Ever wondered why Costa Rica and coffee go hand in hand? Coffee has been a vital part of this nation's economy for centuries, due to its fertile, mineral-rich volcanic soil, high altitudes, and tropical climate.
Just about 25 miles outside of San Jose is El Toledo Coffee. This family-owned coffee bean plantation has been run by three generations of the Calderon family for more than 80 years.
After watching his father become ill after years of running the farm, the youngest Calderon, Gabriel, decided to go all organic. And today, they do things the old-fashioned way... by hand. Which means more job opportunities for the local community and even a chance for visitors to try their hand at producing some of the best coffee in the world.
So join me as I make the journey in this installment of the Hidden Gems of Costa Rica.