- 08:30 AM
The Café Monteverde Coffee Tour
This interactive tour follows the development of coffee – from the crop to the cup – in a fashion that is both fun and educational. Depending on the level of interest, participants can choose between a 2-hour or 4-hour tour. The Cooperative of Santa Elena manages Café Monteverde, and all proceeds go towards supporting the local farmers and families involved in the production of the coffee.
About The Tour
The tour begins with a brief explanation of the region’s history, a story that involves the evolution from a rugged frontier land into an expansive community of settlers, farmers, scientists, conservationists, and yes, coffee producers.
The tour then descends some 500 feet down “La Trocha” – a steep road with sweeping views of the Gulf of Nicoya – into the San Luis Valley, where the crops of coffee are grown. A local farmer will speak with the tour group and explain the harvesting process and how the fruit is graded for quality. Participants can pick and taste the ripe coffee berries, a shade-grown Arabica variety of bean. The tour will then continue on through some of the cooperative’s other sustainable crops, including bananas, plantains, oranges and limes.
The processing mill, or beneficio, is the next stop. Here, the seed is separated from the fruit and dried in the sun. Once fully dried, the beans are then roasted and exported.
Finally, the tour ends at the coffee shop, where participants are invited to taste a variety of roasts and if so inclined, purchase a pound or two of fresh coffee.
Those that choose to take the 4-hour tour will additionally visit the fertilizer and paper making plants, and learn about the sustainable relationship between these two products.
About The Coffee & Community
The Cooperativa de Santa Elena, in association with the San Luis Development Organization, has helped spawn a community-wide sustainable development initiative. The water from the processing plant is recycled in the community, organic waste and coffee pulp is used to produce organic fertilizers, and plant fibers and bean shells are sent to a local paper-making collective.
The Cooperative is composed of nearly 500 members and offers a variety of services to the local residents, researchers and tourists. What’s more, Café Monteverde coffee is certified fair trade.
› More about Café Monteverde.