We can all agree on one thing: Pope Francis does not sit on a throne of lies. My point: he recently declared Costa Rica to produce the best coffee out of all the coffee on God’s green Earth. This title must hold some meaning for Costa Rica. With the many benefits that the caffeine bean has brought to the country, some argue that in modern times, Ticos are getting the short end of the stick.
The introduction of coffee exportation in Costa Rica gave birth to a whole new middle class. The following results were a snowball effect of higher living standards, a greater voice for the public, and an opportunity for continued economic growth. The increase in coffee gave way to an increase in farmers which lead to an increase in literate men which finally culminated a larger generation of eligible voters. It also transitioned Costa Rica from a small country that no one knew about to a recognized hot spot that serves the “most demanding consumers in the world.” Costa Rica also plays a large role in tropical fruit exports, micro chip exports, etc., but are they shipping out all of the good stuff and leaving themselves with the bottom of the barrel?
We visited a company called Cafe Rey today. So far, they have been the only business that we have toured that restails largely to native Costa Ricans. They also are a big player in the quality coffee trade. This must mean that the Ticos still have access to good coffee. Cafe Rey puts a lot of their effort into staying true to Costa Rica. They source from who they feel to be the best local farms. They also curate their blends to reflect the true “pura vida” essence.
I think that Costa Ricans are receiving the quality that they deserve, or at least the quality that they pay for in their local products. They produce a lot for a reason; allowing themselves to feed their economy and their stomachs. I would even go as far to say that by living in the country of origin, Ticos are getting the best that their country has to offer because they have the first pick at the most authentic suppliers. With the amount to regulation that Costa Rica has on the coffee industry, most Ticos would consider themselves better off by purchasing the local goods. And if it matters at all, the coffee that I have been drinking at my homestay and the fruit that I have been eating have well exceeded my expectations.