A short drive west from Sarchí is Naranjo, the capital city of the Alajuela province of Costa Rica. Back in February we met our Sarchí landlord in front of the Basílica de Naranjo. As luck would have it, in the month since we spent in Sarchí, they started restoring the Basílica de Naranjo. Please try and ignore the scaffolding in the photo.

But this blog isn’t about the basilica. We returned to Naranjo so we could tour the Espíritu Santo coffee co-operative. We have been drinking plenty (too much?) coffee on our trip. Why not see exactly what goes into producing that sometimes magical brew?

We arrived at Espíritu Santo shortly after they opened. We were early enough to enjoy some coffee samples before the tour started. Our guide was Ronnie and our family were the only ones in his tour group. It was nice since it allowed us to go at our own pace. All the coffee there was the coffea arabica commonly known as arabica. Ronnie showed us the two variations of the fruit. Normally the fruit has two beans and where the beans press against each other they are flat. Sometimes there is only one round bean in the fruit and it is then called a peaberry.
Lucas and Sydney got to plant some beans in pots and Ronnie showed us other young plants. They were in various stages of growth and will be planted in the ground later. 

The coffee plants enjoy some shade. They currently have rainbow eucalyptus trees on site. But they are replacing them with banana trees. They grow faster and also provide fruit.

After walking through the plantation and checking out the plants we went into the building where they roast the beans they don’t send off to their buyers. As you can imagine, it smelled very nice in there, if you like the smell of coffee that is.

Two batches of beans were just finishing up in the roasters as we arrived. There is a timer, but the staff checks the color of beans visually by taking out samples. Once it is determined that the beans have roasted enough, they are poured out of roasting chambers into large cooling bins where they are stirred so they cool evenly. The videos below show the beans coming out of the roasters into the cooling bins.