Introduction: The course is designed to complement your interest and knowledge of coffee with the missing link: coffee from seed to green bean.
In 5 full days of activities plus two travel days you will learn what happens before the coffee ships out to the world. You will actively participate in the farm activities and learn firsthand the What, How and Why of coffee farming.
By the end of the course, your will have a complete understanding of the processing of coffee and everything you knew before you came to Costa Rica will make sense.
Day 1: all participants are expected to arrive in Costa Rica on Sunday,
between 11:30 am and 3:00 pm at the latest. If your flight arrives later than 3 pm, we can make arrangements to transport you to the farm later in the day or first thing the next morning.
Immediately after your flight's arrival we will head out to the Down to Earth Providencia Estate which is located 70 miles Southwest of the airport, at 6,300 feet of altitude.
The rest of the day will be spent at leisure, getting comfortable at your accommodations. You have two options for your stay: you can have a private room and take your meals at a local home or you can stay at the farm house where you will share a bathroom with the other guests and take your meals family style.
Day 2: Your day will begin at 6 am. After a delicious breakfast with farm-fresh eggs, handmade tortillas and natural fruit juices, the course starts with the introduction to the Coffee Cherry and its components.
You will also get to know and identify the different varieties of coffee present at the Down to Earth Providencia Estate: Catuai Red & Yellow. We also have18 acres planted exclusively with Villalobos trees. During the course you will be able to appreciate the profound differences between the Villalobos seed and our Catuair trees.
You will pick your own coffee and mill it later in the afternoon.
We close the day with a lesson in the Costa Rican brewing method and how it differs from the other methods you know. We will compare it with the French press and sample them side by side.
Day 3: The course continues on Tuesday with the measurement of the Coffee Cherries and the different units used and its equivalent in volume and weight. Also, how coffee is weighed and the yield of parchment-to-green measured.
We end the day with a detailed study of Down to Earth’s sundrying methods, including the use of a SINAR Farm Pro moisture analyzer to verify moisture content in the drying beds.
Day 4: On Wednesday we will work at the farm and learn how coffee is grown. You will visit Down to Earth’s seeders, tree nursery and plantations and also learn how our vision integrates with the environment.
Day 5: we travel 20 miles to the town of San Marcos de Tarrazu for an overview of the bigger side of coffee milling.
While the Down to Earth micro-mill operations shows you a way of processing coffee that responds to a very personal philosophy, the visit to San Marcos de Tarrazu will show you how the big boys play. You will visit coffee mills that process hundreds of thousands of sacks per harvest and supply the most recognized names in the world coffee industry.
You will learn how the process works at a larger scale and how the world’s largest coffee traders get their hands in the sought-after Tarrazu coffee. You will also do a session with Costa Rica’s foremost cupper and learn to identify the most important characteristics of the Tarrazu coffee and how the Dota micro-climate produces different characteristics than the norm of Tarrazu.
Day 6: on our last day of instruction will take the time to show you the nature that we work very hard to protect.
The highlands where the Down to Earth Estate is located is home to a breathtaking array of flora and fauna: birds, flowers and trees. Expert naturalists will take you on a tour to present the natural side of our operation and how these species can thrive along our farming.
Non-invasive farming, biological controls, water clean up and composting methods are explained with the help of experts that participate in our effort.
We close the course with a competition where you will be asked to come up with a new & improved version of Down to Earth’s Cold Coffee recipes.
Price per person: The minimum number of people is 2 and a maximum of 8. All prices are quoted in US dollars and are valid for the 2017 date, in the Homestay program; if you wish, you can stay in a private room with a private bathroom. We accept Visa, Mastercard, AMEX and Discover.
Three participants: $1,495 each
Four participants: $1,395 each
From five to eight participants: $1,295 each
Private room supplement: must add $180 per person
January 8th through the 14th
To book a date on the 2017 course you need to make a payment of $150 at the time of booking. This deposit will be applied towards the final cost of the trip. If, for any reason, we cancel the trip, your deposit will be promptly returned.
The balance will need to be paid in full 30 days before the date of the course. In the case of the 2017 program balance needs to be paid by December 8th at the latest..
Since our availability is limited to only 8 participants in four courses per year, we can only commit a space if a deposit and/or full payment is made.
We offer the option of a paying in installments through automatic credit card charges. To your benefit, the sooner you start the payments the smaller they will be.
Please email us if you need more information.