be painted with plant dyes (which is blue in colour) and switched to domestic sales.
At the moment, there is one- third of population in Costa Rica who are working in coffee or coffee related industry. Moreover, the consumption of coffee in local is twice as much as Italy or The USA. We could see the above policies not only showing the support from the Costa Rica government, but also the reasons why coffee from Costa Rica would be so outstanding and competitive.
The Representative in Coffee Roasters Asia: Costa Rica Tarrazu Dota
In Coffee Roasters Asia, there is a single origin coffee which is from Costa Rica Tarrazu Dota. Tarrazu is one of the famous coffee region in Costa Rica, which is located in Southern area from Capital San Jose (about 2 hour drive distance). Since Tarrazu is located at a very high sea level, it makes the coffee flavor being so rich and distinctive. Honestly, she is an important coffee region in Costa Rica.
Dota is called the top level of coffee production area in Tarrazu. The average height of farmland in Dota is from 1200-1700MSL; the rainfall is abundant; the period of sunshine is sufficient (The average in 2150 hours/year), which make the dry processing coffee beans are having the excellent quality.
Be Worthy of Excellent Coffee
At the moment, coffee industry in Costa Rica is one of the fine organisation in the world: the volume of production is like 1700kg in each hectare. The population is Costa Rica is 3.5 million, but the amount of coffee trees is 4 hundred billion. Moreover, the volume of coffee export is 25% of the total amount of export in Costa Rica. The coffee region, the grading and the types coffee of Costa Rica occupied one third of the whole world coffee consumption. These shows the excellent coffee from Costa Rica stand out in the world and get popular. If we would like to know why would it happened, I guess the history of her own coffee development should be credited.