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Best Costa Rican Coffees in 2020

If you have taken Costa Rican coffee, then you can agree with me that indeed it has a unique taste. There is no doubt that it is a high level grade coffee. Costa Rican farmers are able to cultivate this type of coffee due to the functional and good solid infrastructure. Costa Rica is also known to have good climatic conditions that favor this coffee. Although Costa Rica is not among the countries that produce coffee in bulk, it is among the very few countries that take pride in producing noble coffee.

The Bestselling Costa Rican Coffees Reviewed – December 2020​

How it all began


Coffee production in Costa Rica started in 1779. The first coffee trees were grown in the Central part of Costa Rica. This area had ideal soil and weather conditions that highly favored coffee plantations. After the country gained Independence from Spain in 1823, the Costa Rican government began to encourage coffee production. It is good to know that the local government could give free coffee seeds. The main aim of doing this was to encourage coffee growing. By then, Costa Rica had only seventeen thousand trees.

The Costa Rican government has been supporting coffee farmers for very many years. Coffee was exempted from certain taxes in 1825. Six years later, the government ruled that anyone who grew coffee for more than five years could claim ownership of the land.

The first imported coffee to be grown in the country was directly from Ethiopia. Keep in mind that Arabica coffee is the heart of coffee production in Costa Rica. The Costa Rica government made the growing of Robusta coffee illegal in 1989. That being said, you can see how the government is committed to export high quality and high value coffee.

You will never go wrong with freshly roasted coffee beans from Costa Rica if you are new to specialty coffee and you would want somewhere to start your taste sensation. The first coffee to be exported from Costa Rica reached England in 1832. It was exported via Chile under the name Café Valparaiso. Coffee was the only product Costa Rica exported from 1846 to 1890. Up to now, it is still one of the most important cash crops that the country boasts of.

The country began exporting coffee directly to the United Kingdom via the captain of the English ship, The Monarch. That is when this English name became invested in Costa Rica. That is what led to the establishment of the Anglo Costa Rica Bank in 1863. The function of this bank was to provide finance for the growth of the industry.

The British were the principal customers of this type of coffee until World War II. There are more than 50,000 coffee growers in Costa Rica. Most of these farmers are small scale coffee producers. Each of them owns less than 12 acres. Small groups of farmers have been allowed to process their own beans. They also have the full freedom to add value to their crops while at the same time trading with buyers around the world.

You might be aware that the traceability of buyers and roasters around the world is exceptional. The traceability is not only direct to the farm but in some cases an individual of that farm.

Pea berry Costa Rican beans

It is arguably the rarest beans in the coffee tree. It has the intense taste that you will always like to have all the times. It is one of the most highly prized coffee beans. It is expensive for its balance and intensity of flavor of fruits and citrus.

Costa Rican coffee tastes

It is worth noting that the flavors of Costa Rican coffee vary depending with the method of processing and the region where they are grown. Additionally, washed coffee beans boast of mild and good taste. Also, they have admirable fruit properties that many coffee lovers like. The natural coffee comes with properties such as barriers and citrus. If you have come across honey coffee, then you can agree with me that it is the sweetest of all.

Regions where coffee is produced in Costa Rica

It is said that the best and the tastiest Costa Rican coffee comes from the Tarrazu region. This region controls more than 35% of the total produce in Costa Rica. The most famous coffee variety that comes from this region is La minita. It is known all over the world. The region has been producing distinguished coffee for very many years.

Doka estate is another popular region where Costa Rica coffee is grown. This estate is located on the volcano slopes along the central valley. In the last couple of years, this region has been producing the best coffee grade and flavor in the country. Unlike in other countries, the Costa Rica government holds an excellent cup each year. This event is held to identify the top coffee in the country.

Coffee in this country is encouraged by the high altitudes, rich volcanic soils and good weather conditions. The coffee growing regions are also characterized by morning sunshine and heavy rainfall more so in the afternoon. Most of the coffee growing zones in Costa Rica enjoy these conditions. You can attest that indeed they are almost perfect.

Common methods used to process coffee in Costa Rica

There are different methods that are used to process coffee in Costa Rica. That is the reason why we have decided to compile some of these methods.

Naturally processed


It has emerged as one of the most favorite methods of processing Costa Rica coffee. Most farmers prefer using this method simply because the cost is high for getting water for the washed method. It is not only easy, but also cost effective. You should go for this method if you are on a budget.

Coffee beans are spread out in thin layers to dry in the sun after picking them from coffee trees. On the other hand, the drying stations can be a little different. It all depends on the farm or region. While people prefer using brick ratios, others use special raised beds. Raised beds allow air to flow around the cherries. This ensures more even drying.

In this method, cherries are turned regularly. This is done to avoid fermentation and rotting. The dried fruit flesh is then removed once the cherries have been dried completely. The dried fruit flesh is removed mechanically. Last but not least, green coffee is stored and rested before it is exported.

Washed method

Most of the coffee produced in the world nowadays is processed through washing. This method results in a clean flavor in the coffee. It is said to represent the ideal processing method for those who prefer a brew that is both mild and bright. The washing method is known to produce coffees that have a light body and bright clean up.

This method involves the cherries being put into wetting mills. From there, the fruits are forced using the machines and water. The processing machine has blades that cut the cherry open. This is done by extracting the pairs of beans contained inside. The empty cherries are ready for other uses. Afterward, the coffee beans are left with a thin mucilage. They are then set aside in order to remove mucilage.

You might be wondering what makes up the mucilage. It is made of different types of sugars and alcohols. These sugars may affect the final flavor of the bean in one way or another. This method of processing coffee can be continued by using a machine or by fermenting the beans. You can also do it by hand.

Honey processing method


It is the hardest and most demanding method of coffee processing. You might be aware that originally people allowed coffee to dry in the sun. This was done until the fruit was ready for milling. You might have come across some people who prefer washing the coffee after they have removed the fruit and then drying it. This method is not only the most predominant, but also the fastest.

Usually, the processor starts by removing the coffee beans top part. From there, the coffee beans are spread in order to dry. This is done without leaving the upper part of the pulp. Coffee beans should be spread by the processor thinly on special beds. They should also be turned after every one hour for 15 days. The main reason for doing this is to gain the needed stability.

The end results are usually coffee with fine attributes. In most cases, these attributes are associated with high end washed coffee. The end results is sweet coffee with a natural taste that you will love. It includes black, white and red styles. Keep in mind that this method of coffee processing does not involve honey. It is very similar to the popular washed process. However, it is good to know that it does not involve some of the processes in the washed method.

Reasons why the Costa Rican coffee is the best

Many of us think that Costa Rica has the best tasting coffee on the planet. All that you should know is that we are not the only ones. Although most people travel from far and wide to experience the beauty of Costa Rica beaches, it is the popular coffee that keeps them coming back. If you are yet to be convinced that Costa Rica coffee is the best, here are some of the reasons why it is the best.

Growing bad coffee is against the law

You might be aware that Costa Rica is the only country where it is illegal to grow low quality coffee. You should only grow the highest quality of coffee beans. The Costa Rica government passed a law that encouraged farmers to pursue true excellence. Unlike Robusta, Arabic coffee is a variety of coffee beans that is more difficult to grow. The full bodied flavors are what that lead to premium blends. In Costa Rica, they take producing and processing of their coffee seriously so that they can provide you with the best.

Their tropical climate is good for coffee beans

Arabica coffee plants need specific climate conditions to thrive. They only do well in high altitude and mild temperatures. The Costa Rica mountainous regions provide the perfect environment for growing high quality Arabica coffee beans. More than 70% of the coffee grown in Costa Rica comes from mountainous regions which have highly varied altitudes. The volcanic ash in these regions oxygenates the beans. This gives them richer flavors.

They are hand picked

The Costa Rican people have discovered that the secret to the best brews is not to rush the process. That is the reason why they prefer picking their coffee beans. Only the ripest beans are picked, processed and exported. Normally, they treat their coffee beans as to what they are. This makes the coffee beans unique and full of potential.

The dedicated farmers from Costa Rica have been in this business of growing high quality coffee for generations. They take pride in their growing processes. Over the years, only the best flavors have been associated with Costa Rica.

Environmentally friendly plantations

Costa Rica government has established laws that make sure to protect their land. They ensure that no farming practices are harmful to the planet. You should treat yourself by purchasing one of the best coffees in the world that have been grown in a well-protected environment.

There are numerous processing approaches

There are several processing approaches in Costa Rica. Each of these processing methods will add a distinct flavor profile to the coffee. You can imagine that there are more than twenty possible flavors of coffee from one bean variety in one country.

Final thoughts

There are multiple reasons why you should not leave Costa Rica coffee behind. This is the right time to join many satisfied people who have tasted this type of coffee in their life. You will never regret making your decision. We hope that this article will help you in the future.