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How NFTs and Coffee are Merging to Preserve Costa Rica’s Heritage

Costa Rican coffee has found a digital ally in NFTs, using them to fund research and foster a deeper appreciation for its beloved beans.

When you conjure the vivid imagery of Costa Rica, undoubtedly pristine beaches, robust wildlife, and the exhilarating rush of the Pacific waves greet your imagination. Deep-rooted in this landscape, however, is an age-old treasure: coffee. While this nation brews only 1% of the global coffee, a staggering 10% of Costa Ricans are deeply interwoven in its cultivation.

In an unprecedented move to safeguard this legacy, a coalition has emerged between the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Centre (CATIE), Specialty Coffee Association of Costa Rica (SCACR), and the innovative Web3 entity, BIOCENFT (see the related press release). Their mission is simple, yet profound: to unveil a curated NFT collection, which seamlessly blends artistry with the unmistakable essence of coffee.

The collection boasts NFTs inspired by 12 hallmark coffee strains of CATIE, encompassing the likes of Geisha, Wush-Wush, and Java. These digital tokens, meticulously crafted, reveal the intrinsic charm of each bean. They shimmer in Gold, Silver, and Standard editions, bearing price tags ranging from $20 to a whopping $12,000. And, for the tech-savvy, these tokens align with the ERC-1155 standard and are nestled within the Polygon sidechain, with MATIC being the currency of choice.

Casiopea Gold NFT
Casiopea Gold NFT – Source: BIOCENFT

BIOCENFT’s CEO, Walter Aguilar, champions this initiative as a “golden ticket for coffee aficionados and NFT buffs.” It’s a clarion call to rally behind two esteemed bodies endeavoring to fortify Costa Rican coffee’s future. Not just a marketplace, BIOCENFT pivots towards tokens that augment biodiversity, offering integrations with popular wallets like MetaMask and Coinbase.

But what makes this venture shine?

Noelia Villalobos, helming SCACR, elucidates that this NFT ensemble serves a dual purpose. First, it amplifies the chorus of coffee biodiversity, propelling it to a wider audience. Second, it provides a tangible scaffold to CATIE’s ambitious venture: translocating a vast collection of 168 coffee species to a terrain conducive to their growth.

However, the promise of NFTs extends beyond mere fundraising. In the ever-evolving digital landscape, they sculpt communities, re-envision donor dynamics, and bolster awareness. The Costa Rican coffee saga now harnesses this power, potentially sculpting a harmonious ecosystem of coffee lovers and digital enthusiasts.

Yet, as with all endeavors, this initiative has its share of risks. The volatile nature of NFTs cannot be overlooked, with investors treading a thin line between gains and losses. Skeptics might question the use of digital assets for philanthropy.

Nevertheless, the alliance of CATIE, SCACR, and BIOCENFT stands firm, spearheading a groundbreaking crusade. Funds garnered through this endeavor might foster resilient coffee strains, refine production techniques, unlock new consumer bases, and enlighten many about coffee’s delicate ecosystem.

In embracing this NFT foray, one doesn’t merely acquire a digital asset; one becomes a custodian of Costa Rica’s coffee chronicle, ensuring its aroma lingers for eons.


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