Add your deal, information or promotional text

Costa Rica Trip Report

a landscape view of Dota Valley, Costa Rica

Visiting coffee origins is a crucial step in genuinely understanding the coffees we work with every day, and appreciating the tremendous amount of work that goes into the other side of the supply chain. We seek out opportunities to visit farms whenever we can, to learn more about the producers, and to source the best coffees available. Accompanied by our Master Roaster & Co-Founder, Mark Wain, our Head Roaster recently visited Costa Rica, to visit farms and find some fresh new coffees. After his return, Ryan wrote the following Trip Report, detailing everything he saw and learned during this exciting trip, which we’re happy to share with you now.

+ + +

Dota Valley

The hotel we stayed at was located in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. San Jose is a major city, with all the concrete, traffic, and people to show it. To get to Dota, the first coffee-producing region we visited, we left our hotel around 9:30a, and went for a 90-minute drive in which we crossed the Continental Divide. The northeast side of this mountain range, where we started, is in the Caribbean weather zone, and was dark, cloudy, and raining. Conversely, once we crossed over to the southwest, into the Pacific weather zone, the clouds opened up, the sun came out, and we were treated to a beautiful day. This was a prime example of how the mountains are responsible for creating so many different micro-climates in Costa Rica.

a hand touching coffee cherries on a coffee tree

Though Tarrazu is a well-known origin for coffee, there still exists some confusion around the name, and which areas constitute it. The coffee growing region of Tarrazu includes San Ignacio, Frailes, San Pablo, San Marcos, and Santa Maria, with the latter three known collectively as Los Santos. To the locals, Tarrazu is the town of San Marcos, and Dota is the town of Santa Maria & parts of Los Santos (though the Dota Valley is technically much larger). “Dota” defines a far more specific place than “Tarrazu”, and has a greater control over the quality of the coffee they produce.

coffee farmer next to coffee plant

Compared to the busy city of San Jose, Dota is much more of a small town. Quiet, and very friendly, where everyone seemed to know each other, and everybody seemed content. Much more relaxed, and easy going. The people were much more easy going, and no one seemed to be in a rush. The phrase Pura Vida (which directly translates to “pure life”), is commonly heard in Costa Rica. It represents their way of life: easygoing, optimistic, and appreciative of life. The people of Dota seemed to be the perfect embodiment of Pura Vida.

+ + +

Read the Day 2 Entry Here

You May Also Enjoy...

Arabica Vs. Robusta and Other Beans

Learning to distinguish between different kinds of beans is one of the key components of loving and enjoying coffee, no matter what kind of coffee you like. Check out our blog post about different coffee beans affect a variety of factors - including flavor, caffeine content, and sustainability.

How to Develop a Connoisseur-Level Appreciation for Artisanal Coffee

Coffee should be more than just another morning routine we take for granted. The question is, how can you learn to appreciate artisanal coffee with the skill of a connoisseur? Here are a few tips to help you cultivate your practice.