The best way to explore the Orosi Valley in Costa Rica is on a coffee tour with locals. So we are excited to share our trip with our friends at Calderon Coffee Tour. We experienced the whole process, from picking the beans to milling them, roasting them, and grinding them – and then enjoying a fresh cup of coffee!
We started our day by driving in a cool 1978 Land Cruiser to the farm where they grow their beans. It was a beautiful drive through the mountains, passing by farms, waterfalls, and small villages.
Once we arrived at the farm, we were welcomed by Don Luis, who showed us around and told us a bit about how they make their coffee. He grew up here, and coffee has been a family tradition he learned from his grandparents. He knew about the history of coffee farming, how it’s grown, what makes it unique, and what kind of beans we tasted. He also introduced us to his family members, and we got a funny story from his childhood on the farm!
We then got to earn our cup of coffee! We had baskets tied to our waists and began picking the ripe red bean fruit to see who could collect more. The activity really puts into perspective the amount of manual work that goes into harvesting these beans and their value, which should be appreciated.
After picking our baskets, Don Luis explained how the beans get milled and processed with the “honey” method to bring out the full aroma and flavor of the bean.
The honey method (or pulped natural) is a natural method in which the fresh coffee cherries are de-pulped but allowed to dry without washing. As a result, most of the cherry is gone, but the remaining golden, sweet sticky mucilage is reminiscent of honey, where the process gets its name. It’s widely practiced in the area as Costa Rica is often regarded as the home of honey processing.
We then saw how he roasted some ready beans the way his grandma used to, and they filled the air with that deliciously familiar smell of coffee! Then, finally, everyone took turns grinding the beans and enjoyed a cup of freshly brewed coffee.
We had a great time on our coffee tour. We hope other people can have this fantastic experience! This was a training tour for them as they prepare to open to the public later this month officially. To learn more about this and other tours, visit: scoringdreamscr.com.