I would be remiss to write another word about Costa Rica without mentioning the country’s most delectable export: coffee. As both a constant traveler and coffee lover who enjoys trying a local brew, I’ve found that many countries’ offerings are mediocre, at best—even downright foul at times (can anyone say “Nescafe”?). In fact, in all my travels I can only think of a handful of countries that have really impressed me with their coffee—and I’m happy to say that Costa Rica is one of them. After the Ethiopian Arabica bean was introduced in the late 1800’s, it was discovered that Costa Rica’s soil and climate is ideal for growing coffee beans. Since then, the coffee industry has taken off and is now one of the country’s major exports. In fact, it’s the only country that has a presidential decree about coffee: in 1989, it was decreed that only the Arabica variety could be cultivated on Costa Rican soil. Now that’s a country that takes its coffee seriously.
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