From: ticotimes.net If you have ever been to Costa Rica
The traditional cafe society in Costa Rica has reached a cultural crossroads. Older generations of coffee drinking traditionalists are crossing paths with a newer wave of coffee drinkers who are embracing modern technologies and brewing styles making the traditional robust cup of Costa Rican coffee a thing of the past.
Ever since my dad introduced me to Costa Rican blends from his homeland, I have never looked at coffee the same. While my family hasn’t been able to visit to bring me some, I’ve found the next best thing: H-E-B coffee!
Up to 45 producers and 56 types of speciality-grade coffee from 12 countries will join the first “Singapore Virtual (Micro Lot) Specialty Coffee Auction” on Thursday from 2pm to 4pm Bangkok time.
Historically, the peones (coffee pickers) who work the Costa Rican fincas were overwhelmingly Costa Rican citizens. In many instances, multi-generational families often worked at the same finca. This has changed dramatically over the last decade for two reasons.
“We’re extremely worried. We depend on foreign labor to pick our coffee and now we don’t know if we can count on it,” said Geovanny Rodriguez, a farmer from Santa Maria de Dota, in the mountainous Los Santos region, about 40 miles (64 km) south of the capital, San Jose.
Costa Rican coffee exports fell 13% in May, according to national coffee institute ICAFE data released on Monday, likely due to advance purchases in April as buyers sought to ease expected logistical jams from coronavirus disruptions.
In the pastoral village of Santa María de Dota, not far from the Costa Rican coffee producing region of Tarrazú, coffee is everything. It directs all aspects of life: the economy, the cultural and social fabric, and the health of the environment. CoopeDota, the pillar of the community, plays a vital role in the lives of most residents.
“I have coffee for breakfast, at noon, at 2 p.m., and at night I have another cup. It’s like one of my daily meals,” said Ana Mendez, laughing. She and her husband farm coffee on several small plots in Costa Rica.
Coffee has been grown in Costa Rica since the early 19th century. When the country declared independence from Spain in 1821, the municipal government gave away free coffee seeds to encourage production. Records show that there were around 17,000 coffee trees in Costa Rica at that point.