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Tours for the Coffee Connoisseur

Tomorrow is International Coffee Day, and for all of you coffee connoisseurs Holland America Line offers some amazing tours that delve deep into the world of coffee making in ports known for producing some incredible beans. We’ve featured some of the tours in a previous post, and now we’re going deeper into the countries that produces some of the richest java in the world. If you’re looking to find out more about how coffee is produced and taste some of the most delicious coffee, these shore excursions are for you!

Argovia Express: Coffee Tasting & Botanic Garden
Puerto Chiapas, Mexico

Journey into the Sierra Madre Mountains of Chiapas and discover the world’s finest coffees at Argovia Estate. Founded in 1880, Argovia is one the oldest coffee producers in the region and is a one-of-a-kind, family-owned agricultural estate. Learn about the history of the area, the people of Chiapas and the steps involved in creating the perfect cup of coffee.

Take a short tour of the grounds and learn about the plantation’s history as well as the history of coffee in Chiapas and how it came to be known as the second-finest coffee producing region in the world. Discover what makes Chiapas coffee unique as you learn the art of coffee tasting — and why it’s perfectly acceptable to slurp!

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Starbucks Coffee Farm & Sarchi Oxcart Factory
Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica

Welcome to Hacienda Alsacia, at the foot of the Poás Volcano. Something magical is happening here that is much bigger than just a cup of fabulous coffee. Hacienda Alsacia is Starbucks’ first and only coffee farm, founded with the purpose of working the soil, learning from the land, and channeling a great deal of passion into positive change. You’re invited to visit this extraordinary place and view coffee in a completely different way.

Your morning joe, handed to you daily by a barista, began life as a berry on a tree on a coffee farm. It worked its way through a community and a culture, at the hands of farmers and farm workers whose goal is to deliver the finest bean and, ultimately, the finest coffee experience to you in your hometown. Explore the world of coffee hands-on at Alsacia, from bean to cup, including a working tree nursery, the micro wet-mill, the drying patio, the roasting process and, finally, tasting a wonderful cup of coffee. See firsthand the work being done by Starbucks to partner with local farmers, promote sustainable practices, and develop the next generation of coffee here in Costa Rica and around the globe.

At the on-site Starbucks café, enjoy breathtaking views overlook a natural waterfall and lush green fields. The classic and creative beverages lovingly crafted here are made with beans exclusively harvested from the farm surrounding you. An exclusive collection of hand-packed coffee, gifts and souvenirs are available for purchase.

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Coffee Farm & Kealakekua Bay Snorkel
Kona, Hawaii

Head deep into Kona coffee country with a visit to Bay View Farm — a working 24-acre Kona coffee farm nestled on the slopes of Mauna Loa volcano. The farm is known for producing fine Kona coffee since 1984. As you explore, you’ll see coffee berries growing on the trees and learn about the various steps and processes in growing, harvesting, and even brewing coffee — all of which happen right here on the farm. Sample 100% Kona coffee at a gorgeous overlook. Below you are stunning views of Kealakekua Bay and the poignant and beautiful monument to Captain Cook, which stands on the only sliver of non-embassy British land remaining in the United States.

Before there was coffee, there was kapu (taboo) — the ancient Hawaiian system of laws. Should a person break a kapu and face almost certain death, (s)he could make his/her way to the Place of Refuge and be absolved. Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park is one such place. Explore this historical 420-acre park with your National Park Service guide. See temple platforms, fishponds, and the remnants of ancient life in Hawaii. Finally, take to the sea on a high-speed Zodiac-style raft. Explore the sea caves and lava tubes along the rugged Kona Coast. Keep an eye out for marine life all around you.

Coffee Estate & A Walk through Antigua: In Partnership with Food & Wine Magazine
Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala

Puerto Quetzal is Guatemala’s largest Pacific port, and the gateway to some of the country’s highlights, including lush coffee plantations. A scenic 90-minute drive takes you into the mountains of Guatemala, heading for the Filadelfia Coffee Estate. En route to the plantation, your guide entertains you with an informative narrative.

At the lush plantation, you’ll understand the coffee-growing process through a visit to the coffee mill, drying patios and plantation fields. Savor one of the freshest cups of coffee you’ve ever had, made with beans that were sourced just inches away. After this, enjoy a traditional Guatemalan lunch of grilled meats and more.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site city of Antigua welcomes you to one of the most famous colonial cities in the Americas. Originally built in 1543, then mostly destroyed by a massive earthquake in 1773, today Antigua is a living time capsule, with cobblestone streets, colonial buildings and historic sites that still contain rubble from hundreds of years ago.

Espiritu Santo Cooperative Coffee Plantation

Costa Rica’s Countryside & Coffee Experience: In Partnership with Food & Wine Magazine
Puerto Caldera (Puntarenas), Costa Rica

Coffee and cacao production play a key role in Costa Rica’s economy and in its history. A delightful ride through rustic countryside brings you to the highlands of Naranjo, where the secrets of pouring a real cup of coffee, and the use of cacao to make chocolate, are revealed.

Passing through rich farmland and lush forest you’ll visit the Espiritu Santo Cooperative Coffee Plantation — 640 acres of prime agricultural land. See the different stages of the coffee plant’s growth and learn how coffee berries are dried under the sun. You might see workers picking the berries and others preparing and packing the coffee for exporting purposes. Centuries-old methods produce a first-quality product.

Visit a replica laborer’s house to see how Costa Ricans lived in the past. Your guide explains how the coffee used to be brewed and why the local people still use a handmade chorreador instead of an electric coffeemaker. Stop at the chocolate station to see how cacao is toasted, ground and turn into delicious chocolate — a process that dates back many centuries.

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