Friday, August 30, 2013

Cafe Britt Tour ~ Heredia, Costa Rica


I rarely do touristy things when I go to Costa Rica. If I go with Tom, I am more likely to go outside the box but when I am just with the family, I tend to stay close to home. Sure we always go to the beach but never the tourist places.

This trip, however, I did one touristy thing which I really enjoyed. I wanted to learn how coffee is grown, processed and then packaged. I was fortunate that Cafe Britt was willing to host me, my sister and my mom for the tour.

I was not sure what to expect. Basically Cafe Britt buys coffee from growers and then processes, packages and sells the coffee. They have great coffee. But then again, all Costa Rican coffee is very tasty and we drink nothing else as home. I have even tried the famous Blue Mountain Jamaican coffee and I still like Costa Rican coffee better.




The tour started out with some basic coffee information and the history of coffee. Then we headed to a little hut where we were shown coffee beans after they have been processed and before they are roasted. Coffee beans start out green and then change color when they are roasted.



We then walked around the garden area where they had real coffee plants and even a cocoa plant.  In between all this, our guides gave us useful information about, what else, coffee. The guides were great. I liked that they did the tour in Spanglish. That way the tourists and locals alike could understand.




After the tour outside, we went to see the coffee roasters that are used to roast the coffee. I had no idea that the way you classify coffee by roast is due to the time it is roasted. I also have to mention that the smell  was amazing!! There is nothing like fresh roasted coffee.



We then went into a little theater area where our guides again gave us more coffee information. I will put some of the facts I learned below but these are facts that I remember. I have the memory of a gnat so don't expect too much!




The guides put on a little show. It was a little cheesy but fun. Plus, it was totally entertaining. I loved the guides. They made learning fun. We learned the best process for making coffee. Use a french press machine. We learned the best way to grind coffee. And other random information.

And, of course, all roads lead to a gift shop. It was a great tour. We got to taste coffee samples and candy samples as well.






If you ever go to Costa Rica, I totally recommend the Cafe Britt tour. It is a great way to learn a lot about coffee in a short period of time. It is also a great place to taste different types of coffee. The tour is fun and you will love being able to sample the wares! The cost is $22 for adult and it is well worth it. There are discounts for kids and students. You can also get a tour with lunch for $37. We didn't do the lunch but the food looked good.

You can buy Cafe Britt products on the online store. Not only do they sell coffee but they have merchandise like t-shirts, mugs, coffee presses etc. They also have cookies, candies and chocolate!

I want to thank Cafe Britt once again for hosting my family! We had a blast.


Some random Coffee Facts (from my demented notes):

April is flowering season for coffee. November is growing season. December to February is harvesting season

You have to pick coffee by hand

25 pounds of ripe fruit equals 3.5 pounds of coffee

The coffee fruit is put in tanks of water to remove the pulp. Then it goes into another tank to go through the fermentation process. The it is put outside to dry on concrete patios. it is raked every hour to ensure it gets dry. It has to completely dry or else it gets bitter. Then what is left, the beans, are roasted. Coffee beans are green and as they roast they turn brown. The difference in the roast of coffee is how long it is roasted. 

Never store coffee in the freezer or in paper bags. It will lose its oils and its flavor.





3 comments:

  1. Oh wow...I would love to visit a coffee place like that. I've always found it interesting what unroasted coffee beans look like.

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  2. Totally. Geeking. Out. Short-circuiting. Must. Have. Costa. Rican. Cafecito. AHORA. ;)

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  3. Totally geeking out. Enough said.

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