el toledo coffee tour5A
We have taken the coffee tour twice during our 6 weeks in Atenas. We learned more each time. Gabriel and his family have much to share about the organic production and processing of coffee. It is more than just a walk through the farm. You will experience roasting, brewing and tasting of more than one type of coffee. They are a model small business after many years of growing coffee on the small farm. You can also make reservations for a typical Costa Rican lunch prepared by the family at 1 PM on some tour days (experience not to be missed). The location of the farm is remote and behind Atenas. A GPS helps, but there is also a detailed map on the El Toledo blogspot website, wher you can also make reservations. By the way, the coffee is great!
When we reached the small family run coffee tour business, Gabriel introduced himself and we felt very welcomed. He is very passionate for his family business and farming practices. The tour was very informative and would recommend it to all ages. The hike into the plantation was enjoyable and not too difficult. We even had a chance to try the coffee bean right off the plant. It was very tasted. The coffee we purchased was very definitely worth buying.
This is a small family run operation which makes it more quaint. One of the few organic coffee farmers in Costa Rica. The tour was very informative and extensive. Be ready to walk up some small hills and thru the plantation. Only takes cash, no cards. Definitely worth it to buy some organic coffee from them. A must-do for coffee lovers.
I was not expecting much of that tour and it turns to be one of my best activity in Atenas area. Gabriel gives very good information.We all enjoyed it.After we went to his ants home to get a very good lunch for an honest price.Would not recommend for young kids though.
It was an absolute privilege to participate in this tour. Gabriel has such passion for environmentally friendly and sustainable farming practices. We learned quite a bit about why there are so many different types of coffee (the samples were terrific). I would highly recommend this tour. We bought enough coffee to take home to friends (although we may rethink the gift strategy and keep it for ourselves!!)
Family business, tour by owner Don Gerardo and Brian (translating). Very informative and fun. Learned why they went organic, how they did it, pride in business. Highly recommend. Oh and great coffee too!
This was my first coffee tour ever and what an experience it was!!! I learned so much and it was all very interesting from beginning to end. The coffee was delicious. I'm a medium roast fan and believer!! I'm embarrassed by the little things I didn't know but walked away feeling very knowledgeable and I can't wait to tell others. This family owned business is definitely a "must-see" while in Atenas, you will not be disappointed I guarantee it!!
Gabriel is a wonderful host and has a wealth of information regarding coffee farming. I only wish I had bought more than the two bags of coffee.
A step up from "organic" the El Toledo operation is now " "permaculture". Everyone we know and everyone we take to this tour comes away in awe. We've taken the tours at several big commercial plantations and those tours are more like a Disneyland attraction with canned scripts by hired guides.In contrast, El Toledo's tour guide is the working owner's son while the rest of the family helps out or is actively working out in the coffee. You'll learn about how different growing methods and philosophy can be; you get to taste the different roasts; you get to see, up close, how the roasting is done and you get to go out right into the coffee.Don't miss this.
Visited this lovely family run business and learned so much about sustainable coffee farming. Highly, highly recommend this place. We had the lunch which was just ok.
We found out about the El Toledo Coffee Tour when we stayed at B&B Atenas in November 2014, and we really enjoyed the very informative and educational visit. We had no idea how much work goes into producing the organic coffee. We met the Don Gerado family and also Lucy and Michelangelo who were volunteering at the farm - they were great at explaining everything for us! After the tour we had the chance to have a typical Costa Rican lunch in a family home. If you get the chance you must visit!
Our coffee tour was surprisingly unforgettable! It was one of the highlights of our whole trip! Very informative and eye opening to see how coffee is made and what it takes to run a sustainable farm. Everyone at Toledo was very friendly and accommodating. We also were able to sample delicious fresh fruit and coffee during the tour. I would recommend this tour to everyone!
This is one of the best experiences we had in Costa Rica. Gabriel and his extended family and volunteers welcome you to their small scale coffee farm where they practice permaculture and a range of traditional farming practices that we are now starting to learn are much better for our health, the environment and ultimately the economy. Truly educational but not preachy, vey genuine insights into the life of a local farmer. See the coffee production cycle from tree to cup and learn to taste the difference between blends....cry well done.If you have the chance, take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy a tipico lunch for a small fee with Dona Cecilia, his aunt, at her home. She and her family are very gracious hosts and the green banana ceviche was amazing. Thanks again to everyone, including Gabriel, Don Geraldo, Patrick and Oswaldo, for a very memorable experience.
If you have the chance, you must do this tour. It is so enlightening to hear about the coffee industry and how labor intensive it is. Gabrielle and his family have struggled through changing their way of farming, and are now certified organic. The issues and controversy surrounding organic and fair trade coffee from a farmer's point of view,really makes you think. Gabrielle does a wonderful job of explaining his family's history and the current practices amongst farmers. This was one of the highlights of our trip. This family shares their life and home with you, with the goal of educating the participants. We were also served coffee by a professional Italian barista, Michelangelo, who described many factors influencing coffee's flavors. Very interesting!!He is volunteering for a couple of months at the farm. He and Gabrielle are benefiting from the shared knowledge.
Loved this tour. Very friendly people. Gabriel's (tour guide, farmer) viewpoints on organic farming were measured. There was no hard sell on the coffee. All in all a great way to spend a few hours. If you're on public transport you can catch the bus from Atenas to San Isidro. Thank you :)