Jonathan Cartegena, our Cupping Technician/Educator, describes drinking coffee on the farm in Costa Rica.
I woke up the first morning at Hacienda La Amistad still tired from the previous day’s 16 hour journey, and seriously looking forward to a good cup of coffee. Luckily, I was on the best farm in Costa Rica! I left our lodgings and headed down to the patio, sitting down with Jim and Roberto Montero, owner and operator of the farm. The temperature was a pleasant 75 degrees, and the view was incredible – we sat overlooking the colorful yard to the shade trees and the mountains beyond. The farm is situated in the heart of Costa Rican rainforest, and so also serves as a lodge for travellers. Birders often stay here before heading into the rainforest to see different species of birds.
A staff member offered us all coffee (to enthusiastic “yes”s all around), and moments later, returned with a short cup of coffee with a thin crema. This is how Roberto likes his morning coffee. I was curious about their brewing style – basically, this was a ‘short’ 5 oz. Americano, with a lovely crema on top. Jim in particular is not a big fan of Americanos – yet this ‘short’ version, with the distinct crema, made a lasting impression. We could taste the sweetness and strength that we know and love from our own Costa Rican coffee that we import from the farm. La Amistad roasts their coffee the same way we do at our roasting facility – a light, ‘city’ roast. This highlights the sweetness and brightness that La Amistad is known for.
As we sipped our coffee, we took in the view and liveliness of this part of the farm. Bananas and mangoes ripening on the trees fill the air with sweetness. Every part of the farm is self-sustaining, using hydro electric power generated from the mountain streams. It is incredible to be able to see how everything is made, grown and gathered – while visiting, we will eat eggs from the chickens scuttling around the yard, steak from the cows wandering across the fields, guacamole from the avocados and spicy peppers in the garden. And coffee – more delicious coffee – from the coffee plants growing under the shade in the hills surrounding us.
Learn more about our trip: Costa Rica Travelogue