As one of the largest coffee producers in the world, Costa Rica has long been a draw for anyone looking to understand how coffee is transformed from a cherry-like fruit into a magical elixir.
But for true aficionados, a stay at Finca Rosa Blanca, an organic coffee plantation resort on the outskirts of San José, is the ultimate way to learn about their favourite beverage while also chilling in a South American paradise.
The resort is just 30 minutes from San José’s bustling downtown (close enough to drive over for dinner) and the picture-perfect setting feels far from the big city.
Perched high over the lush Central Valley and down the road from the Barva Volcano, dawn at Finca Rosa Blanca is a common time to hear the calls of exotic birds like summer tanagers and blue-crowned motmots.
Each guest room includes a French press and coffee that’s grown, roasted, and ground onsite, so guests can enjoy their first cup in privacy, overlooking the jungle. It’s basically paradise.
Recently named to the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World Collection, each room at Finca Rosa Blanca is different, with high ceilings and curing walls full of local tile work and crafts as well as art – painted by owner Glenn Jampol – depicting the surrounding landscapes and coffee plants.
But the real star is the coffee.
The property boasts 30 acres of Arabica coffee plants. Visitors can embark on a hilly hike through more than 50 species of trees (including mango, avocado, and citrus) to learn about Finca Rosa Blanca’s organic practices.
The diversity of the forest plants promotes healthier, richer soil without the need for fertilizer, while also attracting more than 130 species of birds, further boosting natural plant growth. The shade also allows the fruit to ripen more slowly, with more concentrated flavours.
The harvest happens between November and January. If you’re not lucky enough to visit then, the tour still encompasses the full experience, from plant to grind.
Post-tour, it’s time for a cupping session, where guests learn how to sniff, slurp, and taste coffee like a professional to discern its unique aromas and flavours.
What smells like any other cup at first may reveal something far more nuanced, with undertones of honey, orange, hazelnuts, and even tobacco or rubber, depending on the quality of the beans and how they’re roasted.
There’s also a spa, where you can indulge in a fragrant exfoliation treatment made with the resort’s own coffee grounds, chocolate, vanilla, honey, and olive oil. This is a great way to relax before a tasty dinner of creative coffee-themed dishes in the resort’s restaurant.
Homemade tostadas might come topped with black bean and espresso hummus. Coffee might make a surprise cameo in a dish of heirloom tomatoes smoked with coffee wood. Or there could be a local tuna marinated in chermoula, a North African spice sauce made with coffee.
It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience for any coffee lover…so what are you waiting for?