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The Britt’s Coffee Tour in Heredia

The first roasting machine- made in Vienna

Costa Rica is famous for agricultural products. Bananas, pineapples and coffee. Especially the production of the last one is usually an interesting thing for tourists. You can book coffee tours all over the country, doesn’t matter where you are. One of the most famous coffee companies of Costa Rica is Cafe Britt. In Heredia, 20 minutes away from San José, you can visit their factory. How to go there from San José? There are buses from the centre of San José to Heredia, from where you can arrive by feet. It´s about 10 to 15 minutes. They also offer a shuttle service, which you can include to your booking, but it`s more expensive. If you have a car, you can also go there easily by yourself. I booked the classic tour which lasted about one and a half hour. You can book your tickets online, but the sale always closes the same day of the tour. I wasn’t that well prepared so I just phoned them and I bought my ticket there. At the beginning of the tour, our guide told us a short summary of the coffee´s history. After that, we learned something about the different growing regions around the country and were able to try coffee for the first time: A darker roasted one and a lighter one.

Because of the rain, we continued with the indoor program: Firstly, our guide explained the growing process of coffee plants, from the first seed to the next generations of beans. Afterwards we learned how to try coffee like an expert. Two volunteers were able to do it. I was one of them, but the others also enjoyed it, because we looked really funny. The last step of the indoor program was a presentation of all the Britt’s´ coffees from the different parts of Costa Rica and a description of their taste. During this part of the tour we were also able to ask questions and I really wanted to know where the name Britt came from: Britt is a Costa Rican company but obviously this is not a Spanish name. According to the guide, Cafe Britt had been the first company, which roasted the coffee beans in the same country where they were harvested. So, when they had started their concept was kind of new and risky. Because of economic reasons, the had chosen the name Britts because it would sound like a Scandinavian name and at this time, these countries had consumed a lot of coffee. Another fun fact is, that the first roasting machine was made in Vienna and you can still look at it, but it´s not used anymore. After the indoor part, we took a walk through their garden, which is full of coffee plants. There were the smaller ones, which were just 10 centimetres high but also grown-ups with green berries. At the end there were also unroasted green coffee beans.

The last stop was the factory, which is their only one in Costa Rica and not really huge. The tour ended at the shop. Please note, that one of their goals is to sell their products and that it´s also a lot about advertising the stuff, you will see later in the shop. You don’t have to buy there anything but you can try all of their coffees and some of their chocolates for free, which was also great fun.

This is what young coffee plants look like

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