A sustainable Costa Rican coffee

by JulieCraves on February 20, 2007

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.

Revised on March 14, 2021

Posted in Coffee regions

Amy Wilson March 7, 2007 at 3:12 pm

I just got back from the vacation of a lifetime in Costa Rica with my whole family, and we made sure to visit Finca Cristina while we were there. I happened across the website when I was researching to plan our trip, and I had been ordering coffee from them for about 8 months even before our trip. Linda and Ernie showed our family a warm welcome, gave us a very educational tour, let my kids help pack coffee bags and learn to count in Spanish, and are lovely people with an absolutely teriffic business! I am a "coffee snob," and I find their coffee to be the best I have ever had. The price is no more than Starbucks, even with door-to-door delivery, and knowing how well the earth and its creatures are treated in growing and processing the coffee makes it taste even better! I remember Costa Rica with every sip! Pura Vida, as the Ticos say!

BirdBarista March 7, 2007 at 6:03 pm

Amy, thanks so much for this first-person account of the farm and the coffee!

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