Costa Rica has historically been Central America’s most stable country. Politically, it has benefited from the abolition of the armed forces in the late 1940s. Economically, the country has traditionally benefited from agricultural products such as coffee, bananas, sugar and cocoa). More recently tourism and light industry have played an increasingly important role. Geographically Costa Rica is dominated by a high volcanic mountain range in the centre, trailing off down to both Caribbean and Pacific coasts.
The coffees grown here have for years been considered some of the best in the world. Comparatively high production costs have made it increasingly hard for Costa Rica to compete on ‘mainstream’ grades of coffee due to a price slump in the first few years of this decade. However, the speciality sector is booming due to an upsurge in demand, particularly from the US. Although some of these ‘speciality’ grades are questionable, the main regions such as Tarrazu and Tres Rios continue to offer fine qualities. The harvest period is from November to March.