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Our blog explores the rich worlds of coffee and chocolate, combined with the vibrant essence of Costa Rican culture. Discover creative recipes, intriguing coffee origins, and cultural tales that extend far beyond the cup.

NAVIGATE A COFFEE PLANTATION LIKE A PRO

NAVIGATE A COFFEE PLANTATION LIKE A PRO

October 30, 2023

WAYS TO KEEP COFFEE FARMING SUSTAINABLE

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October 18, 2023

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DARK CHOCOLATE BARKS WITH CHÍA, PASSION FRUIT, AND GOJI BERRIES

DARK CHOCOLATE BARKS WITH CHÍA, PASSION FRUIT, AND GOJI BERRIES

DARK CHOCOLATE BARKS WITH CHÍA, PASSION FRUIT, AND GOJI BERRIES

Café Britt Dark Chocolate Barks with Chia, Passion Fruit, and Goji Berries Reach for Cafe Britt dark chocolate barks with chai, passion fruit, and goji berries any time of the day. This sweet treat is packed with superfoods that serve as the perfect midday pick-me-up. Enjoy the chocolaty bark with your...

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DARK CHOCOLATE BARKS WITH QUINOA, CRANBERRIES, AND CACAO NIBS

DARK CHOCOLATE BARKS WITH QUINOA, CRANBERRIES, AND CACAO NIBS

Café Britt's chocolate bark is dark chocolate with quinoa, cranberries, and cacao nibs. It's 70% cocoa, gluten-free, non-GMO and vegan. Thanks to our commitment to quality, our chocolate comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. It's the ideal snack to relax and uplift your mood confidently because it's delicious and has several...

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DARK CHOCOLATE BARKS WITH ALMONDS, GUAVA, AND COCONUT

DARK CHOCOLATE BARKS WITH ALMONDS, GUAVA, AND COCONUT

Created in our kitchens by our Master Chocolatier, this infusion of crispy almonds, juicy guava, and moist coconut takes gourmet chocolate to the next level. Using the finest dark chocolate, we've created a chocolate bark that is marvellously moreish and great for snacking or gifting to a loved one. Made...

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Our trip has been amazing. This is our third time in Sri Lanka and possibly my favourite trip. I am already planning my next one.

A visit to Café Britt gives you an idea of how the modern-day coffee industry operates. The finca grows the country’s best-known brand and is the most important exporter of Costa Rican coffee to the world at large. Guides take you through the history of coffee growing in Costa Rica, demonstrating how crucial this export crop was to the development of the country, with a rather polished presentation and thorough descriptions of the processes involved in harvesting and selecting the beans. Once you’ve enjoyed a tour of the plantation, roasting factory and drying patios, it’s back for a coffee-cupping demo and, of course, the inevitable stop in the gift shop. There are also extended “Coffee Lovers”, “Coffee and Adventure” and “Coffee and Waterfalls” tours.

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Café Britt Coffee Tours, Costa Rica Image

Café Britt Coffee Tours, Costa Rica

About 20 minutes from Alajuela city and just outside the town of Heredia, is the Café Britt Tour Center. Besides the Classic Coffee Tour, Café Britt offers several other guided tours that are combined with the coffee tour. Check online for tour packages and times. Several tours include lunch and round trip transportation to the Café Britt Coffee Tour Center and other sites like the La Paz Waterfall Gardens. © Flickr/Gray Line Costa Rica

Salida a 106 Ulloa Heredia, Heredia

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Cafe Britt CoffeeTour

(506) 2277-1500

Learn about Coffee in a fun and enchanting way. The CoffeeTour at Café Britt runs year-round, seven days a week. From December 15 to April 30, tours run at 9:00 AM, 11:00AM and 3:00 PM during the rest of the year tours run at 11:00AM only. We provide transportation from convenient pick-up points in San José. We are located in Heredia, from the National University continue up the hill then, follow to the right the CoffeeTour signs on the road towards the village of Barva.

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Cafe Britt Coffee Tour

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What to Expect

This fascinating tour is beyond the typical; just about 30 minutes from San Jose , guests arrive at the working farm in the middle highlands, of this lush tropical land to enjoy a renewing nature walk through verdant foliage, surrounded by tropical scents and sounds, capped with a lighthearted live stage play about working with coffee, the value of the crop, and life in Costa Rica.

Throughout the tour, visitors learn about the entire cycle; from a small, green bean, to your local coffee bar. A cupping demonstration lends enlightenment into what makes a coffee “gourmet” , and how to properly taste, detect and assess its characteristics.

Coffee means a lot to the people here, and is recognized as a major contributor to democracy of this nation, but more than that, it’s also a major thread through the cultural and economic tapestry of Costa Rica. This is all brought to life in a most enjoyable way throughout the tour, where visitors enjoy the unfolding story of two farm workers and how this precious bean has affected their lives. Like the Costa Rican people in general, these are warm, friendly people that are quick to share their pride-and story-with a dramatic flourish.

While it sounds like a lot of walking, this a leisurely-paced tour over easy terrain, and can easily be undertaken by anyone in good health. Families with children are not only welcome, but parents will appreciate the structure of the entire tour, as it easily entertains even those with short attention spans.

Available Tour Packages

The Classic Coffee Tour includes a leisurely, but educational guided walk through the farm, with discussion of growing, harvesting, sustainability practices, and more, and includes a stop at the aromatic roasting plant. Following the walk, guests enjoy a witty live play, and then lunch at Don Prospero, the lovely on-site buffet restaurant. After lunch, spend some time to wander a little or buy coffee & more in the gift shop. This tour lasts approximately 1 1/2 hours.

The Cappuccino Tour is the same as the classic, but with an espresso presentation and demonstration, with instruction in making that perfect cup of espresso. Add an hour for the demonstration, for a total time of 2 1/2 hours.

The Coffee Lover’s Tour is for those that hunger for even more knowledge and coffee experience. This tour combines the Cappuccino tour with a ride to Tiera Madre, where guests visit the wet mill and enjoy a “cupping”, or coffee tasting. The mill adds an hour to the total time, for a time total of about 3 1/2 hours.

The drama is scheduled daily at 11:00AM, every day, all year long. In high season, from December through April, the show also runs at 3:00PM. All tours, presentations and discussion are conducted simultaneously in English and Spanish. Cafe Britt offers transportation from all of Costa Rica’s hotels, or transportation can be arranged locally. Most cruise lines offer pre-arranged shore excursions that may be purchased onboard.

Helpful Tips

Naturally, given the tropical climate, participants will want to wear cool, light, breathable clothing and certainly good walking shoes. A hat and sunblock are always recommended in tropical climates, too.

Guests should plan to take group transportation, not only for safety, but also for economy and logistics, too. If visiting from a cruise ship, take the excursion offered onboard rather than planning to “go it alone”, as any mishaps could leave passengers stranded. In such circumstances, it is far better to have the cruise line solve the problem.

This tour captures what travel is all about; despite the acting, it introduces visitors to real people and real situations. Sure, it may be a bit campy, but its fun and its real, and if taken for a good time in the volcanic Costa Rican jungle, the Cafe Britt Coffee Tour is well worth the time-and coffee.

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Cafe Britt Coffee Tour

Cafe Britt Coffee Tour

Type: Outdoor Activities , Tours and Excursions , Uniquely Here

Last updated on June 29, 2015

10Best Says

Santa Lucia, Heredia Heredia,

506 2277 1600

Sophia LaMonica

EXPERT TIPS BY: Sophia LaMonica Costa Rica Local Expert

  • Tours and Excursions , Best Attractions & Activities : "Check out the larger-than-life Costa Rican folk-lore puppets and orchid garden walk before the tour begins."
  • Best for Tours and Excursions Because: Learn why Costa Rica's coffee is so treasured around the world on this flavorful and educational tour.
  • Recommended as Best Attractions & Activities Because: Learning about Costa Rica's important role in the global coffee trade is just one of the perks of this tour.

Best Things to Do in Costa Rica

  • 10 White Water Rafting on the Rio Pacuare with Exploradores
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A Classic Costa Rican Coffee Tour at Cafe Britt

  • Jenn and Matt

15 Comments

When our friend Lauren (a.k.a. the Altecocker ) was visiting Costa Rica on her 55th home exchange last year, we knew that we had to make the trip to San José to see her. But with only a couple of days to explore together, we wondered what we could do close to the city. Wanting some kind of cultural activity, we quickly decided on a tour of Cafe Britt, one of the country’s gourmet coffee producers.  Costa Rica has lots of choices for coffee tours and this post will give you a recap of our visit to Cafe Britt to help you decide if it’s right for you. 

Cafe Britt Mural | Two Weeks in Costa Rica

Cafe Britt has been growing and roasting coffee in Costa Rica since 1985. They were one of the first producers in the country that saw the value in keeping a portion of their best quality beans in Costa Rica, instead of selling them all abroad. Since then, they have developed a reputation, and their products are now found at many of Costa Rica’s best hotels, restaurants, and even the airport gift shops.

The Cafe Britt Tour

Cafe Britt offers two tours, the Classic Coffee Tour and a longer Coffee and Nature Tour. We were coming for the coffee and weren’t interested in going to an ecological park, so we opted for the Classic Tour.

A Theatrical Spin

The tour started like any coffee tour would with an introduction about how the beans are grown. We learned about the lifecycle of the coffee plant, some of the work that goes into growing and maintaining the crop, and then walked around a small coffee field to see the red berries for ourselves.

Ripe Coffee Beans Cafe Britt | Two Weeks in Costa Rica

It didn’t take much time for us to figure out that this wouldn’t be any ordinary coffee tour. In between details about the growing process, our two guides, who were dressed in traditional attire, constantly cracked jokes, playing off of one another in a very theatrical way. It was clear that their act had been well polished, but we were still laughing at the hokey Tico humor. They were really quite funny.

Afterwards, we all headed into a large theater to watch a short movie about the history of Costa Rica’s coffee industry and to learn about the different regions where coffee is grown. Like the outdoor portion of the tour, this part was also theatrical. The guides would jump on stage and interact with the movie, throwing oversized burlap bags of coffee into a miniature coffee truck. It was a little corny like the previous skit outside, but funny, and kept the whole audience entertained, including the kids.

After the show, our guides brought up some volunteers and had them help brew coffee the traditional way using a wooden contraption and cotton sock called a chorreador . They also taught us about French Press methods and the drawbacks of regular old drip coffee pots, including some of the science behind it all.

Cafe Britt Tour | Two Weeks in Costa Rica

Tasting the Glorious Coffee

After having smelled coffee for what seemed like an eternity, we moved to the main building (and gift shop) where we got to taste some freshly brewed java. Inside, all of Cafe Britt’s coffee varieties were spaced out along the walls beside thermoses and tasting cups. Conveniently, bags of coffee and chocolates were available for purchase as well. Some of our favorite blends were the Tres Ríos (Three Rivers) from the Irazú Volcano region and the Fair Trade dark roast from the mountainous Brunca region in the Southern Zone.

After the coffee tasting, we headed into the open-air room next door for lunch. We usually don’t opt for lunch on tours because they tend to be mediocre and overpriced, but figured it was convenient and would give us a chance to spend more time with Lauren. Admittedly, we had very low expectations for this part, but ended up being impressed with the buffet. Over nicely prepared typical food like rice and beans, a choice of meats, sides and salads, and some rice pudding, we chatted with Lauren. As usual, she shared some of her hilarious stories of traveling the world. With a lifetime of swapping her house for places in Australia, Poland, Spain, and of course the one here in Costa Rica, she always has some fascinating stories to tell .

Matt and Jenn with Lauren

We weren’t quite sure what to expect on the Cafe Britt tour, but really enjoyed it and would recommend it to others. The tour isn’t as intimate and personal as ones we’ve done with smaller growers, but has a much broader appeal. It’s the type of tour that is good for anyone, from younger kids to older adults.

Classic Coffee Tour (1.5 hours): $22 per person or $37 with lunch. Tours are offered four times a day at 9:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 12:45 p.m., and 3:15 p.m. Coffee and Nature Tour (4 hours, includes visit to INBioparque): $68 per person, includes lunch. 11:00 a.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday only.

For more information and directions, visit CoffeeTour.com .

(Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are connected to affiliate programs we have joined. If you make a purchase using one of the links, we get a small commission. This doesn’t cost you anything extra and helps us keep providing information on this website for free. Thanks for your support!)

Have you taken the Cafe Britt tour? We’d love to hear about your experience. Leave us a comment below.

You asked for it… Haha.

My wife and I did take the Britt tour. And maybe it is because we had just completed an intimate, one on one, tour of a smaller coffee company, but we had a hard time with the sing songy, Six-Flags/Disney World way in which the information was presented.

Like you said – the Britt tour was hokey and we felt herded with the other 30 or so people that were on the tour with us.

The tour we took just a month or so before (each of our moms had come a month apart and we didn’t want to do the same tour twice) was truly incredible. We had a guide to ourselves and were able to ask any question at any time and to move along the tour at our own pace.

I am glad you liked the Britt tour – I am sure there are many who feel the same. Since we live here, we are more interested in the actual information than in its presentation and therefore prefer the smaller growers.

Sorry to hear, Greg, that you didn’t enjoy the tour. We’ve done some of the smaller tours here ourselves–loved El Toledo in Atenas–and agree that there is definitely a difference between the experiences, but don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. Hearing from a passionate small producer is amazing, but we enjoyed Britt’s fun and humorous tour just as much, albeit in a different way. We get asked a lot about something quick to do close to San Jose and thought this would interest a lot of different people.

Hi Jenn and Matt,

We’re looking for a suggestion for a coffee plantation (ideally between San Jose and San Ramon) that might have a brief tour. We’re traveling with a 3 year old who won’t have the interest in the 2 hour tours I’ve been finding, but my mom would really love to see a little something while we’re in CR.

Alternatively, we arrive in San Jose at 12pm and are spending the night in San Ramon before heading to Arenal (and later Monteverde and Manuel Antonio). Any must-do’s for that first day since we’ll have a few hours and we’ll want to do something!?

Hi Christin, There’s a great coffee tour in Atenas (El Toledo), but I don’t think it’s less than 2 hrs. It takes place outside, though, in a very casual setting so it might be okay with your three year old. The Britt tour is really the best one with kids because it’s very interactive.

If you’re looking for something to do near San José, you could read our How to Spend 1 or 2 Days in San Jose post. There’s also a great Children’s Museum near downtown. Otherwise, there’s Zoo Ave or the Botanical Orchid Garden (both covered in our Atenas post).

I always love information like this – where you get to behind the scenes look at how something is produced. I think there’s room for bigger companies like this as well as smaller, family run one’s. It shows the gamut of the industry and different practices. Something for everyone!

Totally agree, Kelly. It’s interesting to see industry practices on different scales. We’ll have a post coming out soon about our visit to a smaller grower which will be a good way to contrast.

This was something I wanted to do but never did. Only me and another girl stayed in San Jose for our internships and it was something she never had interest in. And since it wasn’t “right” in the city (well, obviously 🙂 I just wasn’t up for doing it alone. You can bet what one of the things I’ll be doing whenever I return! Glad to hear the experience pleasantly surprised you.

It’s not too far from downtown, Julie, but you’re right, a bit out of the way. Definitely an easy stop though for next time you’re in town!

I’m heading to Costa Rica in January and definitely want to do a coffee tour so I’ll be checking this out.

It’s a fun one, Sky, you’ll like it. Thanks for reading and let us know if you have any questions as you plan your trip!

Sounds like a cool tour. I just went to a small coffee plantation in the Jardin, but they didn’t roast on premises so there wasn’t any to drink. It was Ash Wednesday. Everyone in the town square had a little ashy cross on their foreheads. You said the coffee was fair trade. Did you get any sense of the labour conditions on the farm?

Hi Donny, Cafe Britt gets their coffee from co-ops all over Costa Rica. Where they have the tour, they only have a small coffee field- most of the beans come from elsewhere. Our understanding is that Costa Rica is different from many other countries in Latin America in that most coffee here is produced by small, family-run growers so I don’t think there are the same labor issues. Britt is big into social responsibility and says they only work with small and medium sized growers and pay above market prices.

I did the Don Juan tour out of Monteverde. Had a great time as well. They really teach you quite a bit about the plant that you never knew! Had a great time! You can see my post if you like on my website.

Hi Jenn & Matt,

Your website has been so helpful for our trip! We’re wondering if there are any coffee tours that you would recommend around Uvita? Thanks!

Hi Tina, We haven’t done this tour yet but there is a smaller option called Fallas Coffee . They sell at the farmer’s market in Uvita on Wednesdays. I think they’re located on the road to San Josecito.

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visit cafe britt costa rica

Quick Facts

  • Location : Barva, Heredia
  • Altitude : 3,845 feet above sea level
  • Area : 6 acres
  • Hours : 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily
  • Telephone : 2277-1600
  • Entrance Fee : $20-$35; reservations recommended

Founded in 1985, Cafe Britt is Costa Rica's first gourmet coffee roasting business. The company purchases high quality beans from the country's best plantations, then roasts the coffee in their own mills under the watchful eyes of experienced roasters. The result is a nationwide cooperative designed to produce bold, rich coffees that are both environmentally friendly and available locally, as well as on the international market.

Coffee Tours: 

Become one of more than 500,000 visitors to Cafe Britt in Barva de Heredia, a small town just seven miles north of San Jose. Since Cafe Britt is a coffee roaster, not grower, the grounds are a replica coffee plantation, reproducing the elements of authentic fields, a coffee mill, and a roaster. Part education, part entertainment, the tour employs professional actors to inject humor and theater at every turn.

The tour begins with a greeting from Don Prospero, the plantation's fictional owner. Leading guests to the coffee nursery, Don Prospero and his assistants – his knowledgeable family members – delve into the lifecycle of a coffee bean. If the plants are ripe, visitors are invited to taste raw coffee cherries while tour guides explain why Costa Rica's unique climate, volcanic soil, and shade-bearing trees produce such high quality coffee beans. 

Progressing through the green-and-red fields, guests are introduced to the harvesting process. Armed with just two hands and a large, woven basket, a guide demonstrates the cherry-picking process – and explains why handpicked fruits are far superior to machine harvested. Lured by the scents of delicious java roasts, the next stop is at Britt's roasting headquarters. Here, visitors watch the five-step roasting process: bean selection, peeling, soaking, drying and roasting. 

The excursion ends at the Cafe Britt Theater, where the tour's guides don their theatrical finery and put on a humorous show to illustrate the history of coffee, particularly in Costa Rica. Diehard coffee connoisseurs will enjoy the four-hour Coffee Lovers Tour, which combines the Classic Coffee Tour with a visit to a working wet mill in San Rafael de Heredia, a presentation on how to select the best beans, and coffee brewing classes with a professional barista.

Cafe Britt's popular Classic Coffee Tour begins at 9:30 and 11 a.m. daily; there is an additional 3 p.m. tour December 15-April 30. The Coffee Lovers Tour begins at 11 a.m. daily. Roundtrip transportation and buffet lunches are optional add-ons.

Facilities: 

There is a large souvenir shop, coffee bar, and restaurant in Cafe Britt's main building. The Classic Coffee Tour navigates mostly paved trails, so closed footwear is not necessary. Hiking shoes are recommended for the Coffee Lovers Tour.

Typical daytime temperatures run 75 to 80°F. Take a raincoat or umbrella during the rainy season (May-November).

Getting There: 

Car: From the National University in downtown Heredia, follow Route 3 north until it ends at a T-intersection. Turn left, drive five blocks and make a right on Route 126. Pass the Auto Mercado supermarket on the right side and Barva castle on the left, and follow signs to Cafe Britt.

Cafe Britt in Pictures

Drying beans doka coffee estate - costa rica.

visit cafe britt costa rica

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Café Britt was founded in 1985 as the first gourmet coffee roaster in Costa Rica. Before Café Britt, it was virtually impossible to find a memorable cup of coffee in Costa Rica, even though we were growing some of the world’s most outstanding coffee beans. The simple fact was that the best coffee was exported.

Since 1991, our Coffee Tour has educated and entertained nearly 1 million coffee lovers through a colorful and original journey from the plantation to the roasting plant.

During this unique journey, our visitors enjoy:

  • Extensive green areas and colorful gardens
  • A masquerade exhibition featuring Costa Rican legends
  • An entertaining presentation on the history and culture of coffee in Costa Rica
  • A coffee seedling nursery
  • Our sustainable coffee plantation
  • Our roasting plant
  • A demonstration of our coffee cupping
  • An entertaining tour through the country’s coffee-growing regions
  • A tasting session of our coffee and chocolates

visit cafe britt costa rica

CONTACT INFORMATION

[email protected]

www.offeetour.com

Britt Coffee Tour, Heredia, Costa Rica

Costa Rica Azul Travel Facebook

Conclude your tour with a visit to our well-stocked coffee-and-gift store. Then enjoy a delicious lunch of creative cuisine prepared with Costa Rica’s freshest produce at our on-site Don Prospero restaurant. See if you can stump our baristas by ordering any coffee drink you can imagine!.

Visit our roastery store gift shop “La Casita” and sample our delicious chocolate-covered coffee beans, exquisite coffee liqueur, gourmet candy line and other irresistible treats. Take advantage of the best prices on all our fine products. Take them with you or have them shipped right to your door anywhere in the world.

Discover why the Café Britt Classic Coffee Tour has become a must-see for individuals and tour groups of all ages and physical abilities. .

Our professional guides are courteous coffee experts trained in world-class customer service. We work hard to exceed your expectations. We'll settle for no less..

coffee drink

Tel: (506) 2261-8889 Cel: (506) 8948-8383 Whatsapp: 8948-8383 E-mail: [email protected]

The Retro Penguin

Britt Coffee Tour – Costa Rica

visit cafe britt costa rica

San Jose, Costa Rica is overflowing with things to do. It’s funny because most people immediately flock to the big-ticket items when visiting Costa Rica; beaches, volcanoes, waterfalls, the list goes on. There are so many incredible and exotic experiences to be had all over the country that sometimes travelers ignore the capital city. However, the San Jose area also offers tons of fun activities. One in particular, the Britt coffee tour, is close to my heart because I did it when I was 11 and I’ve always remembered it!

Interestingly enough, I didn’t start drinking coffee until about 2 years ago. Throughout college I actually drank energy drinks because I could never get used to the coffee taste. However, once I started traveling more I realized that energy drinks were sometimes difficult to find in foreign countries. This lead me to make the move to coffee – you can get a cup of it basically anywhere! I eventually quit energy drinks altogether (probably for the better) and now have a go-to coffee instead.

britt coffee tour costa rica

The Britt coffee tour offers you the opportunity to visit and tour a working Britt coffee plantation. You get walked through the entire coffee-making process – from the ground into your cup. You even get to taste test 🙂 We got rained on (it’s Costa Rica, not surprising!) but it was so much fun getting to see all stages of the process. Our tour guides were also extremely friendly and personable and they made the educational portion quite entertaining.

britt coffee tour costa rica

Our tour guides! They did the entire tour in both English and Spanish to accommodate the different nationalities in our group.

britt coffee tour costa rica

The plantation itself is quite beautiful, and only sits about 30 minutes north of the city center. We took an uber to the plantation from San Jose and it cost about 5,000-7,000 colones – roughly $10-$15 USD. Also, unless you’re in high-peak season, it should be fairly easy to get a reservation; we called same-day. Once the tour is over you can have lunch at their on-site restaurant and browse the gift shop for coffee and coffee flavored goodies to take home. FUN FACT: You can sample most of their chocolates for FREE. We opted to have lunch nearby at La Carretica , a local restaurant serving typical Costa Rican cuisine. The on-site restaurant seemed a bit pricey. Up the road there is also a bar called Bar España. You’re welcome.

If you’re looking for something fun to do while you’re in San Jose, I definitely recommend looking at doing a coffee tour! It’s a great tour for a laid back day when you’re not hiking through the rainforest. They’ll also incorporate you into their skits and demonstrations and it’s a great way to embarrass your friends and family. 🙂

Hope you enjoyed!

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Wow, would love to go on a coffee tour too! And the rainforest scenery is so gorgeous <3

Enclothed Cognition

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It’s really fun and a very laid-back activity 🙂

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Wow amazing impressions. They are so cool and interesting! xoxo Vanessa Vanessa Kawali – Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

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Wow! These pictures are awesome! Can’t beat coffee in Costa Rica! x. kritsida http://aperfectcanvas.net/

Thank you! Yes the coffee there is wonderful 🙂

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Looks so incredible!!! xx http://thedemeler.com

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Café Britt plantation using shade grown methods

Taking a Tour of Café Britt Finca & Roastery in Costa Rica

* This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you make a purchase through these links (at no additional cost to you) I will earn a small commission. Click here for the full disclosure *

While in Costa Rica for a short whirlwind trip , we visited Café Britt Finca and Roastery in Heredia to the north of San José. As with everything we did on that trip, taking the tour there was a last-minute based on what we felt like doing and what we could manage with our limited time in the country. That said, Sunday night after our adventure white water rafting on Río Pacuare , we booked a tour for Monday afternoon to Café Britt, Costa Rica’s first gourmet coffee roaster.

Coffee plantation using shade grown methods

Getting to Café Britt

The tour we selected included transportation to and from San José with an easy to find pickup location. After doing some souvenir shopping nearby, and with only about twenty minutes until our pickup time we walked over the pickup location.

Lo and behold, while we were waiting the rain that had been forecasted for our entire five day trip finally found us! The sudden downpour chased us under an overhang in front of some shops so we put on our rain coats and pulled the rain cover over my travel backpack (one of my favorite travel gear items). The shuttle ride was fairly uneventful and we spent most of the drive chatting with the two fellow Americans we were sharing the ride with.

Rain continued to come down when we arrived at Café Britt, and since parts of the tour are outdoors, ponchos and umbrellas are available from the information desk. Our tour of Café Britt began with a brief history on the origin of coffee and how it spread around the world. The lively guide then moved onto the ideal conditions for cultivating the coffea plant and how the growing conditions affect the flavor of the beans. How coffee beans are roasted further affects the flavor which is why you can find so many varieties of coffee with different roasts and flavor profiles.

Café Britt coffee roasting and blending equipment

Fun fact: coffee beans aren’t actually beans. They’re actually the seeds of the fruit of coffea plants which are usually referred to as ‘cherries.’ Before moving onto the nursery next to the plantation to learn about the life cycle of coffea plant from seed to plantation, we were provided with light roast and dark roast samples to try. Not being a big fan of coffee at the time, I preferred the lighter roast while my hubby enjoyed the darker roast. Either way, the hot beverage was much appreciated since with the rainy weather came cooler temperatures.

From Seed to Tree

Growing cycle of coffee plants at Café Britt plantation in Costa Rica

To cultivate new trees, the seeds are placed under banana leaves to retain moisture and promote growth. Once the small sprouts spring up, they’re moved to bags and paired with a ‘roommate’ for approximately a year. At that point they’re large enough to be transplanted into the plantation.

Coffea plants begin producing fruit after 3-5 years and will continue to produce for about 50 more years. Traditionally coffee has been ‘shade grown’ where the plantation fields are shared with banana trees that soak up excess moisture as well as taller trees that push the wind down amongst the lower plants. Shade grown coffee is considered organic and more ecologically friendly as it provides habitat for many species of animals, birds, and insects.

Harvesting the Caffeine Coffee

Unripe green coffee cherries on coffea plants in a coffee plantation

One of the most astounding things we learned was that the cherries are traditionally harvested by hand once they’ve ripened from green to a red color. Since the cherries begin to ferment quickly they must be processed within 24 hours of being picked. This processing involves removal of the skin and flesh of the cherries from the ‘beans’ followed by over a week of drying out in the sun. At this point in the process, the dried beans can be stored up to a year before being roasted.

The tour included an in-depth explanation of the different roasts (light, dark, espresso) and how the roast affects the amount of caffeine in the finished product. Professional tasters determine the roasts for each batch of beans and then the blends that are eventually brewed into cups of coffee enjoyed around the world.  

Fun for All Ages

Coffee tasting lesson on Café Britt tour

Some of the tour was a bit cheesy and theatrical, but it was still very informative and enjoyable. For the java lovers with kids, this means you can enjoy learning about your morning fix without boring the kiddos.  

At the end of the tour we were able to sample Café Britt’s many varieties of coffees and chocolates in their gift shop. My husband picked up a bag for himself and a couple to bring back for friends and family. Even though I wasn’t a big coffee drinker at this point, I still enjoyed our tour and gained a new appreciation for coffee.

Curious about what other adventures we had in Costa Rica? You can find all  my Costa Rican posts here !

Are you a coffee drinker? Have you ever visited a place for the coffee?

Touring Café Britt Coffee Plantation in Costa Rica - Costa Rica's first gourmet coffee roaster offers tours of their farm and roasting facilities. Learn about how coffee is grown and harvested. #CostaRica #CafeBritt #Coffee #CostaRicanCoffee #SanJose #CoffeePlantation

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October 4, 2018 at 1:28 am

As I’m siting drinking my morning coffee this sounds like the perfect place for me to visit. A shame about the weather but I’m glad you still enjoyed your trip. Thank you for sharing. Nina

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October 4, 2018 at 11:11 am

Coffee in hand is the perfect way to read this article! I’d love to visit more coffee plantations in my travels and would recommend the experience for anyone. Thanks for stopping by!

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September 15, 2018 at 11:05 pm

Would love to travel to Costa Rica one day, it looks amazing! I’m a big lover of Coffee so I’d be in my element here 😀 Great post 👍

September 17, 2018 at 10:10 pm

You’ll love Costa Rica! There’s great coffee and food in addition to a plethora of fun things to do. I hope you get to visit there soon!

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Coffee harvesting

Café Britt Coffee Excursion

Guests with their guide are driven to Café Britt in the province of Heredia — about 30 minutes from San José . During the tour you follow the journey of a coffee bean from the plant to the cup.

Traditionally dressed guides will take you on an interactive tour around the six acres of coffee fields, tropical gardens and coffee processing facilities. The volcanic views from the plantation are spectacular along with those of the Central Valley.

As you learn about the cultivation of coffee in the fields you will be free to pick cherries or even a few dried beans to take home to grow a plant of your own. The roasting and packing facilities provide a great insight into how a red coffee cherry becomes a delicious cup of java.

At the end of the tour you will learn about the history of the coffee industry in the small theater within the grounds.

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Start planning your tailor-made trip by contacting one of our Costa Rica specialists

  • 617-223-4521 617-223-4965
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Other experiences in San José & Central Valley

These activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences around where you're staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident's eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can suggest tours and activities that will introduce you to the local ways of life.

River-rafting, Costa RIca

Pacuare River Rafting

This heart-thumping trip takes you along the Pacuare River's grade III and IV rapids, which wind their way through stunning virgin rainforest where a huge diversity of animals, birds and butterflies can be seen along the river's edge.

Howler monkey

Rain Forest Aerial Tram

The 2.6 km long ride lasts about 90 minutes and takes you on a fascinating journey through the canopy which is one of the most biologically diverse rainforests in Costa Rica.

Experience it for yourself

You can enjoy this activity as part of the suggested tours below, or we can weave it into a trip shaped entirely around you.

Sea lions, Galapagos Islands

Galapagos & Costa Rica tour

15 days from $12,300pp

Red-eyed Tree Frog, Costa Rica

Classic Costa Rica tour

12 days from $6,995pp

Arenal Volcano, Arenal Volcano

Discover Costa Rica

9 days from $5,500pp

Sloth, Costa Rica

Wildlife of Costa Rica

11 days from $7,305pp

Kura Design Villas, Costa Rica

Luxury Costa Rica

13 days from $13,920pp

Manuel Antonio

Classic Costa Rica self-drive tour

14 days from $7,995pp

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Birdwatching in Costa Rica

13 days from $6,800pp

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Family adventure in Costa Rica

10 days from $4,150pp

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Cruising through Costa Rica & Panama

10 days from $6,805pp

IMAGES

  1. Britt : le café star du Costa Rica

    visit cafe britt costa rica

  2. Café Britt focuses on chocolates, expands gourmet outlets in Costa Rica

    visit cafe britt costa rica

  3. Tour de Café Britt

    visit cafe britt costa rica

  4. Britt Coffee Tour

    visit cafe britt costa rica

  5. café Britt Costa Rica

    visit cafe britt costa rica

  6. Tour Cafe Britt Costa Rica

    visit cafe britt costa rica

COMMENTS

  1. Classic Coffee Tour

    Experience the original Costa Rican coffee tour at our farm located in Mercedes Norte, Heredia. Since 1991, over 500,000 guests from around the world have visited our plantation to learn about and share our passion for Costa Rican coffee. On our Classic Coffee Tour, our experts guide you through the life cycle of gourmet coffee.

  2. Coffeetour

    Britt Coffeetour is a must-see experience in Costa Rica. Enjoy a half-day coffee tour through our working plantation and roastery. ... Britt Cafe - Bakery; Special Events; Buy Coffee Online . Britt®, Café Britt®, Coffee Tour®, Britt Espresso®, Britt Café and Bakery®, Britt Iced®, Morpho Travel Retail® and all related brands and ...

  3. Welcome to Café Britt: Your Gateway to Costa Rican Gourmet Coffee

    COFFEE ACCESSORIES. CAFÉ BRITT GIFT SHOP. THE FLAVOR OF COSTA RICA. If you are lucky enough to have visited Costa Rica, Café Britt will be a familiar name. As Costa Rica's premier gourmet coffee for over 38 years, we are found nationwide at hotels, restaurants, gift shops, coffee shops, and more. What Our Customers Say.

  4. Britt Coffee Tour

    Farms. Open now. 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Write a review. About. Britt Coffee Tour has educated and entertained nearly 1 million friends and coffee lovers from around the world since 1991. We use humor and insight to show you the secrets behind an exquisite cup of coffee. Our experts lead the way on an enjoyable journey through the world of coffee.

  5. Café Britt

    A visit to Café Britt gives you an idea of how the modern-day coffee industry operates. The finca grows the country's best-known brand and is the most important exporter of Costa Rican coffee to the world at large. Guides take you through the history of coffee growing in Costa Rica, demonstrating how crucial this export crop was to the development of the country, with a rather polished ...

  6. Britt Coffee and Waterfalls

    On this tour you will: Visit our nursery to see how coffee is grown. Stroll through our sustainable coffee farm. Follow your nose to our coffee-roasting plant. Experience a professional coffee-tasting session, known as "cupping." Learn about the history and culture of coffee in Costa Rica. Sample our gourmet chocolates and coffees and take advantage of incredible factory prices.

  7. Visit Café Britt Coffee Tours, Costa Rica in Ulloa

    Salida a 106 Ulloa Heredia, Heredia. About 20 minutes from Alajuela city and just outside the town of Heredia, is the Café Britt Tour Center. Besides the Classic Coffee Tour, Café Britt offers several other guided tours that are combined with the coffee tour. Check online for tour packages and times. Several tours include lunch and round trip ...

  8. Cafe Britt CoffeeTour

    Local Travel Agencies; Cafe Britt CoffeeTour Cafe Britt CoffeeTour. 500 N y 400 Oeste del Automercado Heredia Costa Rica, Heredia (506) 2277-1500. Basic. EMAIL. WEBSITE. Learn about Coffee in a fun and enchanting way. The CoffeeTour at Café Britt runs year-round, seven days a week. ... Planning your Trip to Costa Rica ...

  9. Cafe Britt Coffee Tour: Costa Rica Travel Guide

    The drama is scheduled daily at 11:00AM, every day, all year long. In high season, from December through April, the show also runs at 3:00PM. All tours, presentations and discussion are conducted simultaneously in English and Spanish. Cafe Britt offers transportation from all of Costa Rica's hotels, or transportation can be arranged locally.

  10. Cafe Britt Coffee Tour

    Prices. Starting at $175 (USD) for 2 people (min 2 people) Check Prices. - / 15. At the Cafe Britt Coffee Tour our experts lead the way on an enjoyable journey through the world of coffee. Discover coffee's colorful history and the process that transforms the red coffee cherry into the delicious morning brew.

  11. Cafe Britt Coffee Tour is one of the very best things to do in Costa Rica

    Cafe Britt Coffee Tour: After a warm introduction and a brief history of coffee in Costa Rica, the tour begins with a stroll through the plantation of coffee, cacao, and many other tropical trees. A charismatic bi-lingual guide explains the growing cycles from the cranberry red fruit to the brown bean. The roastery is a real working factory where Café Britt is roasted and packaged; large ...

  12. A Classic Costa Rican Coffee Tour at Cafe Britt

    Classic Coffee Tour (1.5 hours): $22 per person or $37 with lunch. Tours are offered four times a day at 9:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 12:45 p.m., and 3:15 p.m. Coffee and Nature Tour (4 hours, includes visit to INBioparque): $68 per person, includes lunch. 11:00 a.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday only. For more information and directions, visit ...

  13. Cafe Britt

    Hours : 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Telephone : 2277-1600. Entrance Fee : $20-$35; reservations recommended. Founded in 1985, Cafe Britt is Costa Rica's first gourmet coffee roasting business. The company purchases high quality beans from the country's best plantations, then roasts the coffee in their own mills under the watchful eyes of ...

  14. Britt Coffee Tour

    April 18, 2022 Tours. 1. 2. 3. Café Britt was founded in 1985 as the first gourmet coffee roaster in Costa Rica. Before Café Britt, it was virtually impossible to find a memorable cup of coffee in Costa Rica, though we were growing some of the world's most outstanding coffee beans. The simple fact was that the best coffee was being exported.

  15. CAFE BRITT COFFEE TOUR, Costa Rica Azul Travel

    Café Britt's plantation in Heredia, one of Costa Rica's major tourist attractions, has been sharing our passion for the finest coffees with over 800,000 friends, amateurs and coffee lovers from all over the world since 1991.

  16. Britt Coffee Tour and Chocolate Tasting from San Jose

    Treat your taste buds to a sampling of Costa Rica's famed coffee paired with gourmet chocolate on this half-day tour of the Café Britt coffee plantation. See firsthand how this sustainable, gourmet producer grows, harvests, and roasts coffee beans to create the perfect aromatic cup. Visit the on-site coffee bar to taste several of Café Britt's different roasts, accompanied by chocolate ...

  17. Get your caffeine fix at the Britt Coffee Tour

    Founded in 1985, Cafe Britt brought the world of gourmet coffee to Costa Rica. Because of the ideal Costa Rica weather in the region and perfect soil, the coffee beans grown here were some of the best in the world. But the folks at Cafe Britt wanted to also make sure that they were creating blends with top-notch equipment while still being ...

  18. Coffee and Adventure

    Visit a cloud forest biological corridor. Zip line through the immense forest canopy, using 13 platforms and 8 cables. Enjoy beautiful trails and waterfalls. Visit our coffee nursery and sustainable coffee plantation. Follow your nose to our coffee roastery. Experience a professional coffee-tasting session, known as "cupping."

  19. Britt Coffee Tour

    The Britt coffee tour offers you the opportunity to visit and tour a working Britt coffee plantation. You get walked through the entire coffee-making process - from the ground into your cup. You even get to taste test 🙂 We got rained on (it's Costa Rica, not surprising!) but it was so much fun getting to see all stages of the process.

  20. Britt Coffee Origins

    At Café Britt, visitors can visit the Britt product factory store, the mini farm and the butterfly garden. Discover the certified plantation of Finca Los Cedros how the unique microclimates of Costa Rica, and their combination with the fertile lands, provide the ideal conditions to grow the best gourmet coffee beans.

  21. Taking a Tour of Café Britt Finca & Roastery in Costa Rica

    This processing involves removal of the skin and flesh of the cherries from the 'beans' followed by over a week of drying out in the sun. At this point in the process, the dried beans can be stored up to a year before being roasted. The tour included an in-depth explanation of the different roasts (light, dark, espresso) and how the roast ...

  22. Café Britt Coffee Excursion, Costa Rica

    Speak to a certified Costa Rica specialist to start planning your tailor-made vacation... Call one of our experts or arrange a video appointment for ideas and advice. 617-223-4521