Costa Rica is a small country in Central America that is surrounded by amazing surf, filled with beautiful waterfalls, and blessed with rain forests. Its location on the globe and hilly topography make it a wonderland for adventure. It just so happens that this unique spot on earth is also perfect for growing the beloved coffee bean. There are about 78,000 coffee producers in Costa Rica, so you can easily see how coffee is a way of life for many Costa Ricans. For a true cultural experience take a tour of El Toledo organic coffee farm just 45 minutes outside of San Jose. This isn’t like many coffee tours you may have taken in the past. The owner Gabriel is the actual tour guide. He not only shows you his family’s methods of growing coffee organically, but also shares his knowledge of Costa Rican history and farming culture. His farm is basically in the jungle; so a little hiking is involved. Gabriel climbs trees along the tour, picking and throwing down fresh fruit for his guests to enjoy. There were so many citrus trees around naturally shading his coffee plants. While hiking, it’s fun to pick the cherries right off of the coffee plant for a quick sweet snack. Some were bitter though, so choose wisely. At the end of the tour we were treated to freshly roasted coffee prepared by Gabriel’s wife. We each had three different roasts and were encouraged to guess what kind of roast was which. The tour felt very personable and questions were always encouraged. I learned a lot about growing coffee, the coffee culture in Costa Rica, and a lot of interesting facts about the country itself. There are so many adventures to be had on Costa Rica, but no trip to a foreign country is complete without interaction with the locals coupled with a hint of culture. Get a taste by visiting Gabriel and his family.
Location:Atenas, Costa Rica