I recently travelled to the land of Pura Vida, Costa Rica. As you might expect, the beaches were beautiful, the whitewater rafting was thrilling, and the coatis were adorable. Despite all of these adventures, my favorite part of my time there had to be the Costa Rican coffee. It made the trip more than worth it. 

Being the investigative journalist that I am, I decided to get down to what makes Costa Rican coffee so damn good. Seriously, what is their secret? 

Bad coffee is banned

According to Cafe Britt, one of Costa Rica's leading coffee manufacturers, "bad coffee is literally against the law." In 1989, Costa Rica apparently passed a law that banned bad beans in order to up their coffee game. I definitely wish we had a justice system that valued my favorite source of motivation—aka caffeine—as much as the Costa Rican government does.

Mother nature loves Costa Rican coffee

Emily Sauchelli

Cafe Britt also states that Costa Rica has an ideal coffee growing climate. The beans still benefit from heavy rainfall, which means they thrive in both the dry and wet seasons. In addition, the little coffee beans grow to their full potential with the help of soil enriched by volcanic ash.

Costa Rica is a unique country with a huge range of geographic features in a small area. In some regions, high altitude forces the beans to grow more slowly, which increases acidity, and therefore leads to a stronger version of the unmistakeable scent of coffee that we love. In other regions, unique flavors and traits can be derived, which lead to the wide range of Costa Rican coffees that we're lucky enough to choose from.

The people

I think the most crucial reason why Costa Rican coffee is the bomb is because of the people who grow it. Since coffee was first planted in Costa Rica in the 1700's, the beans are hand picked by individuals who really have an eye for the process and generations of experience behind them. Costa Rican coffee farmers have truly perfected the art of coffee and have essentially become coffee Jedis, making the world a better place one steaming cup of caffeine at a time.

Organizations such as Cafe Imports, give recognition to individual growers, which should impact their businesses and their communities. Other programs such as Icafe, an NGO dedicated to producing "a unique and equitable production model," make sure that coffee growers receive benefits and have protection from bigger businesses.

Before you buy

While sipping delicious Costa Rican coffee, it's also important to acknowledge fair trade. The fair trade movement advocates for high prices on exported goods, as well as better working and environmental conditions for the producers. Large Costa Rican coffee companies, such as Cafe Britt, emphasize their fair trade certification. Before buying your favorite coffee beans, make sure the product comes from a company with this certification to show your support for local businesses.

I guess the take away from all of this would be that Costa Rica really does coffee right. They truly understand what goes into making an amazing cup of coffee. Hopefully someday I'll be able to return to the land of caffeine goodness, but I guess for now Starbucks will have to satisfy my coffee addiction.