Café Monteverde Costa Rica: Monteverde Coffee Tour and LIFE
Café Monteverde is a tour for those looking to get away from the more commercial coffee tours. It is more of an educational look at local Costa Rican coffee farming and sustainable agriculture. On the tour you learn how coffee growing is a rural way of life and how coffee is produced from the germinating seeds to the cup. The tour is for coffee drinkers and non-drinkers alike. To call it a ‘tour’ is a bit of a misnomer, as it is more of a learning experience with passionate agriculturists.
Note this tour is not like some of the very touristy activities in Monteverde. The tour is NOT just about coffee and if this is what you want than you are better off with some of the other coffee tours in the area. You will learn about coffee but you will also learn about the history of Monteverde in terms of coffee and about the sustainable farm and how the goats, chickens and pigs on the farm all have a role to play.
And what is LIFE? Life Monteverde started in 2009 and is an association of 12 families from Monteverde, Costa Rica, involved in agriculture and nature conservation on a 42 acre (17 hectares) farm. The owners have a variety of skills, including forestry, environmental education, administration and finances, coffee trade, agriculture, human resources and arts. The project also provides educational experiences to local and international students and volunteers which combines areas of conservation, organic agriculture and low environmental impact energy systems.
This tour starts with a brief introduction to the farm and the importance of sustainability. The guides, such as Guillermo (one of the owners) give an in-depth explanation on what sustainability is really about and how LIFE is trying more and more to encompass sustainable practices. Then you will have an oppertunity to walk through the grounds, the animal barn, the vegetable gardens and a small forest and learn about the techniques used on the farm to improve quality and sustainability.
The tour ends with a taste test of two or 3 different types of coffee beans and a small snack made from the products of the farm. You can also buy some delicious coffee.