Generally speaking, Central Valley cherries produce a very well balanced cup, in which the consumer can identify chocolaty and fruity tastes, as well as the smell of honey, among others.
The Central Valley is conformed by the provinces of San José, Heredia and Alajuela; it is Costa Rica’s most populated region and the seat of San José, its capital. This is where the coffee was first cultivated, before extending to the other producing regions.
Coffee growing started here during the last decade of the XVIII century: the first export of one quintal to Panamá was registered in 1820. Coffee and its export, mainly to Europe, brought to Costa Rica the railway, the postal service, the press, the first university, education and the building of the National Theater, among other structures.
Under the influence of the Pacific watershed, these privileged lands enjoy well-defined wet and dry seasons, favoring the establishment and successful cultivation of the cherry. The Central Region extends between 900 and 1,600 meters (2,952 to 5,249 feet) of altitude.
However, 80% of the coffee areas is found at altitudes between 1,000 and 1,400 meters (3,280 to 4,593 feet). Altitude and climatic factors affect the size and hardness of the cherry and influence the quality of the beverage, particularly its acidity. To these elements one must add the innate characteristics of Arabica coffee, which offers an aromatic, well-tasting brew.
This region’s soil has a slight tropical acidity, a result of its enrichment by volcanic ashes. An abundance of organic materials favors adequate root distribution, a hold humidity and good oxygenation. This combination of conditions energizes the coffee tree and is one of the many factors that contribute to the excellent quality of Costa Rican coffee.