About the bean
Is there a correlation between Costa Ricans' consumption of coffee (one of the world's highest for a coffee-growing region), and their talent for longevity? The average life expectancy here clocks in at more than 80 years grand. We might be given to say that with coffee as good as Costa Rica's, it's no wonder people want to live longer so they can get more in!
Not exactly. As it turns out, the hand of economics has traditionally steered Costa Ricans to drink the country's plenty of beans but the beans of lower quality, saving the better for export; a standard story for people living in the shadow of a coffee giant. Typically, these lesser beans are brewed and filtered through sock-cloths held by a wire or wooden frame (called chorreador) and the strong result is giddied with a generous amount of sugar. Costa Rica is also a sugar-producing giant, after all. But it's perhaps more the custom to enjoy these brews in the company of others at sodas (the equivalent of roadside diners) that may help to prolong the years; community being a significant factor to a full life, so they say.
Younger generations, proud of their heritage, are moving on from the no-frills sodas, however, to refocus the country's coffee culture and share the best of Costa Rica's coffees with Costa Ricans. They're introducing new brewing technologies while honouring the old (hey, the chorreador makes a good cup), even reimagining the Third Wave staple, Chemex, as a vandola - a sturdy clay version with a handle and larger spout, for ease of serving, that uses paper, metal and cloth filters. Young Gen Costa Rica taps small, often family-owned micro-producers to supply their cafes and cultivates story interest in the origin, method, process and varietal of their beans. The prices are fancy now, too. Sound familiar?
Just as we've seen in North America, the coffee scene in Costa Rica is embracing the drink of champions as not just a key export and a "get up, wake up" stimulant, but as an experience in and of itself. Destination: coffee nirvana.
What a story! You deserve a drink.
Thankfully, Costa Rica is still sharing its most excellent coffee with the world. Our latest pick is from the prized Tarrazu region renowned for its gourmet offerings.
Farm: La Pastora
Process: Washed and sun dried
Altitude: 1,400-1,700 masl.
Grain Pro Bag: Yes
Botanical variety: Catuai and Caturra
Cupping Notes: Cocoa , caramel , Apricot
Roast recommendation: Flexible. We really enjoy this as a City roast where the flavour is brightest. For an explanation of our different roasts, see here: http://greenbeanery.ca/pages/roasting-chart.
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Photography by Lisa Peryman and Richard C. Owens
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