October 12 is a very important day for Costa Rican coffee and even more special in 2020 since 200 years of the first coffee export are celebrated. There are many reasons to celebrate it in style and it is because a part of Costa Rican history that largely shaped the country is often forgotten.

Let's go back in time a little to learn more about the history of Costa Rican coffee. If this year marks 200 years since the first export, it means that cultivation began a few years earlier. There is no exact date or origin of where the first seeds came from, but the most accurate information is that Father Félix Velarde in his will from 1816 states that he left an 8-year-old coffee plot.

Only 4 years later the first export of 2 bags to Panama took place. It must be kept in mind that during that time, Costa Rica was still a Spanish colony, which was mired in poverty and the cultivation of coffee was a light on the way out of that situation.

Decisions such as distributing coffee trees for free in 1821 and decreeing in 1831 that anyone who grew coffee for five years on vacant land could later claim it as their own. This accelerated the popularity of the crop and with it exports, which in 1840 were 440,000 quintals. The income that this generated promoted the country's development, for example, the first higher education institution in Costa Rica was founded: the Santo Tomás University. What is now the San Juan de Dios Hospital was also created, banking was revitalized, railroads to the Atlantic and Pacific were built and, not to mention, the National Theater was built. At the time, coffee was so important for the country that it was the only export product until 1890, the year in which a tax on coffee exports was established.

The situation has changed a lot since the 1800s and the various crop crises that led to the decrease in the area of ​​coffee-producing land and high domestic consumption gave way to a situation that many cannot even imagine: THE IMPORTATION OF COFFEE.

In Costa Rica, as illogical as it may sound, coffee imports have been increasing rapidly, reaching a growth of 294% from the period 2017-2018 to 2018-2019 according to data from the Central Bank in the Coffee Activity Report. from ICAFE. This figure means that 86% of the coffee consumed domestically has been imported. In very simple words, very little coffee is left in the country to meet domestic demand because most of it is exported. The reasons are various but they respond to an economic issue since Costa Rican coffee is highly valued abroad and is sold at better prices, compared to the market prices of imported coffees.

This is a reality that we do not like. We would like Costa Ricans to have access to the coffee that grows in these lands and to be able to taste the flavor and quality that is a reflection of the work of more than 200 years, as is our Café Don Lucas. In each of our presentations, we take care of leaving the best beans to be consumed here, in Costa Rica. We are committed to this mission and that is why we do our best to ensure that our coffee reaches your homes to delight you with what we do best, producing excellent coffees!

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