On the last day of our trip to Costa Rica we visited the Doka Coffee Estate. The weather was perfect for it; blue skies with a cloud here and there, temperature of about 75 degrees and lots of coffee plants all around. We arrived at about 8:30 and had a delicious tipical Costa Rican Breakfast, then toured the facility.
It began with a brief history of how the coffee beans were brought from Jamaica, as a gift from one ruler to another; then given to those landowners who had the ambition to grow the plants and reap the harvest. It did not take long to realize that they had latched on to something fabulous! Costa Rica is one of the worlds largest coffee providers and produces a very fine coffee.
This is the entry to the estate
Here is a shot of a coffee plant with a few beans that are ripe and ready for picking and processing. The beans on any plant do not ripen all at once; so must be revisited several times during the harvest season and all are picked by hand...this is why coffee is expensive.
Here you can see some green (unripe) along side some red (ripe) beans
The picked beans are dried and must reach a given humidity level before being processed further. The warm Costa Rican sunshine is perfect for the job. Here they spread the beans on concrete (specifically designed for this) and then the beans are raked every couple of hours to dry evenly. The become beige and quite light...not at all like the final roasted product.
In the roasting room I got a picture of the texture of the ground coffee that they use to brew coffee here; the texture is a bit finer than the standard canned coffee in the US.
Here is one of the machines that creates the aromas that permeate the entire estate. Just to walk around and breathe in the aromas was worth the price of admission.
Here is an overall shot from the headquarters of the estate...in an area as beautiful as this how could the coffee be bad?