In the foothills of the Poas Volcano, approximately 30 minutes from San Jose International Airport, the beautiful Starbucks Hacienda Alsacia sits majestically in the valley. 

Hacienda Alsacia is Starbucks’s first and only coffee farm and where they are trying to learn how to work the soil and create the best coffee plants for your favourite Latte or Frappuccino. 

My family and I visited the farm and went on the English guided tour (tours in Spanish are also available) this past week and had the most glorious visit. You start your tour, inhaling the aromas of the beans being roasted, looking at the beautiful coffee fields and learning about why this site was chosen for Starbucks first coffee farm. 

We moved along learning about how the plant grows, walking the coffee fields yourself, observing the white flowers (we were incredibly lucky we got to see these – they only bloom for 1-2 days every year!) and then picking the coffee beans yourself. This part is what my kids (aged 6 & 4) got the biggest thrill about – it suddenly became the biggest competition amongst all the groups. 

You then go back down the fields and find out how the beans are taken out of their ‘cherries’ and then how they are roasted. The tour ends with you being taken to a special private room reserved for tours in the main coffee shop which has the best views of the natural waterfall which is also situated within Hacienda Alsacia. 

When you have children, especially when they are younger, you always think twice about whether your kids will be able to handle a ‘tour’ but this was a spectacular space for kids to run around and in the open fresh air with coffee aromas all around. The tour guides were so warm and friendly and asked the girls questions which made them feel involved. They got to feel the coffee cherries, peel them and even taste the sweetness of the seeds inside – it was an all-round feel good experience for us all !

With the tour ending inside the open-air coffee shop / gift shop it is the perfect place to stop for your favorite Starbucks beverage – in my case a Caramel Macchiato – and then buy the coffee beans and your new favorite coffee mug for you to take home!