Finding other uses for coffee beans

Costa Rica · About Before your trip

Where is coffee grown?

Finding other uses for your coffee beans is a great way to help the eco-friendly environment. Well besides coffee’s great taste it has many uses besides giving you that lets get going in the morning rush. Let’s first look at where coffee is grown. Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala & Honduras are just a few of the Countries that produce coffee. The best regions for growing coffee in Costa Rica are Tarrazu, Tres Rio, Heredia & Alajuela with altitudes above 3,900 feet usually found on the hillsides. The high altitudes also help control diseases & pests. Guatemala is another country with a diverse climate to produce some of the finest Arabica coffees. Coffee is picked by hand with workers using large woven baskets strapped to their waist. Costa Rica & Guatemala have companies that export some of the coffee produced from the beans.

coffee blog post Jan 2016

Coffee plant with the fruit just starting from the blossom

Drying of the coffee bean usually takes place in the sun with workers raking the beans. Some beans are shipped unroasted as companies like Starbucks will add in the flavours in the roasting process. It’s important to the local coffee growers in small communities to have the support from larger companies. Costa Rica ships coffee to other countries to remove the caffeine, the caffeine is then used in products like Coke & Pepsi. The beans are shipped back to Costa Rica for export & packaging.

coffee bean roast jan 2016

Coffee beans drying in the sun

How about using coffee as an exfoliant?

Have you ever had a massage from a local in Costa Rica? On my last visit I had a terrible kink in the side of my neck, probably from stress as I am usually overworked as many of us are these days in North America. We tend to put our work and daily chores ahead of everything else. Not so in Costa Rica families are certainly a top priority as they usually spend their Sundays enjoying the beach together. Easier said than done here. To my surprise I had a local lady come to my apartment for a well needed massage. It wasn’t just an ordinary massage I actually got a total body skin exfoliation as well. Kind of a nice touch and cost nothing extra. The exfoliant contained coffee grinds and a mixture of some creamy liquid. She mentioned it was good for your skin. I should have asked what she mixed it with but her English was limited and my Spanish still has a long way to go. Of course I love coffee and always have it on hand. I thought to myself why not start using this and make your own. If it saves you from bringing one less item in your baggage. Naturally coffee has a lot more uses than just for drinking.

Homemade skin exfoliant/ scrub of ground coffee and sour cream

Body scrub recipe

2-3 tablespoon Coffee grinds (freshly used)

1 tablespoon Coconut oil, grapeseed oil, or olive oil

(no petroleum based as it will clog the pores

1 tablespoon White or brown sugar

Mix in the dry ingredients in a bowl then add your grinds. You can always make more than needed store it in the frig in a labelled container.

More uses for coffee grinds

Coffee beans are a natural product which is great for your outside plants. Replace your fertilizer with coffee grinds for a healthier environment.. Re-use your saved grinds around your plants making sure to mix it in with the soil. The coffee grinds are rich in potassium, phosphorous, copper & magnesium making your plant healthy. Do you have cats frequently visiting your gardens as a litter box? The coffee grinds are also a good cat repellant. I know I sure do! They even take their afternoon nap under my shrubs. I love cats just not the mess left behind. Don’t have gardens outside! Try using the leftover coffee you made at breakfast. Dilute the coffee with some water first and then poor over your houseplants. You can even use them in your composter to help speed up & breakdown the process.

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Watch our video from our coffee plantation tour here:

Pura Vida!


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