Coffee is strongly associated with Costa Rica. It’s the main industry the country known for. The Ticos (Costa Rican people) have done much to encourage the growth of coffee and protect its industries. If you want to know where your rich morning aromas come from, read on for some fast facts about coffee in Costa Rica.
Where It Came From
Despite its reputation as one of the main coffee growing nations, it was not a natural growing region for the bean. The Spanish introduced coffee in 1798 in an attempt to take advantage of the space and land of Costa Rica, as well as the increasing popularity of this warm drink.
The Spanish were concerned they didn’t have a national export from this part of the world. Every Tico was required by law to have a few plants on their land. There were also financial incentives to grow coffee. Originally, the plants were designed to be grown for ornamental purposes.
First in, Last Out
Costa Rica holds the honour of being the first country in Central America to turn coffee into an industry. As described above, this is mainly due to Spain’s desire to create a national export. It wasn’t the first country to grow coffee plants in this part of the world. The Portuguese and French helped to introduce it to many of the Caribbean islands and other parts of their respective empires first.
Coffee in Costa Rica comes from the Arabic coffee bean. This was the original coffee plant brought over by Spain in the late 18th century. Today, it’s the only coffee plant which can be grown in the country, as per an executive order.
The government decided to do this for two reasons. Firstly, they wanted to protect their national industry and prevent foreign corporations from moving in and taking over the supply. Secondly, they want to create a coffee brand which has a reputation for purity. They want a worldwide reputation for their products, and they’ve definitely succeeded in that.
And here’s a bonus fact for you. Did you know coffee is the second biggest commodity on the international market? Only oil is traded more often than coffee.
Costa Rican Snow
Most Ticos have never seen snow in person. The closest thing they get to snow is white coffee blossom. The Central Valley is the main coffee planting region in the country. The jasmine-like aroma, which is very sweet, hangs in the air and the blossom gently drifts by to carpet the fields of the valley. It looks like a light dusting of snow has suddenly dropped on the land.