Let us become caffeinated with excitement, sustainability knowledge, and of course coffee with the tellings of an adventure with Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation in Costa Rica.
This organic, shade grown, and sustainable coffee plantation is nestled within the mountains of Costa Rica, where quality is truly valued versus quantity. Our group was welcomed with wonderful hospitality (as we were in all our visits) and we began a tour to see a wonderous process from beginning to end that is rich in history and that has taken the world by storm.
Our adventure began by seeing where the coffee process all begins: the coffee plant or the variety that they grow, coffea arabica. Coffea arabica is the most common variety of coffee planted around the world, and Costa Rica is definitely a recognized grower in the world of coffee origins. A method in which they grow – shade grown, is only one of the most notable parts of their sustainability. Shade grown coffee involves a natural canopy over the crops in order to have a diverse plant life which offers a symbiosis life cycle with the coffee crops. Shade grown coffee is also known to have a unique flavor due to slower growing time, which is said to make the flavor more concentrated and pronounced. The plantation took many steps from waste to upkeep to continue to be as sustainable as they are, and work to reduce the carbon footprint of not only their plantation, but the country as a whole.
The processing of coffee from being handpicked, peeled, washed, and dried is one that is long and labor filled, but normal in the life of a coffee bean. The plantation noted their focus on continuous sustainability and use of their natural resources through the process. An example includes the composting of the outer fruit outside of the bean and returning it to the soil within the field after it is decomposed.
From growing to tasting, we learn the art that is coffee cupping, the recognized term for tasting varieties of coffee. With an activity such as coffee cupping, it can be a process similar to wine with a distinction of flavors and careful tasting techniques. The flavor is distinctive, bold, and bitter after our analysis as a group of the notes of the coffee. It was a fantastic experience as smells of freshly roasted honey coffee filled the air in the same room as us.
With the goals of coffee becoming the first sustainable crop in the world, it is expressed that one of the biggest challenges is making sure that smaller plantations such as Finca Rosa are taking the proper sustainable steps, and it is seen that this plantation is helping towards that goal.
With an experience such as this, we enjoy our coffee fueled sustainable knowledge filled adventures even more.