Coffee from Costa Rica was, almost from the birth of the country as an independent nation, the basis of its economy and its main engine of development. The cultivation of coffee from the mid-nineteenth century had different social and cultural consequences that worked as part of the construction of the national identity.
The coffee grower has lent itself to the elaboration of symbols, emblems, and stereotypes. At present, the theme of coffee is one of the most represented motifs in the arts, crafts, folklore and popular culture. Its presence is constant in many of the symbols that purport to express national identity: the painted cart, the adobe house, the rural landscape of the Central Valley.