Costa Rican Coffee – What is coffee growing like in Costa Rica?
Costa Rica is one of the many countries we have the privilege of working in. A few weeks ago, our Executive VP of Marketing and Sales, Elizabeth McLaughlin, traveled to Costa Rica to meet with the farmers that grow some of the great coffee we use to make blends that you can find at your local grocery store.
Here are a few highlights from our conversation with her:
What new thing did you learn about Costa Rican coffee?
“I fell in love with Costa Rican coffee while on my trip! The coffee there is very bright (flavorful with high notes) and full-bodied (heavy vs. thin feeling when you drink it).
In Costa Rica, the cooperatives are testing new growing and processing techniques to create unique taste profiles from the coffee without adding flavoring. This makes their varietals (or coffee plant types) different than other origins where we source coffee. “
What was your favorite photo from the trip and why?
“I love what we do at Westrock because of the families we are able to meet and partner with in coffee growing communities. It’s about the end result of improving the lives of these hard-working farmers.
The kids in this picture were so precious and playful. Their parents are coffee farmers and part of the cooperative in Terrazu that produces some of the best coffee in Central America. These children remind me that – through coffee – so many are able to reap the benefits of a successful business.“
You’ve visited farms now in East Africa and in Central America. Can you tell us some differences you saw in Central American production in relation to coffee growing regions in East Africa?
“It was very interesting to see firsthand the differences between coffee milling in East Africa and Central America.
The cooperatives we partner with in Costa Rica are very advanced. They are large mills that support thousands of farmers and have an amazing structure to really help the farmer members.
They run 24 hours a day to allow farmers the ability to drop off of their coffee cherries for processing at any time and supply receiving stations in the communities to ensure farmers can get paid quickly for their crops. This sophisticated processing keeps quality in the forefront of everyone’s mind.”
After spending time with the farmers who grow the coffee we drink every day, what would you say to someone who is new to trying Westrock?
“We are constantly looking for ways to bring new coffees from around the world to the US consumer. We hope consumers will realize we got our roots in East Africa, but are working hard to help smallholder farmers in origins worldwide. This means we can help these hard-working farmers and their families have access to affordable/quality healthcare, education for their kids, clean water in places that do not have that today, and the feeling of pride in knowing the coffee they nurtured is bringing joy to those who drink it in the US.”
Interested in learning more about the countries Westrock works in? Head over to our “Origins” page to learn more about these countries and the coffee they produce.
Learn more HERE.