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Coffee: Steeped in Tradition

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Coffee and its traditions and ceremonies are as varied as the different countries that grow it. For each separate region, there is a way they either drink it or perform a celebration around it. Coffee has a history that is as rich and bold as its tastes.

The Roots

Ethiopia

Coffee can be traced back to the 9th century. Ethiopia was probably one of the first countries to use the coffee bean. They started using it because of its medicinal properties, but soon realized that it was a good drink. Coffee ceremonies still play an important role in Ethiopians’ social life.

India

A Muslim named Baba Budan introduced India to coffee in the 16th century. He happened upon coffee while on a pilgrimage to Mecca. Indians began to brew coffee in a metal device. In India, the coffee beans are very strong; therefore, they usually mix their coffee with milk and sugar. According to legend, a Muslim holy man introduced coffee to India in the 16th century.

Turkish coffee

Turkish coffee involves boiling extremely finely ground coffee beans in a pot known as a cevze, with sugar and water, before pouring the drink into small cups. In Turkey, they have a coffee specific proverb: “Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love”.

Costa Rica

It appears that almost every region has a way they fix their coffee or a time that they drink coffee. It’s not hard to see that coffee in universal. However, probably one of the most complex of traditions exists in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica is known as the “Coffee Capital of Latin America”, and it is easy to see how they got that moniker. Costa Rica has the highest quality beans and it is hard pressed to find better tasting coffee anywhere. Costa Ricans call coffee beans, “the Golden Bean”. Not only does this describe how the coffee market creates wealth for the local economy, but also the rich brew that is beloved by Costa Rica. In the afternoon and on weekends, neighbors, friends, and family gather to share one or two cups of coffee and snacks. Costa Rica only produces Arabica beans, which yields a sweeter, smoother cup of coffee than other types of beans. In Costa Rica, they use what is called a “Chorreador De Café”, which is a small cotton bag that is used as a filter and is simply refilled with water between uses.

While the varieties of coffee and coffee drinks continue to evolve, coffee drinkers will continue to use “grabbing a cup of coffee”, as a way to socialize with one another. There are multiple ways to prepare coffee and the beans themselves. Tell us, what are some of the ways that you prepare your coffee and share it with others?

Cafe Milagro blends local culture, delicious Costa Rican coffee, and traditional cuisine. Our independent coffee growers offer us the best coffees, and we proudly brew them at our restaurant in Manuel Antonio and roaster in Quepos.

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