Santa Bárbara, Costa Rica

Photo: Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort

You have to earn your cup of coffee today. The morning begins at Finca Rosa Blanca. More than 5,000 arabica trees cover 30 acres across the road from your resort. You learn about the history of the estate, the health of the trees, and the organic materials that are added to the soil. Young fruit is starting to grow on branches.

In a few months, ripened red beans will be ready to pick. It’s done by hand, of course. They’ll be pulped, fermented, and dried in the Beneficio after that. Sorting and roasting in La Casa de Cafe will follow. That’s where you evaluate the aroma and flavor profiles of two coffees during a cupping session. A perfect cappuccino and a homemade cashew muffin will follow.

Finca Rosa Blanca is a 20-year-old coffee estate. Its lush, shady grounds look more like a forest than a farm. More than 130 species of birds call it home. Usually, a resort is built on an expanding plantation. The reverse happened here. Thirty years ago, two American artists fell in love with the interior of Costa Rica. They built a home and filled it with art. Then they added on, turned it into a 14-room hotel, and bought the finca that was for sale across the road.

Photo: Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort

Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort is now an ideal first or last stop on your trip to San José. The resort lies 20 minutes northwest of the capital. It feels like it’s so much farther. Fruit orchards and an organic greenhouse, filled with herbs and vegetables, cover the hillside property in addition to the finca. Benches, a gazebo, sculptures, and butterflies are scattered in between them. The hotel looks like something that Gaudí would have created. The whitewashed building has a rambling layout with few straight lines. The whole resort overlooks the active Poás Volcano.

The interior has just as much character as the exterior. A fireplace, a waterfall, and tropical flowers fill the two-story, sunken atrium. Rustic-chic suites feature wood-beamed ceilings and massive murals. The bathrooms are decorated with colored tiles. They have jacuzzi tubs, too. While the spring-fed, infinity pool is an oasis with hidden decks and tangled vines.

Coffee is obviously available throughout the resort. It’s in your suite, so you can brew a cup first thing in the morning. It’s in El Targuá Wellness Retreat in the form of a scrub. It’s served with homemade biscuits on the terrace in the afternoon. It’s even hidden in the mayonnaise, the salsa, the sauces, and the ice cream in the tasting menu at El Tigre Vestido, the open-air, farm-to-table restaurant. It’s a good thing you now know exactly where your coffee came from.

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