Costa Rica is a country nestled in between Nicaragua and Panama, with volcanos, jungles, beaches, and of course coffee. Up until recently coffee was the number one export replaced only by tourism. In 1821 when Costa Rica declared independence from Spain, the government gave their citizens free coffee seeds to encourage growth. Coffee is a way of life for the people of Costa Rica.
Among the many coffee farms in Costa Rica is the very first Starbucks owned farm, Hacienda Alsacia. The farm was first purchased in 2013 and is used as a place to research better ways to grow coffee. The agronomists are working to produce rust proof coffee trees and increase sustainability in farming. The information is then shared with farmers around the world.
For my tasting of Decaf Costa Rica Hacienda Alsacia I wanted to highlight the citrus and chocolate notes. This special cup of coffee has a distinct acidic experience. To me it is a wonderful acidity that seems to come in waves across the palate from one sip to the next. I paired this with mandarins and oranges dipped in dark chocolate with a touch of sea salt.
The result was delicious. More of the chocolate notes in the coffee were present while still experiencing the acidity. The sweetness of the mandarins worked particularly well in balancing all of these wonderful flavors.
This tasting was very important to me as I hope to visit this farm next year. I eagerly await the day that I get to witness, firsthand, the hard work and passion that goes into every cup of coffee.