In the centre of Costa Rica, many fincas (‘farms' in Spanish) and agricultural cooperatives grow coffee, which flourishes in the fertile volcanic soils of undulating plateaux. This special and flourishing terroir was discovered in the 19th century, nearly 100 years after coffee had been introduces into the country. Coffee production made landowning families rich. Today, cafetales, or ‘coffee plantations' open their doors to show the drink's production process, from the field to the cup, via drying and roasting. In January, there is even the feria del café, a festival devoted to the rich black liquid in Frailes, a village 40 kilometres west of Orosi. Professionals, amateurs, and tourists gather around a bean-harvest competition, religious ceremonies, the election of the Coffee Queen and, of course, tastings.
Provincia de Cartago