Home

Welcome to Caribeans Coffee Shop and Organic Chocolate Factory.  We are located in the tropical paradise of the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica.  Our coffee is grown high in the mountains where liquid sunshine and cool breezes develop the best flavors in the bean.  We fresh roast daily and serve our coffee, chocolate and fresh fruit smoothies here in the beach location of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Caribeans is much more than a great coffee shop!  We also make our own organic chocolate from the locally grown cacao beans.  Stop in to taste our world class organic chocolate for free.  You can also go deeper and take our Chocolate Forest Experience Tour to connect with the roots of chocolate and become a true chocolate connoisseur!  Not able to travel to Costa Rica? You can still enjoy our chocolate at home!  Order online here.

Looking for community? Caribeans is offering many opportunities to connect with those who call Puerto Viejo home.  We have regular yoga classes to work out your mind and body.  Zumba/Pilates classes get your rhythm going.  Life coaching and cultural workshops by David Magic Hands offer a chance to connect with the tribe.  DocHeads Movie Night stimulates our intellectual connections.  And First Monday’s Spoken Word meetings give us a chance to share our poems and stories where people will actually listen.

Our coffee shop offers all day long chocolate tasting, gourmet coffee and chocolate drinks, the best smoothies with only natural fresh fruit.  Chocolate truffles and pastries.  Light breakfast options include homemade granola with fruit and yogurt.  Lunch options include sandwiches with fresh flavors such as curry goat cheese and fresh basil.  Need a stack or an energy bump?  Stop in for our iced mocaccino.  It is da’bomb!

Smoothie lovers will love our fresh fruit smoothies with almond or coconut milk.  Try a smoothie with nibs or our bean to bar chocolate!

Our Customers are happy!

“By far the BEST tour of its kind I’ve ever been on. His knowledge and passion for the trade is matched by his enthusiasm and for all things cacao. For $28 you get more than just the history of cacao, you get to walk the beautiful property, understand the history of coffee around the world and in Costa Rica, hear his story of how he came to be a novice, taste the chocolate they make onsite and pair chocolate with other herbs and spices. Thank you for the bottom of our hearts. Please keep doing what and how you do for others. I will never look at chocolate again and sorry Hershey’s time to move from chocolate candy to the grown up good for you real stuff!”

Delicious handmade organic chocolate and iced mocha coffee to die for! Friendly staff, great service, check this place out!

We had a free afternoon in Cocles so wandered down to Caribeans…so very glad we did! Not only was the tour wonderful and the chocolate AMAZING, we also enjoyed Paul and Jean very much – their passion is inspiring! We saw lots of wildlife along the way too.
You will be blown away by the chocolate tasting…the most incredible chocolate ever, made even more perfect by the view – this tour is a MUST!!! Our kids (11 & 9) also loved the tour.
We’ve got a nice supply to take back to Canada too;)
Thanks Paul and Jeanne!
The Hume Family

It was awesome to hang out with Paul during a tour of the farm and a delicious tasting with Jeanne! The tour is very informative and interactive! Highly highly recommend a tour with them!

Caribeans has a super unique history with very passionate owners who have created a unique thing for themselves and the chocolate community in Costa Rica! Visit here for coffee, chocolate, delicious muffins and amazing energy!

Impressive is the only word I can use to describe the Maracuya ice cream! It is not one of my favorite fruits, but this ice cream mixture of maracuyá and chocolate is simply amazing! It leaves you with and exquisite mouth taste. A bohemian ambience, informal but nice and comfortable. You can also purchase a variety of handmade  organic chocolates you don´t want to miss. The black coffee is good too. Closed on Sundays. Medium range prices. Highly recommended!

If you are looking for your favorite coffee shop in the world, Caribeans may just be the place!  For us a coffee shop is a home away from home.  For many Caribeans is a remote office and our wifi is one of the faster connections in the area.

Too rainy for a beach day? Caribeans is one of the best rainy day activities.  Connect with home.  Do some writing.  Taste one of our sipping chocolates.  Join a chocolate tour.  Take a yoga class.  Sit upstairs and watch the people on the beach.  Catch a documentary film and discussion.  Indulge in a brownie sundae.

Hot and thirsty?  We have the best smoothies on the beach.  No artificial ingredients or pre-mixes.  Fresh fruit, ice and clean water is all you need.  Try the probiotic ginger ale.  It is amazing and super good for the gut!

Are you vegan or gluten intolerant?  Caribeans has several non-dairy options for all of our drinks and smoothies.  Our vegan gluten free muffins will not disappoint.  Our organic chocolate is 100% natural and pure cacao with organic un-refined sugar.  Good for any diet need.

Got some sore muscles or some un-needed stress?  Ask for David Magic Hands and receive professional and caring body work right here at Caribeans.

Most of our customers keep coming back and those who find us on there last day here in Puerto Viejo always say the wish they have found us earlier.  So make Caribeans your first visit.  Oh…and by the way…if your do our tour you get 10% off for the rest of your trip!

Chocolate Tour

Ever wonder how chocolate is made?  Our Chocolate Forest Experience  is the best cacao farm and chocolate factory tour in Puerto Viejo, Limon, Costa Rica.  Our chocolate tour is one of the best things to do in Puerto Viejo. Our owner/guide will teach you everything you need to know about cacao, chocolate history, tropical wildlife and of course chocolate making.  We grow our own cacao and make the chocolate right here amongst the cacao trees.  Search the world over, and you will not find a truly tree to bar chocolate tour.

Our Chocolate Tour includes:

Hiking our sustainable cacao forest (some physical exertion over hilly terrain)

Tasting the fruit of the cacao tree from our cacao farm

Tasting the chocolate with amazing ocean views

Seeing the bean to bar process at our chocolate workshop

This is a walking/hiking tour which last 2.5 to 3 hours.  Some physical exertion required, but guest in average physical condition have no problems.  Total distance is 1.6 k or one mile.  Elevation change about 60 mts or 200 ft.   Fresh water is provided at half way point but personal water is recommended.  Sturdy shoes are recommended but not required.  Flip flops are fine if you like to walk in them.

Tour times are walk up, so no reservations are required,  Price is $28 per person.  Tours offered every Monday 10 am, Tuesday 10 am & 2 pm, Thursday 10 am & 2 pm, Friday 2 pm, Saturday 2 pm. See calendar for complete list of activities and tastings.

Private tours can be scheduled at other times for $32 per person (4 person minimum) and must be arranged 24 hrs in advance.  pvjeanne@gmail.com

Find us.

Here are some reviews from our tour guests:

What a great chocolate tour!

We really enjoyed this tour! It started with a nice hike up the mountain looking at the cocoa trees and hearing the story of how the business came about. We saw the cacao from the time it is picked, fermented, dried, roasted and churned into chocolate. Very informative, very interesting. Of course the best part was the actual tasting. they have a beautiful tasting station at the top of the mountain overlooking the sea. we tasted chocolate from different farms, had a lovely chocolate drink and tried chocolate with many different spices, herbs ..etc. A great tour for any chocolate lover!

I learned so much!

My husband, 13 year old daughter and I went on this chocolate tour on a Thursday afternoon. We learned all about the process of growing, drying, roasting, and tempering cocoa beans. I had no idea!!!!! We got to try out all different flavors, and then we got to try our own “recipes” with spices, fruits and herbs. (My daughter’s favorite part). The owner has done it all with character and tenacity. My husband thought that hearing the owner’s story was super inspiring, and I agree. I highly recommend going on this tour, and supporting this small business!

Must do chocolate tour!

We were extremely impressed by the chocolate tour! The guide, Jeff, was very informative, and the walk through the cacao farm was an experience in itself. We saw 3 sloths, tree cutter ants and poison dart frogs. We got to try the chocolate at different stages, including straight from the fruit. The tasting part of the tour was on top of a large incline, with a great view of the ocean and forest. The tasting was the best part! We got to try a variety of dark chocolates, as well as different flavor combinations. The chocolate is great quality, extremely smooth and not bitter. Highly recommend both the tour and the chocolate.

10BEST SAYS

Chocolate lovers, nature enthusiasts, and those looking to learn more about Costa Rica’s rich history of cacao should indulge in the Chocolate Forest Experience, an in-depth exploration of chocolate from tree to bean to bar. The experience begins with a guided tour through varied areas of their cacao farm, from the jungle to the forest and managed cacao restoration zones. Following the tour, there’s a professional chocolate tasting with organic wine. The Chocolate Forest Experience costs $26 per person and includes all the chocolate you can eat. Monday tours are at 10 am, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 am & 2 pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 2 pm.

And what about the chocolate?

Chocolate Tour in Puerto Viejo Costa Rica

Posted on

Any coffee lover knows that some of the best coffee beans in the world come from Costa Rica. But did you know that Cacao beans are also abundant in Costa Rica and are also considered to be some of the best in the world?

Cacao beans were farmed regularly on the Caribbean coast until about 50 years ago. At that point, a disastrous fungus killed off many of the plants and entire plantations were abandoned and the jungle to simply took over. But before that, entire communities and cultures were built around the production of cacao. Cacao beans were currency from the days of Columbus for several hundred years. To many local, indigenous people this plant was sacred and remains so to this day.

One man, a Minnesota native who now calls Costa Rica home, is on a mission to make artisan chocolate production a foodie experience on par with wine, cheese or coffee. His chocolate tour in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica is an absolute must do for any slow food or wine/coffee enthusiast.

How to find Caribeans in Puerto Viejo

Like most things in Puerto Viejo, directions are relative to another building, sign or landmark. In the case of Caribeans, it’s a few minutes south of Puerto Viejo town next to Tasty Waves.

The Resurrection of a Cacao Farm

As you’re driving around Puerto Viejo, trying to read signs and not collide with the constant stream of bikers, pedestrians and ATVs, it’s hard to imagine what’s hiding in the thick jungle, just a few feet from the road.

But on this Puerto Viejo chocolate tour you head up into the hills on foot, and while you’ll be sweating while climbing this hill on most days it’s well worth the effort.

Hiking is a one of the great things to do in Puerto Viejo.  However there are few trails that lead to spectacular ocean views like our chocolate tour.  Chocolate tasting is another one of the things to do here.  Hanging out a coffee shop is another one of the things to do and Caribeans is the best coffee shop in the area.

If you are looking for things to do here in Puerto Viejo, Caribeans Coffee & Chocolate is your place.  We offer free wifi, yoga, documentary films, chocolate tastings, chocolate tours, music.  Visitor find many things to do near the beach!  Make Caribeans Coffee & Chocolate your home base for the day at the beach.  We are about a one minute walk from the water.  Our free outdoor shower will rinse away the sand and salt and our smoothie bar will wet the palate.

Our Chocolate

Our bean to bar chocolates are all hand made here in Costa Rica with only pure cacao and organic cane sugar. We are one of Costa Rica’s first bean to bar chocolate companies with over ten years of cacao selection and chocolate making experience.  Our chocolate is made from only the finest cacao produced in Costa Rica.  We support over 15 cacao farming families by directly sourcing our cacao at higher prices than any other cacao buyer will pay.  We can pay the farmers more because our chocolate is made right here in their neighborhood.  This also allows the farmers to taste the chocolate each time we make it from their cacao.  Tasting chocolate makes you a better cacao farmer and better cacao farmers make our chocolate better.

Kokobuzz says,”Caribeans has done an amazing job making chocolate under less than ideal conditions – the heat and humidity of the jungle for starters.  Eating this stuff reminds me of my first trip to Playa Cocles  where a all the chocolate seemed to exuded a certain local personality of buttery brown sugar and coffee.  Now,  by tasting the prolific line up at Caribeans, I’ve discovered there is more diversity in the beans of this region.  Depending upon the chocolate, the flavors span the range from coffee to dried fruit to melon to bananas.”

Bean to bar chocolate lovers can order here.  If you are planning on coming to Costa Rica, make sure to come to Caribeans Coffee and Chocolate to join our Chocolate Forest Experience.

Wine lover?  Cacao variety, terroir, fermentation and drying will make chocolate bars made from farm to farm taste as different as a merlot is from a chardonnay.  Pick up a single estate tasting pack and pair the perfect wine with the perfect chocolate.   For a even crazier tasting try our chocolate with rum or whiskey!

 

Shop

Bean to bar chocolate fans love Caribeans.  If you are here in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, you can visit our chocolate tasting lounge and load up on delicious craft chocolate gifts!  But if you can’t come to Costa Rica, you can now order online! Taste the Caribbean at home!

Healthy

We make all of our products from organic ingredients locally grown and directly sourced from area farms.  Chocolate boosts your anti-oxident intake. It helps with magnesium deficiency and balances your mood.   Craft chocolate also improves memory recall and concentration.

Fair and Direct

Your purchase also provides a livable wage to area farmers, and their children.  We are not certified fair trade or organic, but prefer to work directly with farmers. This allows generous pricing for their excellent quality work.  Basing the price on quality produces better chocolate.  All our farmers taste our chocolate to ensure it is up to their standards.

Farm to Bar

We select the very best of each harvest of over 15 micro producers in Costa Rica.  Sourcing in micro batches allows us to find unique flavors and aromas from farm to farm.  Cacao farmers are actually the first and most important in a complex chain of actors in the building of a world class bean to bar chocolate. Chocolate makers only make the last several steps to get the best out of the beans.  Our farm to bar chocolates are featuring the farmers who are the real heroes of craft chocolate.

Creative Flavors

We also make bean to bar chocolate with whole herbs and spices such as: cinnamon, cardamom, peppermint, vanilla, chile peppers, tarragon, nutmeg, allspice, orange, anise, coffee and even lime leaves.  All are sourced from our farm or from local farms that can produce these ingredients organically.  For an amazing flavor journey order a variety pack.

Please allow 3 to 4 weeks shipping due the remote location of our farm from any fast shipping method.

Cacao Farming makes all the difference in chocolate quality but, when I first started making chocolate almost ten years ago, I was surprised to find out that the chocolate we made from one farm would taste different than the chocolate from another farm.

Now it is obvious that the farming and genetics of the cacao will make flavors and aromas different from one country to another.  My first experience with this was at the Northwest Chocolate Festival several years ago in Seattle.

Caribeans was one of the only chocolates made at origin in this very large chocolate exposition.  We were very inexperienced and had almost no marketing skills whatsoever.  I felt like a tiny fish in shark infested waters.  Even though we were just a super micro bean to bar chocolate maker we were given an experience that made our chocolate even better.

Our bean to bar chocolate is made from cacao grown exclusively here in Costa Rica.  Other chocolate companies were able to make chocolate from cacao grown in any country that produces cacao.  I tasted bars with over 20 different countries of origin.  The main thing I noticed is that, even though I only use cacao from Costa Rica, our chocolate had nearly as much diversity in flavor and aroma as all of these different countries.

I realized it would be next to impossible to get a cacao from Madagascar but one of the farms I work with has flavors and aromas of fresh berries.  Another farm has aroma of honey and cinnamon and yet another had notes of green olives.  Also since the farms are right here the costs of import and transport were much less.  We started giving the farmers a chance to taste the chocolate.  Time after time the farmers would tell me this is a first for them.

Soon after we started the farmer tastings, farmers would ask me what they could do to reduce an off flavor or improve their cacao.  Since I didn’t have any experience with cacao farming, I began to learn what I could from the internet and began visiting farms.

What I learned is that each farm has its own collection of trees.  In our case many that were planted with seed about 80 years ago.  That meant that the genetics although similar from farm to farm was completely wild.  This diversity in genetics is the first reason the chocolate tasted different from farm to farm.

Soil type is pretty similar in our area but we cannot discount differences in drainage, micro climates, elevation and other terroir factors.  This means each farm would be unique terroir.

I also learned that the farmers are fermenting the beans and drying them in the sun.  Some used the sacks used for rice or flour.  Some used wooden boxes.  Some made a pile on top of banana leaves.  Every farmer uses whatever natural micro-organisms available in the process.  Some frequently mixed the beans and some never did anything special.  All of these variables must be dramatically affecting the flavor and aroma.

The drying also was hugely different from farm to farm and also from batch to batch according to available sun.  Sometimes the cacao dried too fast and leaves the chocolate sour like pickles or vinegar.   Sometimes the cacao dried to slow and developed mold or smokey meaty flavors.

Over the years and making thousands of micro batches of bean to bar chocolate from the same farms we have discovered some of the key factors for making better chocolate.  Nearly all of these factors are in the farming.

If you want to taste for yourselves, order a farms tasting pack.  You will notice dramatic differences from one chocolate to another.

Better farming makes better chocolate.

 

Contact

 

Some FAQs and their answers:

How long is the tour? Two and a half to three hours.

Do I need a reservation for the tour? Not for our regularly scheduled tours.  Simply arrive 10 to 15 minutes before the tour start time and you will be able to join the tour.  If you want to enjoy a drink or sandwich before the tour arrive 30 to 40 minutes ahead of the tour time.

Do I need special footwear or clothing for the tour? Our tour is an easy to medium hike on gravel road and well maintained trails.  However slipping on loose rock or gravel is a possibility.  We are walking up and down a hill during the tour.  We recommend footwear that is comfortable to walk in, but flip flops are ok.  Otherwise no special clothing is needed.

Do I need sunscreen or bug repellent on the tour?  Our tour is mostly shaded so not much sunburn happens.  However the rainforest has biting insects and at times we need repellent.  If you want it bring it, since we cannot provide any on the tour.

Does the tour operate in the rain? Cacao grows in the rainforest and rain is frequent here.  We provide umbrellas for those who want them and will do the tour rain or shine.  About half of the tour time is outdoors and the other have under shelter from the rain.  Dangerous conditions would cause us to cancel a tour.  Lightning or strong winds may cause hazardous situations, and for safety, we prefer not to be in the rainforest at that time.

Do you allow children on the tour?  Absolutely yes!  Children eight and under are free!  Youngsters 9-13 pay half price.  Very young children need to be carried or assisted without a stroller.  The trail has stairs and gravel road and cannot be navigated with a stroller.

Do locals, students, volunteers or seniors get discounts?  Yes we have discounts for Costa Rican Residents, Costa Rican Students, and  all Seniors.  We also give discounts to volunteers who are helping here in Puerto Viejo.

What is the tour schedule? Mondays 10 am, Tuesdays 10 am and 2 pm, Wednesdays NO TOUR (shop is open), Thursdays 10 am and 2 pm, Fridays 2 pm, Saturdays 2 pm,  Sundays NO TOUR (shop is open).

Do you sell chocolate or coffee in bulk orders? The simplest answer is no.  Our artisan products are expensive to produce and we have very little production.  We do sell wrapped bars to businesses who want to resell our finished and branded products.

Phone: 2750-0504, 8341-2034

Email: pvjeanne@gmail.com.   Map