NATIONAL

Costa Rican coffee gains stronger presence in Korea

By Joel Lee
  • Published : Mar 27, 2018 - 00:04
  • Updated : Mar 27, 2018 - 00:08
Costa Rican coffee has secured a stronger position in the Korean market, where coffee consumption is steadily growing, according to the Costa Rican Embassy in Seoul.

Various types of Costa Rican coffee will be showcased at the Coffee Expo Seoul at Coex from Apr. 5-8.

Costa Rica is the host country of the global event, with several of its coffee producers and exporters participating and presenting their sustainable production methods. They will also hold coffee-making sessions and expand their networks with Korean buyers and consumers.

The Costa Rican Embassy, Costa Rica Coffee and Costa Rica Foreign Trade Promoter, Procomer, have collaborated to bring together a successful trade delegation to Korea, where Costa Rica supplies 4.5 percent of all coffee. 

Costa Rican Ambassador to Korea Rodolfo Solano Quiros (left) poses with Embassy Minister Counselor and Consul General Sofia Salas Monge (right) and Laura Barahona a Costa Rican expat in Korea, drink Costa Rican coffee at the embassy in Seoul last week. (Costa Rican Embassy)

“Costa Rica is honored to be the guest country of Coffee Expo 2018. It is a recognition and appreciation of our high-quality coffee,” Costa Rican Ambassador to Korea Rodolfo Solano Quiros told The Korea Herald. “The Free Trade Agreement recently signed with Korea will allow deepening trade exchanges between our two economies, and present new opportunities to increase our coffee exports to Korea’s growing coffee market.”

Korea’s domestic coffee market reached 11.7 trillion won ($10.8 billion) last year, and the demand for the beverage continues to rise, according to data by the Korea Customs Service. The figure is more than triple the amount of 3 trillion won a decade ago, and translates into 26.5 billion cups last year at an average 512 cups per person.

The data showed that while people drank more, the price of a cup of coffee had also shot up over the last decade, with increasingly more people opting for high-end brands. The country’s per capita coffee consumption still stands far below the United States, Germany and many European countries, signaling there is still considerable room for further expansion, according to industry insiders.

“Korean consumers look for highly specialized flavors. They are students of quality,” said Mario Arroyo, promotion and information manager at the Costa Rica Coffee Institute. “As they like to know where the coffee comes from, our focus on traceability and sustainability will help Costa Rican coffee gain a stable footing in the Korean market.”

By Joel Lee (joel@heraldcorp.com)