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NEW CONCEPTS | Staff Reporter, UK

Starbucks showcases Costa Rican coffee farm to visitors

Visitors will have the chance to experience coffee from seed to cup and see firsthand the agronomy work.

Starbucks Coffee Company opened the doors to its Visitor Center at Hacienda Alsacia on March 7, located on the company’s 600-acre (240 hectare) coffee farm on the slopes of the Poas volcano in Costa Rica. Hacienda Alsacia is a working farm that has served as a global research and development facility for Starbucks since 2013. The 46,000-square foot visitor center immerses guests in the entire life cycle of arabica coffee from seedling to picking, milling, roasting, and the craft of brewing in a café.

Starbucks approach to ethical sourcing and innovative coffee tree hybrid research is also showcased at the visitor center, part of the company’s $100 million investment in an open-sourced farmer support program to help make coffee the world’s first sustainably sourced agriculture product.

Starbucks executive chairman Howard Schultz said, “Much like the premium retail experiences we are designing around the world, the Visitor Center at Hacienda Alsacia is a fully immersive space and now, for the first time ever, Starbucks is connectingour customers to the entire coffee ecosystem from seedling to the craft of brewing."

Designed by Starbucks in-house design team known for creating the “third place” experience in its Starbucks stores and its premium Reserve Roasteries, the 46,000-square foot Visitor Center is an experiential environment helping to educate visitors on the full coffee ecosystem. Visitors can tour the space on their own or with a guide, discovering everything from a coffee seedling nursery to a greenhouse with new, disease-resistant coffee varietals, coffee fields with ripe cherries at harvest, in addition to a wet mill and drying patio. These hands-on experiences culminate at a Starbucks café where coffee from Hacienda Alsacia is roasted fresh onsite and served using multiple brewing methods. The menu is inspired by Starbucks premium Reserve brand.

“Our farm allows us to learn firsthand the ongoing complexities that coffee farmers face in order to accelerate our comprehensive approach to ethical sourcing,” said Kevin Johnson, president and chief executive officer of Starbucks. “Now more than ever, we must ensure the future of coffee through sustainable practices so that it is available for generations to come.”

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