Costa Rica targets Korean coffee lovers

By Rachel Lee

The Embassy of Costa Rica participated in a Korea Coffee Association event in Seoul on Feb. 17 as part of efforts to promote its coffee industry.

Representatives from the Costa Rican Coffee Institute (ICAFE), the Foreign Trade Promotion Office (PROCOMER) and coffee association Coopronaranjo met over 300 Korean businessmen, baristas and people working in the industry.

Costa Rican Ambassador Rodolfo Solano Quiros spoke at the event, highlighting the importance of celebrating the friendly ties between Korea and Costa Rica over a “good cup of coffee.”

ICAFE Promotion and Projects Manager Mario Arroyo Uder spoke about the quality and differentiated characteristics of Costa Rican coffee, “emphasizing the importance of sharing the knowledge and stories of the coffee producers.” The event introduced Costa Rican brand The Essential Costa Rica.

Cupping-tasting sessions followed the speeches. Coopronaranjo President Bernardo Corrales Morales and Jose Antonio Vega, Coopronaranjo exports manager, discussed various ideas with Korea’s main coffee distributors and visited some coffee chains in Seoul.

Korea Coffee Association President Lee Sang-kyu said he hoped to continue building knowledge of Costa Rican coffee among Koreans and promoting cooperation between ICAFE and universities in the two countries to encourage further learning on the topic.

Costa Rican coffee exports to Korea have been growing since 2008.

According to the Korea Coffee Association, green coffee bean imports over the past 10 years have grown 53 percent (in tons) while the price has increased up to 200 percent.

ICAFE and the embassy will take part in the international Cafe Show in Seoul in November, for the sixth consecutive year, the embassy said.

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