In my post on coffee growing in Costa Rica, I described the difficulty in finding organic or truly shade grown coffee from this country. The folks from Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History recently visited a true organic, shade coffee farm which practices very environmentally-friendly cultivation methods. The farm is Finca Cristina, located in the Orosi Valley, Cartago province, in central Costa Rica.
You can read a very thorough account about the farm, with lots of photos and a nice introduction to the problems with sun coffee, at the Hilton Pond web site. It details how the Carmans, the farm owners, converted from sun coffee to organically-grown shade coffee. So far, 272 bird species, including 87 North American migrants, have been recorded at Finca Cristina, along with the only confirmed nests of the Buffy-crowned Wood-Partridge (Dendrortyx leucophrys), and a population of the rare Crowned Tree Frog (Anotheca spinosa).
Finca Cristina coffee is available from their web site, or via a toll-free number from the U.S. I’ve not tried this coffee, but this is certainly worth trying if you enjoy Costa Rican coffee, want to know exactly where your coffee comes from, and that it helps preserve biodiversity.