The Good, the Bad, and the Coffee

The coffee industry in Costa Rica is vitally important to the Tico economy and so are the fruit exports now. They have allowed the country to grow but have also had some negative effects.

The coffee exporting in Costa Rica was the dominant industry for much of the countries existence, but now the other fruit exports and now tourism have caught up with coffee. Coffee has laid the groundwork for much of the countries infrastructure, giving the government and businesses a reason to develop roads,bridges, and rail ways to ports for exporting. Coffee brings many jobs to the area and even requires additional work to be brought into the country. This boosts their economy and gives them a stable platform. Many of the coffee growers we have seen thus far have also taken a lot of time to think about their role in ecology. They have made a lot of effort to reduce, reuse, and recycle and become sustainable. All of this has helped the country grow economically and ecologically.

But like all good things, they come with a catch. Because Costa Rica relies so heavily on its quality coffee they send the best coffee they have abroad. They then keep the lower grade coffee for their own people. The well known roasters like 1820 compensate for the poor taste by adding sugar to the roasting process. This coffee is then sold to the Ticos primarily. Because the standard of living is so lower here than it is in the United States, and we will happily be charged more for a cup of coffee, it makes economic sense to send the good coffee abroad and the country will benefit more from this process in the long run. Bus as the standard of living rises in Costa Rica, so will the quality of coffee in the country.

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