Pablo Vargas, CEO of Café Britt
Café Britt was founded in 1985 as the first gourmet coffee roaster in Costa Rica. Before Café Britt, it was virtually impossible to find a memorable cup of coffee in Costa Rica though we were growing some of the world’s most outstanding coffee beans. The simple fact was that the best coffee was being exported.
We recognized and harnessed the opportunity to create great change in the Costa Rican coffee industry by reserving and roasting some of our own beans. We had all the ingredients for success: access to the quality gourmet coffee beans from the country’s best plantations, the finest mills, knowledgeable roasters, an obsession with quality and a desire to create an environmentally responsible coffee company.
The result of our efforts has been remarkable. Café Britt is thriving and has introduced millions to the finest Costa Rican coffee while forwarding our local communities and protecting our precious environment.
We opened our plantation to the public in 1991 and created a fun, insightful and exciting way to experience the origins of true gourmet coffee from a red cherry to that luring, irresistible brew you sip each morning. Café Britt was thrilled to share the hidden gem of Costa Rican gourmet coffee along with our Costa Rican heritage with visitors and tourists from near and far.
Our plantation and coffee tour have become one of Costa Rica’s major tourist attractions welcoming over 500,000 visitors from amateurs to coffee lovers to business travelers. We welcome the opportunity to share our passion.
Our enthusiasm and respect for our culture, nature, people and quality are at the heart of Café Britt. We believe that societal and environmental issues are too important to be left only for laws and governments. Though we want to maximize shareholder value we also want to help our society find sustainable ways of doing business. Café Britt wants to make a difference.
Since the beginning, we have pioneered organic coffee growing in Costa Rica and now have a label of both Organic and Fair Trade coffee. We employ sustainable agriculture techniques that preserve both the livelihood of our coffee bushes as well as the quality of our coffee beans. Café Britt uses only what is necessary to encourage the development of a natural plantation ecosystem and help combat coffee pests, providing much of the benefits of organic farming with less risk and lower energy costs.
Our plantation is also compliant with international environmental standards. By maintaining an ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certification, an internationally recognized system for assuring quality, all of our suppliers, customers and coworkers can measure our impact on the environment.
Café Britt pays coffee growers above-market prices for their premium quality crops, but we expect them – and help them – to commit to Café Britt’s social and environmental standards. Regularly, we do market comparisons to ensure we pay over-market salaries to our employees and we encourage training and employee development so our employees may learn and grow with the company.
Café Britt works to extend our efforts and service beyond our industry. Our employees undertake projects to improve our schools and communities, reforest lands, and improve parks. We also work with Costa Rica’s Ministry of the Economy, and the Technical Institute to help Costa Rican artisans improve their production processes and product quality. We sell many of these improved arts and crafts in our stores together with our renowned coffees. Visit us, experience and discover what we call “sense of place”.