Coffee of Costa Rica
Doka Estate Coffee Plantation Tour
Costa Rica has been planting coffee since the 1770s, when the first coffee plants were brought in from Jamaica and Cuba, and coffee is still one of Costa Rica's main exports. Most of the coffee exported is in the form of Coffee Beans, usually unroasted. The country that imports beans then processes and roasts them to suit the tastes of their own markets and brands.
Coffee of Costa Rica ~ A Tour of Doka Estate near San Jose
When I arrived in San Jose and began to arrange my day trips, I mentioned to the tour operator that I really wanted to take a coffee tour.
"Oh, don't worry," he said off-handedly, "almost all the tours stop at a coffee plantation."
And so they did. This stop at Doka Estates was one of a number of coffee of Costa Rica tours, so you may find yourself on another plantation.
This estate was also our breakfast stop, for a Tico breakfast, with Gallo Pinto, the Costa Rican traditional beans and rice dish, and of course, a few cups of estate grown coffee :-)
Coffee Beans in a Burlap Bag Fill a Colorful Painted Wood Cart at Doka Estate
The early morning (about 8 a.m.) sun brought out the brilliant colors of this wood cart filled with burlap bags full of coffee beans.
Other coffee tours include the El Trapiche tour, the Monteverde Coffee Tour, and the Don Juan Coffee Tour.
Your hotel or resort will usually recommend a tour company, but if you're on a self-drive tour of Costa Rica, check the other tours to see which one best suits you.
Coffee of Doka Estate, and the 'Oldest Wet Mill in the Country
The Doka Estate (picture here) is located at Sabanilla, Alajuela.
According to the web site (www.dokaestate.com), the farm belongs to the Vargas Ruiz family, pioneers of coffee production for more than 70 years.
The estate also conducts its own tours, half-day or full day-- see details on its site. We were given the grand tour by our guide, as part of a day trip to Poas Volcano.
Different Roasts of Coffee Beans Bagged for Sale at Doka Estate
The Estate also has a souvenir gift shop, where different roasts and grinds, whole bean or decaffeinated coffee can be bought.
Though the bags all look about the same size, check the amount versus the prices.
I think this same coffee was $1 USD cheaper at another shop nearby, but it may have been smaller package.
I bought ground coffee to bring home to Canada at a San Jose supermarket, where it was on sale for $3.99 USD a half-pound bag. Not a lot cheaper, if at all, than coffee in Canada, but to have Costa Rican coffee was a novelty
Coffee Plant Shade Tree - Rainbow eucalyptus tree from Philippines
The distinctive bark is the hallmark of the Rainbow eucalyptus (Eucalyptus deglupta) tree from Philippines.
This tree has a gauzy canopy, and grows 40-60 feet tall, to provide a light shade for the coffee plants.
As it grows, its bark peels off, and the inner layers sort of 'oxidize' into different shades of red, green and even blue.
If you are traveling independently in Costa Rica, head north from the San Jose Airport towards Alajuela (the road to the Poas Volcano), and have a look at some of the coffee of Costa Rica plantations.
Keep watch for roadside stands selling local fruits, like strawberries.
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