This article was written for the New York Coffee Festival. Also found in following link:
Planting Costa Rica promotes transparency, traceability, and quality. They are working to encourage coffee farmers in Costa Rica to produce a quality product to compete in the international coffee market successfully. Nicolas Salcedo, co-founder, wrote to us to explain a common misconception regarding coffee producing countries.
“Most of us assume that coffee producing countries drink the best coffees, but this is not true.
During recent visits to coffee producers in Costa Rica, we’ve identified three main reasons for this:
Firstly, coffee-producing countries export around 98% of their production. These countries tend to have little purchasing power because 99.9% of their high-quality coffee (graded above 85/100) is exported.
The second reason is import diversity. Naturally, consumer countries strictly control the import of foreign varieties to protect domestic ones. Although this necessary, this limits benchmarking. Consumers aren’t aware of different products and therefore don’t feel the need to explore further.
The last reason is roasting knowledge. Coffee producing countries rarely have access to a roaster, and more amazingly, many have never tried their product. Given this situation, many coffee growing countries don’t know where they stand, and cannot tell how they can improve.
Nevertheless, Planting Costa Rica believes that coming generations will make a change. Due to globalization, a greater number of people are exposed to the specialty coffee scene abroad and are interested in learning more about coffee growing societies.”