Finca Rosa Blanca isn’t just any coffee farm, but an organic coffee plantation located outside beautiful San Jose, Costa Rica. A coffee plantation with an inn, (a new trend?) it beckons coffee lovers who want a hands-on lesson in coffee nurture and a relaxing vacation as well. At Finca Rosa Blanca, the whole organic coffee process – from “seed to cup” – occurs right on the farm. Visitors can taste the raw berry, which is bitter, according to writer Joseph Satto. He also found out that these coffee trees could produce for “hundreds of years” if they aren’t “stressed.” Presumably, stress would include such things as chemical pesticides.
To counter the problem of pests organically, the farm intersperses other fruit trees among the coffee plants. Not just any trees, the varieties chosen are those that attract the same pests as the coffee plants. If other “restaurants” for the critters are nearby, they tend to leave the coffee plants alone. After all, when offered a banana tree or a coffee tree, which one would YOU choose? On this plantation, as in Costa Rica in general, all the beans are hand-picked. The skins are mechanically separated from the bean, however, before they are dried naturally in a single layer in the sun.
The tour ends with a cupping of some of the coffees. Satto learned a lot from the tour. He summed it up thus: “The takeaway: organic coffee farming is more labor intensive and costly than commercial farming but ultimately, the human hands, creative solutions, and natural processes that play a part, make it gobs more romantic. And like any great romance, passion is the most necessary ingredient of all.” And speaking of romantic – the image above is of the plantation’s swimming pool.
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