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Concierge.com's insider take:
Coffee is Costa Rica's third largest export—and not just any old java, but some of the best bean in the world. Many of the most popular coffee plantations are located in the fertile hills and valleys of the central highlands, the birthplace of Costa Rican coffee.
At Finca Rosa Blanca, an inn and plantation located in the Santa Bárbara hills, coffee is grown without pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides. The two-hour tour, which covers the history of coffee and the process of organic cultivation and harvest, wraps up with a "cupping" (coffee tasting) and homemade pastries.
Doka Estate, on the slopes of the Poás Volcano in Sabanilla de Alajuela, has been owned and operated by the Vargas Ruiz family since 1949. Doka offers a variety of half-day tours of its fields and roasting plant; many of these include coffee-picking contests during the harvest season (between April and August). At the end of the visit, you'll be invited to sample the estate's eight different roasts, including the smooth but complex Peaberry Estate.
Founded in 1985, Café Britt in San Rafael de Heredia, just north of San José, provides a range of guided tours, from a one-hour walk-through of the plantation to half-day intensive tours. During your visit, you'll learn how to "break the cup" by using tasting techniques that identify and grade the coffee's flavor, acidity, aroma, and finish. Tours conclude with a theatrical show that explains how coffee has played a vital role in Costa Rica's social and economic development from 1779 to the present day.—Anja Mutić
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