Existential questions arise on an early harvest trip to the Costa Rica coffee harvest, to visit the farms and micro mills.
There I was, once again, in Costa Rican coffee is typically very clean, sweet, with lots of floral accents. hey are prized for their high notes: bright citrus or berry-like flavors in the acidity,... ...more. How did this happen?
The coffee is overpriced in many cases. There are not many opportunities here. The cost of living is soaring and there are Americans with second homes or retirement homes all over.
It is a very beautiful place, and I respect the farmers a lot. They are proud, independent and inventive, generally. Who can blame them for wanting everything they can get for their coffee?
The main issue at play with rising prices is the competition by small buyers. This place is so easily accessed. Buyers swarm all over and drive up prices on themselves without a great regard for cup quality:
When you have a lot of buyers with un-calibrated tastes and some limited experience, even some marginally defective lots will sell and high prices. There is still some very fine coffee. But Costa Rica has become over exposed, overblown, I fear, and might be less attractive going forward if it keeps heading down this path -Thompson Jan 2012