If you are a Starbucks fan (and even if you are not a fan!), visit Hacienda Alsacia, the Starbucks Coffee Farm near Alajuela Costa Rica. The name of the farm is Hacienda Alsacia. Established in 2013, it is Starbucks' first and only coffee plantation. Starbucks has been sharing Costa Rican coffee with the world for 40 years. This Starbucks coffee farm is the Starbucks center for learning and the global agronomy headquarters.
Just 9 miles (15 km) due north from the city of Alajuela, Hacienda Alsacia is on the way to the Poás Volcano and La Paz Waterfall Gardens. With 240 hectares of varying altitudes, magnificent coffee plants are cultivated in rich volcanic soils from nearby Poás Volcano. The Starbucks coffee farm in Costa Rica is in the heart of coffee country at 3,400 feet (1,035 meters) above sea level. Before joining Starbucks, the farm was always dedicated to high-quality coffee production for generations.
The objectives of Hacienda Alsacia are threefold:
1. Create agricultural best practices for growing coffee that aim to increase profitability for small scale farms;
2. Develop the next generation of disease-resistant, high quality coffee; and
3. Share knowledge and resources freely with farmers worldwide.
Costa Rica’s production of mountain-grown Arabica coffee dates back to the 1700s. Across the country from Alajuela to Zarcero, coffee continues to be a core part of the country’s economy and GNP. (Gross National Product). The Starbucks Global coffee Research Center helps small farmers like Rouxx Coffee ensure the future of home-grown Costa Rican coffee.
The Starbucks commitment goes beyond just selling coffee in its stores. The Starbucks mission includes supporting local producers who supply the coffee, tea, and cocoa sold in its stores. In Costa Rica, Starbucks has invested in programs to strengthen local economic and social development, while also protecting natural environments. It has developed Starbucks Farmer Support Centers in key coffee-growing regions. These centers provide local farmers with resources and expertise that can help lower production costs and reduce pest and diseases. At the same time, the centers aim to assist local producers in improving coffee quality and increasing yields of premium coffees.
Besides drinking coffee or hot chocolate, the cafeteria is a fabulous setting for photos to share on Facebook and Instagram. Enjoy the breath-taking views of coffee plants for as far as your eyes can see. Look for the waterfall in the side of the hills to the right.
The Hacienda Alsacia cafeteria offers the typical Starbucks menu plus delicious Costa Rica dishes and its own coffee brand. Pick up a few packages of Starbucks Hacienda Alsacia Coffee as souvenirs, gifts, and to take home with you!
If you have never taken a coffee tour, I suggest you go on one before you leave Costa Rica. They are a fun and a great way to learn about both the coffee you love and Costa Rica. Besides Starbucks’ Hacienda Alsacia, there are several other good options for coffee tours in Costa Rica:
· Café Brit Tour (Heredia, Costa Rica)
· Doka Estate Coffee Tour (Alajuela, Costa Rica)
· El Toledo Family Coffee Farm (Atenas, Costa Rica)
The Starbucks’ Hacienda Alsacia Tour shows you a modern coffee production facility in 90 minutes. The Café Britt Tour includes an amusing comedy performance that combines Costa Rican history and culture with coffee production facts. It is very enjoyable and performed in English or Spanish. The Doka Estate Coffee Tour is a complete coffee production and plantation tour. It also includes an invitation to visit three gardens: the hydroponics orchard, Bonsai and butterfly gardens. It is north of Alajuela near Hacienda Alsacia. The El Toledo Family Coffee Farm Tour is an informal tour and a chance to meet real family farmers on their own prospering farm.
Coffee tours can vary in terms of how long they are. It often depends on how many questions people ask. Generally, all tours will take visitors to see coffee plants and beans (called coffee “cherries”) at different stages of harvest. Then, a guide explains and demonstrates the coffee drying, roasting, and production processes.
You might be surprised to learn how much effort goes into producing the high quality coffee you enjoy every day. Before the barista, Costa Rican coffee comes from a plant, a farm, a community and a rich culture. On coffee tours, you will experience coffee from the seedling to the cup; including planting, picking, drying, roasting and tasting. Do not skip the coffee tasting. This gives you the opportunity to appreciate the savory flavors of different coffee roasts. Typically, tours end with an invitation to the on-site restaurant or souvenir store with many different and enchanting coffee products.
Who would guess that coffee and a coffee farm could be an adventure? It is in Costa Rica! Honestly, your visit to Costa Rica really won’t be complete without learning about the beverage you (probably) drink daily. A visit to Hacienda Alsacia, the Starbucks Coffee Farm in Alajuela, Costa Rica; is a convenient half-day trip. It can be easily combined with an early morning trip to Poás Volcano and the La Paz Waterfall. Have lunch at the Freddo Fresas Restaurant and visit the garden across the street. Then, include a stop at Hacienda Alsacia for the tour and your afternoon cup of coffee on your way back.
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