Coffee – it's as central to Costa Rica's identity as lush jungles and rich biodiversity. In fact, café played a defining role in Costa Rica's history and economy since the late 18th Century. Production originated around 1779 in the Central Valley region, near Costa Rica's capital city of San José. Locals discovered the land to be extremely conducive to growing coffee due to its fertile soil and cooler temperatures. Because of these conditions, Costa Rica's coffee production remains centered in the San Jose/Central Valley area to this day. Since the first shipments of coffee to Europe, the crop has remained among Costa Rica's top three export products. By the late 1800s Coffee plantations were springing up across the Central and Western Valleys. By the early 20thCentury, the product had become an integral part of Costa Rica's national economy. Local coffee growers held tremendous respect in the community, and their plantations created thousands of local jobs for the country's central region. Today, coffee production has become much more modernized across the globe. Costa Rica is able to produce mass quantities of its beans – reputed to be among the best in the world – with modern technology and supply chains.
It's great news for all coffee drinks across the globe – now it's possible to get a taste of Costa Rica as far away as Australia. It's even better news for those of us that call Costa Rica home. Tamarindo is one Costa Rican beach town that's embraced the country's love affair with coffee. Although it's great to taste Costa Rican coffee beans in Europe or the U.S., there's still nothing quite like the fresh shipments arriving daily in Tamarindo. San Jose and its coffee exporters are a short four-hour drive away, meaning local cafes can obtain the freshest possible beans to brew for customers.
In recent years, Tamarindo has experienced a boom in café culture. With a diverse population of residents, Tamarindo is home to Western expats and local Costa Ricans alike. This combination has created a great mix of coffee shops in town, all with a slightly different style – some European-style, some Italian-oriented and others more traditional Costa Rican. The one thing all of these cafes have in common is a love of Costa Rica coffee – and each one makes a point to showcase the country's wonderful, delicious roasts from local coffee plantations. Many visitors coming to Tamarindo are here for the beach and the surf – meaning it isn't always possible to squeeze in a trip to the Central Valley for a coffee plantation tour. Luckily, the town's coffee shops can help fill that gap. Simply stroll down the street and chat with the owner of any coffee shop to learn more about Costa Rica's coffee business. You can sample different roasts including ones made from the country's most renowned beans hailing from Tarrazu. Be sure to pick up some bags of Costa Rican coffee to take home before leaving Tamarindo. Keep some for yourself or impress your coffee-loving friends with a special gift that gives them a taste of Costa Rica every morning.