the history of coffee traders & Café Monteverde
Equipped with a small air-roaster, RC Beall, owner of Montana Coffee Traders, made his way up the green mountains of the Cordillera de Tilarán in Costa Rica for the first time in 1989. In Monteverde, a small community nestled in the cloud forest, he met Carlos Vargas, the manager of a local coffee cooperative. At the time, green beans were sold at a very low price and few farmers had ever tasted their own coffee, so RC offered to roast some of their green beans and brewed up a pot for them to try. With the first sip, a coffee worth far more than the farmers had been told was revealed. Having learned about the fair trade movement in Europe, RC offered to buy their coffee at a fair market price, with the benefit of sending a dollar back to the community from every pound sold in the United States. RC’s first trip to Monteverde not only marked the dawn of a life-long friendship between RC and Carlos, but also established one of the first fair trade relationships in the US. RC later went on to open Texas Coffee Traders with his partner, Beth. Today, the two of them are co-owners of what that modest Costa Rican farm came to be - Café Monteverde.
life monteverde and beyond
Overtime, the farm evolved beyond coffee production. An organic farm was created, animals raised, and a new program was intiatied - Life Monteverde. Through the union of Coffee Traders with 11 local families that share the common goal of advancing education in sustainability, environmental studies, and agricultural conservation, Life (Low Impact for Earth) Monteverde was formed. Life hosts a series of education, sustainability, and conservation programs at the Café Monteverde farm for universities, coffee enthusiasts, and novice tourists alike. Through lectures, coffee tours, and volunteer programs, visitors can learn the ins & outs of coffee production, organic gardening, sustainable practices, and the rich biodiversity found in the Monteverde Cloud Forest.
A commitment to the environment
The cloudforest that Café Monteverde calls home is one of the most biodiverse regions in the entire world. Since its conception, Café Monteverde has been committed to the preservation this incredible piece of nature. 50% of the land on the farm is covered by forest, and over 500 new trees are planted every year. These swaths of forest not only serve as biological corridors for birds, snakes, frogs, sloths, pumas, and many other species, but also help protect coffee plants from wind and aid in erosion prevention. The wild spaces on the farm also provide an opportunity for environmental education, through which visitors can learn about relationship between nature and agriculture. All waste from farming activities is recycled back into the farm. Manure from animals is used both as an organic fertilizer and processed into methane gas for cooking using a biodigester. The fruits removed during the coffee milling process are sent to large composting piles, which are then returned to the fields as fertilizer, while wastewater is transferred to water treatment lagoons where it is made safe enough to return to the rivers.
SUPPORTING OUR COMMUNITY
At Coffee Traders and Café Monteverde, our community is our family, both on our farm and throughout the Monteverde region. Through frequent and open discussions with visiting harvesters from Ometepe, Nicaragua, we strive to provide for them the most comfortable and profitable work experience while in Monteverde and aim to ensure improvements in livelihood for their families back home. We give back to the local community through donations to local grassroots organizations that support the social, economical, and environmental welfare of Monteverde region.
DOLLAR BACK PROGRAM
For every pound of Monteverde coffee sold at our shops in the United States, we send a dollar back to the community in Monteverde to be used in social programs, environmental initiatives, or local projects.
Whether you're an eco-adventurer, paradise seeker, or caffeine fanatic, tracing coffee back to its source in Monteverde, Costa Rica is sure to be the travel experience of a lifetime.
take a coffee tour
Café Monteverde offers visitors the opportunity to venture on a multisensory journey that explores every stage of coffee production. Led by a knowledgeable guide with friendly Costa Rican hospitality, the coffee tour provides an in-depth look at the coffee farming experience as well as its environmental, social, and economic context. A fun and educational tour for coffee experts and casual drinkers alike!
STOP BY COFFEE CENTER
Located about 6 km from the farm at the center of the Monteverde, Coffee Center, Café Monteverde’s coffee shop, offers a full espresso menu and coffee tastings using only the fresh roasted beans from our farms. Here, visitors can chat with our expertly trained baristas over a delicious latte in cozy & welcoming environment.
For more information on visiting Monteverde, please visit Café Monteverde's website!