Monteverde Coffee Farm
- Location : 10 miles south of Santa Elena in San Luis
- Area : 42 acres
- Hours : 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
- Telephone : 2645-5901
- Entrance Fee : $30 adults; $25 students; $15 children under 12; ages 5 and under are free
For the last four generations, Guillermo Vargas family has grown coffee in the hills of Monteverde. These days Guillermo and nine other local families own the Monteverde Coffee Farm; a certified fair trade coffee producer and member of the Santa Elena Cooperative.read more close
Monteverde Coffee Farm is an actual working farm (unlike many of its competitors) that supplements its income offering coffee tasting tours. Guests at the farm learn how to grow, process and roast coffee on the Monteverde Coffee Tour then head over to the Santa Elena Cooperative roasting lab where they learn about cupping – better known as coffee tasting.
Touring the farm
Tours of the Monteverde Coffee Farm lead guests through 42 acres of coffee fields, forest, vegetable gardens and livestock pens. Along the way guides divulge the path that coffee beans take from flower, to fruit, to roasted coffee beans.
The tour's not just about coffee though, it is about developing sustainable agriculture using the land without exhausting the soil; working with nature rather than fighting it off with pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers.
The farm is working to become entirely organic making its own compost, utilizing 20 acres of forest to preserve water resources and protect crops; it's even using the pigs' waste to produce methane gas for the kitchen.
Coffee roasting and tasting
After visiting the farm, guests travel by van to the Santa Elena Cooperative's coffee roasting laboratory. At the lab, guests learn the three secrets of roasting coffee: time, volume and temperature. Guides walk visitors through the roasting process then lead them to the coffee tasting room.
The tour culminates in teaching visitors how to properly taste coffee and find the subtle flavors; an art known as cupping. First, coffee grounds are dispensed directly into a cup with hot water poured over them. After letting the coffee sit for three minutes, visitors use a spoon to break through the layer of foam and waft the aromas into their nose. Finally, everyone takes a spoonful, tastes the coffee and tries to guess which roast is which.