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Its aroma draws us in from afar. 
 


It conjures memories and sensations…

Daily, it offers us a little push to get us going in the morning or provides the perfect excuse to sit down for a chat with a friend.

 

 Second only to water, coffee is the most consumed beverage in the world, displacing tea in recent years and thus toppling centuries of tea supremacy. 

The growing popularity of coffee is mostly due to its revitalizing effect although in recent decades it has gained much attention thanks to the dispersion of new ways to drink it.

  

  

The Tico Coffee

For Costa Rica, coffee is an integral part of its history and culture, a veritable icon and an object of national pride. It was in the Golden Era of Coffee (Second half of the 19th century) that railway networks, the National Theatre and many other important national monuments were erected, as well as the first decent roads to the port of Limon on the Caribbean side and to the port of Caldera on the Pacific side.

 


Even though on a global scale the country does not produce a large volume of coffee, it is famous for cultivating beans of very high quality and with great complexities of flavors and aromas. Thanks to the conditions in which it is cultivated and the special policies surrounding production, the country is recognized on a worldwide level for its organic coffee, which comes with very low environmental impact and high social benefit. In recent years such recognition has opened the doors to growing markets concerned with the sustainability of their providers.

All the coffee cultivated in our country is either the Caturra or Catuai variety of the Arabic species, which can only be grown at high elevations, on volcanic land with low levels of acidity. All of these factors produce coffee with more complex and aromatic flavors than those of the Robusta species, the other popular variety commercially cultivated in the world.

 

For a perfect coffee:

 

Choosing the coffee: Find out which is your favorite roasting style (a coffee tour is a great way to re-discover coffee). When buying, look for the premium grains, which signify better selection and care in the roasting process. Select the appropriate grind for the type of equipment you use. (See below “Tips for Each System”).  The small growers always offer fresher coffee but with less regularity in flavor from one purchase to the next.

Water:  For perfect results, use bottled or filtered water; not only will this help to avoid chlorine, but it will also screen out other minerals common in potable water.


Temperature:  The water should be between 190 and 200°F. If the water boils, wait until the bubbling subsides.


 


A versatile drink

Although there are only 4 basic ways to extract the flavor from the grain, its combinations as a drink are numerous.


“Chorreado” or percolated:  Prepared by slowly and repetitively running boiling water through a cloth or paper filter filled with ground coffee.


Espresso or Express:  Prepared by rapidly running boiling water under pressure through the ground coffee for about 20 seconds.


Turkish:  Prepared by boiling finely ground coffee in the water.


French:  The coffee is soaked in hot water and then after 1 minute it is compressed and filtered.


 

Combining flavors and sensations. 

Capuccino:  1/3 espresso, 1/3 milk and 1/3 boiled milk foam, with a touch of powdered cocoa and cinnamon.


“Café con leche”, latte coffee or café au lait: 1/3 espresso and 2/3 milk.


Macchiato or “cortado”: An espresso with milk foam on top


Latte macchiato: 4/5 milk, 1/5 espresso coffee.


Café Moka: 1/3 espresso coffee, 1/3 hot cocoa and 1/3 milk.


Mokaccino:  ¼ espresso coffee, ¼ cocoa, ¼ milk and ¼ milk foam.

 

In some parts of the world coffee is served with also a pinch of salt or lemon. In the Middle East coffee is prepared with a pinch of pepper, cinnamon or cardamom, others add cognac or perfumed liqueurs. In Vietnam it is fixed with chicory and condensed milk while in many parts of the world it is a very popular summer drink served very cold with whipped cream and ice cream.


Did you know?

Although many consider espresso the strongest type of coffee, it actually has less caffeine (only 1/3) than its percolated cousins. 


This is due to the length of exposure of the coffee to the water.  A much shorter period (under 20 seconds) extracts less caffeine from the coffee grains.


 

Coffee Tours:

 With the increasing prestige of the national coffee, tourist activities surrounding the bean have become very popular. We are referring to coffee tours, where you can visit plantations and processing centers, discovering all the various steps from seedling until it arrives in your mug.  You’ll learn the secrets of good coffee and the differences in tastes and aromas amongst a variety of grain mixtures and roasting levels.


Tour Contacts:

- EspirituSantoCoffeeTour.com      Tour in Naranjo, cerca de Sarchí.

- Monteverde-coffee.com               Alliance of little producers of Monteverde.

- DokaEstate.com                          Tour in Alajuela.

- CoffeeTour.com de Café Britt        Tour in San José.

- SunburstCoffeeTour.com                Tour in  Guanacaste        


          


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