The Central Valley is composed of the provinces of San José, Heredia and Alajuela. It is the most highly populated region of Costa Rica, where the capital, San José, is located. Here, coffee plantations were first established and were then taken to the other seven coffee growing regions.
Coffee plantations began in the last decade of the 18th century. In 1820, the first export of a quintal of coffee to Panama was recorded. In Costa Rica, with coffee export mainly to Europe, came the railroad, the post office, the printing press, the first university, as well as culture and education and the construction of the National Theater, among other works.
Influenced by the Pacific slope, these privileged lands have well-defined wet and dry seasons, favoring the crops’ successful establishment and production. The Central Valley coffee region ranges from 900 to 1,600 meters of altitude; however, more than 80% of coffee plantations are located between 1,000 and 1,400 meters above sea level.
Altitude and climatic factors have an effect on the size and hardness of coffee beans and influence certain components of the beverage’s quality, in particular, its acidity. These elements complement the features of Arabica coffee, which offer an aromatic, delicate and tasty drink.
Soils have a slight degree of tropical acidity, as they are enriched with volcanic ash, making them rich in organic matter and favoring a good distribution of roots, humidity retention and proper oxygenation. These characteristics add strength to the plant and are one of the many factors contributing to the superb quality of Costa Rican coffee.