Tis the season to pick coffee in Costa Rica and in our own Rosa Blanca Organic Coffee Plantation

One can find coffee baskets full of red cherries by the side of coffee farms around the hills of the Central Valley.  The pickers start early in the morning and wind their way down the rows of verdant coffee only plucking the bright red cherries from the bushes.  Costa Rica is the only country in the coffee-growing world where all the coffee must be picked by hand.  When the day ends, the pickers find their way to the weighing stations, where their cherries fill the metal container “half a fanega/50 lb.) that measures the amount they have picked that day.

The beans are soaked to loosen the fruit around the beans and then put through a chanqueadora, a crushing or peeling machine which removes the skin and fruit from the coffee beans.  There are usually two coffee seeds inside and these come apart in the machine.  Now the seeds are fermented overnight in water and then drained and spread to dry in the sun on parijuelas, hammocks made of mesh that allows the air to dry the beans from below.

The pickers will pick the same coffee bushes 3 times over during the harvest season which last approximately 3 months and starts depending upon the weather conditions around October and ends sometime in January.   Our neighbors and friends love to join us during this season on their time off and the school children will help when their summer vacation begins.  We invite you our guests to join in with us in harvesting our coffee or take our famous Coffee Tour and encounter our pickers in the fields.  If you would like to pitch in and pluck some coffee cherries with our crew, please just let us know and we will suit you up with a picking basket and a hat to keep the sun off. 

Picking organic coffee at Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation
Picking organic coffee at Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation

The Low Down On Coffee

From My Life Yoga

The Low Down On CoffeeAs the quintessential morning ‘comfort food,’ coffee is consumed to the tune of 350 million cups per day in America. And for good reason. Aside from the solace of a warm cup in your hand, coffee offers an energy boost, along with improved mood and enhanced concentration. But due to its high caffeine content and addictive qualities, coffee often gets a bad rap. And with so much conflicting information out there, it’s hard to know what to believe.
So here’s the good news:
Combat Depression and Parkinsons: All coffee drinkers know that a good cup of Joe leaves you feeling a little bit happier than before you drank it. This is, of course, primarily due to the caffeine, which affects the feel-good neurotransmitters in the brain, serotonin and dopamine. The Nurses’ Health Study has shown that women who drank 4+ cups of coffee each day had a 20% reduction in depression compared with women who drank 1 cup or less. And speaking of dopamine, the neurotransmitter that is deficient in Parkinson’s disease, studies show a 30% reduced risk of developing Parkinsonʼs disease among coffee drinkers, again due the caffeine and subsequent boost in dopamine.

Caffeine Increases Ability To Recognize Positive Words

November 8, 2012
Brett Smith
As any coffee drinker will tell you, the day immediately begins to feel better after taking that first earthy, faintly bitter sip o’ joe from the edge of a steaming cup.
A new study from German researchers reinforces the positive aura swirling around the magical brown elixir as they have shown that caffeine can increase a person’s ability and speed in recognizing words with a positive connotation. The study also shows that the stimulant had no effect on recognizing words with negative or neutral connotations, like ‘wall’ or ‘table’.
Previous studies have shown that a normal dose of caffeine boosts performance on straightforward cognitive tasks and behavioral responses. Other studies have shown some memories are enhanced when strong emotions are associated with specific trigger objects, but there has been no clinical link between caffeinated performance and emotional triggers.

Elephant dung coffee is world’s most expensive

Elephant dung coffee is world s most expensiveElephant dung coffee is world’s most expensive
What makes the world’s most expensive cup of coffee? Well the secret ingredient is elephant dung.
While coffee lovers may already be familiar with kopi luwak, a costly coffee that has been eaten then excreted by a civet cat, now there’s a new kind on the block and it has spent time in the stomach of Asian elephants.
Black Ivory coffee retails for more than $1000 per kilo and is one of the most expensive and exclusive drinks in the world.
However if you’d like your morning cup to have worked its way through an elephant’s digestive tract, you don’t have to go too far.
It is now available at the Anantara Golden Triangle resort in Thailand, as well as Anantara’s four retreats in the Maldives.

Drinking Coffee Linked to Lower Stroke Risk

From: FoodConsumer.org


By David Liu, PHD
Thursday Oct 4, 2012 (foodconsumer.org) — A new study presented at the European Society of Hypertension this year suggests that drinking coffee may help prevent stroke or reduce the risk of the deadly event.  The study is not a trial meaning that it has not been established that drinking coffee is the cause for reduced risk of stroke.
L. D’Elia and colleagues conducted the meta-analysis and found men and women who drank moderate amounts of coffee day were at 18 percent reduced risk of stroke, compared to those who did not drink or drank no more than one cup a day.
Coffee, which has almost zero nutrition value, have been associated with a range of chronic diseases although it has been associated with increased risk of caffeine-associated side effects, transient increase in blood pressure and long term increase in low density lipoprotein cholesterol or LDL cholesterol.  Many believe that antioxidants in coffee may be responsible for the benefits reported.

Coffee May Reduce Colon Cancer Risk

Image for Coffee May Reduce Colon Cancer Risk
Copyright © 2012 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)
September 2012

A recent study suggests that drinking coffee may reduce the risk for colon cancer.
Coffee is a popular source of caffeine. However, it also contains many other components that are believed to have health benefits, such as lowering blood sugar levels. These components include chlorogenic acid, quinides, lignans and trigonelline.
Studies suggest that caffeinated coffee consumption may increase blood pressure and potentially increase the risk of heart disease. However, these results were not found to be true of decaffeinated coffee, and some trials found that chlorogenic acid may actually lower blood pressure.

Coffee could protect against bowel cancer

Drinking several cups of coffee a day could help protect against bowel cancer, according to new research.

Could coffee protect against bowel cancer? More evidence is needed.

Could coffee protect against bowel cancer? More evidence is needed. Photo: GETTY IMAGES
By Stephen Adams,
 28 Aug 2012
It can cut the risk of developing a tumour by between15 per cent and 25 per cent, the study of almost half a million people found.
Some previous studies have hinted that coffee could have a protective effect, but their findings have been inconclusive.
However, researchers at the US National Cancer Research Institute in Rockville, Maryland, have found evidence of a possible protective effect.
They looked at 490,000 people who agreed to have their health monitored for a decade, after answering questions about their lifestyle and diet in the mid 1990s. The research is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Among the sixth who said they drank four or more cups a day, the risk of being diagnosed with bowel or rectal cancer over the decade was 15 per cent lower than non-drinkers of coffee.

Use coffee to beat slugs? Beware, the EU pesticide police are on your trail

Using coffee beans breaks EU policies on pesticides

27 August 2012
Desperate gardeners will try every trick in the book to prevent their lovingly tended plants being obliterated by the scourge of slugs.
But those who use a popular organic method to protect their vegetables could be hit by a secondary pest – the EU.
Brussels bureaucrats have ruled that gardeners who sprinkle coffee grounds around their cabbages to kill slugs are breaking the law.
Garden pests: Using coffee to repel slugs breaks the law as it goes against EU regulations on pesticides

Garden pests: There is a chance you may be fined for using coffee to get rid of slugs
The home-made solution contravenes regulations on pesticides, say officials.
It means there is a chance – albeit a slim one – of vegetable growers receiving a visit and a heavy fine from the police.
Gardeners say the caffeine in coffee keeps slugs out of the vegetable patch.

Coffee Makers: 3 New Health Benefits Announced

August 27, 2012

Jura Capresso Impressa C5
Your morning cup of joe may do more than just perk you up according to new research. Four cups or more per day may in fact be highly beneficial to your health and be preventative in some of the following conditions.
Prostate Cancer:
A study in the Journal of National Cancer Institute showed that men who consumed in excess of six cups of coffee on a daily basis had an overall lower risk of up to 18% of developing prostate cancer, which is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in American males. An overview of studies into colorectal cancer found that the incidence of this cancer amongst people who would be classified as heavy coffee drinkers is up to 30% lower.
Cardiovascular Conditions:

The New Elixir: A Cup of Joe

Posted: 08/07/2012 3:09 pm

Huffington Post (see full article here
The world’s most widely used pick-me-up reduces your risk of neurodegeneration, depression, cancer and cardiovascular disease, and that’s just the beginning of the story. Yes, I’m talking about that legal, over-the-counter beverage now available every other block. You know, brain juice, brew, liquid energy, morning mud, rocket fuel, wakey juice.
It may even be an ingredient in that fountain of youth we’re still searching for. According to a recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine, coffee lowered all-cause mortality by over 10 percent after 13 years of follow-up

Peaberries at Finca Rosa Blanca

The word Peaberry, we call it “caracolillo” or also known as”caracoli”  is type of mutation of the coffee bean inside its husk, which is generally due to the lack of fertilization generating only one rounded hard bean as opposed to the “twins” that you might normally see in almost all the coffee cherry development.The peaberry, which is named so because it looks like a small pea, as opposed to the normal bean which is comprised of two hemispheres with one side being relatively flat and with a vertical line down the center,  normally occurs in about 2-5% of the coffee crop is touted and often associated with Tanzania, Hawaii and Columbia