by Ivo Henfling
Costa Rica coffee and Costa Rica real estate have a lot in common, they can both be the ultimate experience, as long as you pick the right one. I remember very well my first cup of coffee in Costa Rica, it was totally horrible.
Café con leche in Spanish, coffee with milk, or white in English was too white and awful. It was milk with coffee; my stomach still hurts when I think of it. But that was 30 years ago the way the Ticos would drink their coffee and we had to get used to it.
Europeans, and mostly we Dutch, grow up drinking coffee, much more than the North Americans do. But we grow up with a mix or blend of different types of coffee and not with Arabica coffee only. For many years, Costa Rica had a protection stop on coffee imports.
At the time, there were really only 2 brands of coffee. Café Rey, which was the strongest Costa Rican coffee on the market, was roasted with sugar, strong as hell and a bit sweet. But doable because the locals would serve a little bit of this coffee with a lot of milk. The 2nd brand was café Volio, not as strong and with just a tiny bit of milk it tasted like coffee. Either way, after a while you would get used to it and think you were really drinking coffee.
Costa Rica was exporting its best quality coffee in bulk and just like in most countries, the good stuff gets exported and the locals get stiffed with the leftovers. Years later, Steve Aronson, invented café Britt, the first export quality coffee in Costa Rica sold in 1 pound bags.
Mr. Aronson showed what he was good at: marketing. Suddenly, Costarican coffee was turned into gourmet coffee. That is like saying that the Escazu condos I have for sale are gourmet condos or designer condos. Of course the Costa Rica condos we sell are more elegant, extremely chic, very sexy and more vibrant than the condos any of my competitors sell. It is all a matter of presenting your product right.
Café Britt started a new era in the Costarican coffee business and they have done very well. If you now go shopping in any Costarican supermarket, you’ll find a wide range from environmentally responsible coffee to exotic jungle coffee and whatever the marketers can come up with.
I must say, being a born gourmet coffee drinker, Costa Rican coffee has come a long way in the last 30 years. I think it is time the Costa Rica real estate business gets some innovation. I cannot call myself a sexy real estate agent, nor can any of our agents.
When you shop for coffee, buy Costa Rica gourmet coffee. When you shop for Costa Rica real estate, buy the ultimate experience. Buy GoDutch Realty.