Watching the full process of growing, processing and marketing coffee will become part of Costa Rica’s many attractions at the country’s first coffee theme park, according to the Agriculture and Livestock Ministry.
The Parque Temático del Café will be built on a five-hectare coffee farm in the community of Frailes, Desamparados, south of San José. Frailes is one of Costa Rica’s main coffee-producing regions with 1,800 coffee producers.
Zaira Marín Robles, general manager of the Desamparados Agricultural Center, said the project hopes to attract visitors interested in rural tourism and will help diversify income sources for coffee producers of that region. During a second stage of development, the center will offer lodging that allows tourists to extend trips and enjoy nearby attractions such as trout farms, Marín said.
Construction is expected to last three years and will include a processing plant, restaurant, coffee shop, laboratories, coffee cupping rooms and a museum. It will be funded by the Agriculture and Livestock Ministry and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.
Further details will be disclosed during the “X Coffee Fair – Frailes 2014,” to be held Jan. 17-19. That fair will offer several types of coffee for sampling and for sale, including organic coffee, traditional Tico food and drinks, concerts, exhibits, barista demonstrations, art and coffee-picking contests. Local artisans will sell crafts made from coffee bush wood.
The southern region of Desamparados produces an average of 600,000 bushels of coffee per year, mainly for export to Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Australia, the United States and several European countries.