Costa Rican Coffee: Why It's One of America's Favorites

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The Street traveled to Don Juan Coffee Farm in the Monteverde region of Costa Rica to see up close how a small coffee grower produces and teaches visitors about the kind of sustainable, gourmet blends that are in high demand especially in the U.S.  

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America's Coffee Landscape

Coffee is America's favorite and most popular drink next to the water and social coffee drinking has become a cultural phenomenon in recent years. The proliferation of coffee house chains led by Starbucks  (SBUX) - Get Report and Dunkin' Donuts  (DNKN) - Get Report in the U.S has fueled the popularity of specialty or gourmet coffee drinks. 

Today's coffee drinkers care about the kind of coffee they are drinking and small-batch, single-origin, fair trade and sustainably grown have all become recognized features that coffee connoisseurs look for.

According to the National Coffee Association, coffee is the second most globally traded commodity behind oil and represents 1.6% of the total gross domestic product within the United States estimated at over $225 billion in revenue.

Nearly 60% of coffee served in the United States is ‘gourmet’ (brewed from premium beans) and the trend towards specialty coffee drinks made from Arabica beans has become predominant in the U.S.

Costa Rican Coffee: One of America's Favorite Cups of Joe

Costa Rica has been growing and producing coffee since 1799 and is now a leading producer of small-batch, specialty coffees. The economic bounty that coffee production has provided throughout its history enabled the small Central American nation to build its infrastructure and modernize the country well before many of its neighbors.

TheStreet's Roland Marconi traveled to the Monteverde region of Costa Rica. Once there, he visited the Don Juan Coffee Farm to learn more about the kind of sustainable, gourmet blends that are in high demand especially in the U.S.   

Global suppliers are having difficulty keeping up with the growing demand and coffee stockpiles are at a six-year low in the U.S. Shipping bottlenecks and lower output from the world's largest producer, Brazil has driven prices of Arabica-coffee futures in New York up 24% since the end of October.

But even rising prices have not deterred coffee aficionados from procuring their favorite drink as putting a price on the gourmet coffee drinking experience seems to have no bounds.

 

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