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Starbucks Opens its Spectacular Costa Rican Coffee Farm to the Public

Hacienda alcasia starbucks costa rica

The Starbucks Hacienda Alsacia Visitors Center is shown at the Costa Rica coffee farm. Photo by Joshua Trujillo, courtesy of Starbucks.

Starbucks is for the first time opening its research-centered Costa Rican coffee farm to the public, unveiling today a 46,000-square-foot visitor center to provide guests an immersive seed-to-cup coffee experience.

Starbucks purchased the 240-hectare (600-acre) coffee farm, called Hacienda Alsacia, in Alajuela near the country’s capital city San Jose in 2013. One of nine farmer support centers currently operated by the company, the farm remains in essence the company’s global headquarters for agronomy research and development.

Hacienda alcasia starbucks costa rica

Photo courtesy of Starbucks.

The farm provides ground for the cultivation of existing and new plant varieties in the arabica species toward numerous goals — such as plant disease and pest resistance, cup quality, higher yield — that might benefit Starbucks through a more robust and resilient supply chain, but also the coffee world at large.

For example, while speaking at importer Nordic Approach’s recent Origin Approach event in Costa Rica, Starbucks Director of Global Agronomy Carlos Mario Rodriguez said the company is testing 17 different types of new Sarchimor cultivars — Sarchimor is a hybrid of the Costa Rican Villa Sarchi and the Timor hybrid — while making seeds available for free to all farmers whether Starbucks buys their coffees or not. It’s all part of what the company has been referring to as “open-source agronomy.”

Hacienda alcasia starbucks costa rica

Starbucks head of global agronomy Carlos Mario Rodriguez at Hacienda Alsacia.

“Our farm allows us to learn firsthand the ongoing complexities that coffee farmers face in order to accelerate our comprehensive approach to ethical sourcing,” Starbucks President and CEO Kevin Johnson said in an announcement of the public opening today. “Now more than ever, we must ensure the future of coffee through sustainable practices so that it is available for generations to come.”

To highlight such work, Starbucks has applied the kind of design pizzaz to its Hacienda Alsacia visitor center as it does to its new retail stores, while adding numerous experiential elements. Either on their own or through guided tours, guests may explore the visitor center and farm grounds, which include a seedling nursery, a greenhouse full of disease-resistant varieties, coffee fields, a drying patio and a wet mill for post-harvest processing.

Hacienda alcasia starbucks costa rica

Photo by Joshua Trujillo, courtesy of Starbucks.

To bring the experience full circle, the company has built a state-of-the-art coffee bar with multiple brewing devices where roasted coffees from the farm can be enjoyed on site.

“Much like the premium retail experiences we are designing around the world, the visitor center at Hacienda Alsacia is a fully immersive space and now, for the first time ever, Starbucks is connecting our customers to the entire coffee ecosystem from seedling to the craft of brewing,” Starbucks Executive Vice Chairman Howard Schultz said in today’s announcement.



diego joachin

How does one schedules a visit to the Hacienda? Where can I purchase tickets and find out that kind of details? thx


Right! I live not far away, and would like to visit. How can you write an article about it and not give directions and price for a visit?

Bruce Tomlinson

I own property @ about 5000′ in the San Marcos area and would like to start growing coffee. I’m looking for Plants/seed that would be a good fit. A variety that is hardy, good producer, excellent quality, good disease and insect resistance also a smaller plant when mature for easy picking.
Do you have something or could you suggest a variety that might work.
Thank you and have a great day!

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