costa rica coffee mountains

6 Best Costa Rican Coffee Brands to Bring Home

Different coffee cultures and industries can be found around the world, but few take as much pride in their product as Costa Rica.

Costa Rica keeps a good reputation when it comes to coffee beans. Costa Rican coffee beans are recognized as some of the best coffee beans that Central America has to offer.

You can’t buy lousy coffee beans in Costa Rica. Actually – it’s against their law. In 1989, Costa Rica declared it forbidden to cultivate any other coffee variety than 100% Arabica. It is not a secret that Arabica is the top quality coffee variety.

costa rican girl drink coffee

So, while you won’t see Costa Rica beating the charts in the world coffee production, what the country lacks with quantity, they more than gain for in quality.

This small region of Latin American gives exceptional coffee to coffee lovers all over the world. So if you wish to explore a wide variety of delicious coffee profiles, this post about the best Costa Rican coffee brand is the one for you!

6 Best Costa Rican Coffee Brands to buy

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PREVIEW

PRODUCT & RATING

BUY

1

Costa Rica Decaf Tarrazu Coffee, Whole Bean, Swiss Water Processed, Rainforest Certified, Fresh Roasted, 16-ounce

by Volcanica

4.6/5

2

Artifx Cafe Deep Cloud Forest, Monteverde Costa Rica Coffee – 12 oz, Whole Bean – Nature Friendly

by Artfx Cafe

5/5

3

Café Britt – Costa Rican Tres Rios Valdivia Coffee (12 oz.) – Whole Bean, Arabica Coffee, Kosher, Gluten Free, 100% Gourmet & Medium Light Roast (1 Year Shelf-Life)

by Cafe Britt

4.5/5

4

Dark Costa Rican Tarrazu, Whole Bean Coffee, 16 Ounce Bags (Pack of 3)

by Coffee Bean Direct

4.4/5

5

Coffee Beanery Costa Rican La Minita 12 oz. (Whole Bean)

by Coffee Beanery

4.2/5

6

Little River Roasting Costa Rican La Amistad Coffee (Whole Bean, 1 Pound)

by Little River Roasting

4/5

Costa Rican coffee is like a culture with a tradition built for centuries of careful dedication to details from the selection of beans to how to serve and accompany it on the table.

Coffee from Costa Rica was for almost two centuries, the primary source of family income and national currencies. It is currently recognized as a world standard for gourmet coffee quality. Costa Rican coffee is protected under a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) that encompasses all coffee produced in the Costa Rican territory. As well as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) that covers specifically to Tarrazú coffee, cultivated in the Valley of the Saints, south of the province of San José.

Top Costa Rican Coffee Brands

Costa Rica Decaf Tarrazu Coffee, Whole Bean, Swiss Water Processed, Rainforest Certified, Fresh Roasted, 16-ounce

Costa Rican coffee beans by Volcanica is anything but average. Then the first thing you should be aware of is that Volcanica is well known for offering high-quality, fresh coffee beans. It is a premium alternative, medium roast from the region of Tres Rios. It is Rainforest Alliance and Shade Tree Grown Certified.

Coffee enthusiasts prefer it for its robust and fruity taste, which is followed by a sweet aftertaste of apple and citrus notes. 

This Costa Rican coffee profile is a lot brighter in flavor than the rest of the alternatives.

Volcanica also gives a Costa Rican Decaf for those who avoid caffeine and a Cost Rican Reserve coffee, for dark roast aficionados.

Artifx Cafe Deep Cloud Forest, Monteverde Costa Rica Coffee - 12 oz, Whole Bean - Nature Friendly

It is a single origin, Costa Rican 100% Arabica coffee. The farmers use sustainable practices to grow this coffee, so they claim that coffee is grown in harmony with the environment and nature.

The process of washing is 100% natural and allows a coffee of full body that will bring up all fruity notes to the cup.

It is a fair trade coffee, which means that small communities and farmers are being supported if you buy this Costa Rican brand of coffee. 

The company also claims that a part of their profits goes to development projects of Artifx local communities.

Café Britt - Costa Rican Tres Rios Valdivia Coffee (12 oz.) - Whole Bean, Arabica Coffee, Kosher, Gluten Free, 100% Gourmet & Medium Light Roast

The Tres Rios coffee-growing region is recognized as the “Bordeaux” of Costa Rica. The reason is the fame for harvesting some of the most excellent coffee beans on earth. 

The high-mountain climate marked dry and wet seasons, and soils enriched by the nearby Irazu Volcano give excellent environmental conditions for harvesting exceptional coffee. 

Though it becomes from the smallest coffee growing region in the country, its coffee beans are some of the most famous on earth.

This elegant and medium roast presents an aroma of spices, plum, as well as flavors of citrus and orange. Its a balanced and brighter coffee profile, and thus, it is perfect for drinking during the afternoon or cool mid-morning.

  • Roast: 6
  • Altitude: 1,200 – 1,650 meters
  • Area: Tres Rios
  • Flavor Notes: Spices, Citrus, Orange, Plum
  • 100% Arabica – Catuai

The simplicity of the V60 method makes it one of the most effective brewing methods. So it is ideal for new brewers.

Dark Costa Rican Tarrazu, Whole Bean Coffee, 16 Ounce Bags (Pack of 3)

This Costa Rican Coffee brand is freshly roasted immediately before packaging. These beans are being roasted really slowly to bring out a balanced and robust flavor.

Whole coffee beans indeed tend to remain fresh for longer. This coffee from Costa Rican worth trying if you wish more of an average coffee alternative, and you like to play safe.

Definitely, you will be disappointed if you go for this coffee from Costa Rica. This dark Costa Rican coffee blend is being packaged to guarantee freshness.

Coffee Beanery Costa Rican La Minita 12 oz. (Whole Bean)

These remarkable coffee beans are roasted to a robust Medium Roast to secure the well-balanced acidity and body.

Coffee Beanery brand from Costa Rica has the most exceptional criteria in the coffee business when it comes to producing the most exquisite gourmet coffees around the globe.

I believe the original workmanship in delivering the perfect coffee bean is in the proper roast for each coffee profile. The brand owners claim that their master roaster roasts each of the coffee specialties to the peak of its flavor potential — taking from a broad spectrum of roasts.

The result is that some of the Arabica specialties are lightly sweet. Whereas other specialties have a bit of snap. However, each one of the excellent specialty coffees from this coffee brand has its own distinctive flavor components that are magnified by the company’s roasting skills.

If you try several specialties by this coffee brand, you will notice, taste, and smell, the exception the proper roasting makes.

Little River Roasting Costa Rican La Amistad Coffee (Whole Bean, 1 Pound)

This Costa Rican coffee brand is appreciated for being a bright, clean, and very well balanced coffee.

The La Amistad Estate is located in the south of Costa Rican, which is close to the Panama border. It is found, owned, and operated by Roberto Montero, who is committed to land conservation. The owner has made developments to the coffee farm so that the beans and fruit production overall give a zero-carbon footprint.

The coffee gives a strong hint of fruitiness, and this is because it is shade-grown among the fruit trees of the farm.

It is another medium roast with medium acidity, notes of syrup, chocolates, and a full body. Buyers who selected this Costa Rican coffee has returned to buy again.

Why is Costa Rican coffee so good?

I may be biased, but I believe Costa Rica has to offer the best coffee you can find on on earth. And I am not the only one. People visit from far away to experience the beauty of Costa Rica’s beaches and enjoy the delicious cooking. 

Still, it’s the famous coffee brands that keep visitors coming back for more. Here below, you may find the main reasons why Costa Rican coffee is considered to be the best.

Low quality coffee is actually against the Costa Rican law

A law was announced in 1989 forbidding the farming of low-quality coffee beans, encouraging Costa Rican farming families to seek real excellence. Costa Rica is the only place on earth where it is really illegal to offer any type of coffee other than 100% Arabica. It is known that Arabica is the top quality of coffee. 

In Costa Rica, coffee farmers are serious about cultivating coffee, and their goal is to offer to the rest of the world the best coffee variety. Therefore, they only grow Arabica coffee beans. Arabica is a particular kind of coffee that is harder to grow than other, hardier plants. The outcome when coffee beans mature has a full-body flavor, it is rich, and leading to superior coffee blends. 

They know how to pick by hand the best coffee beans!

When Costa Ricans say picked by hand here is what they actually mean by that: their legacy as connoisseur coffee producers have taught them that the puzzle to the best coffee brewing is not to hurry the whole process. Therefore when they pick beans of coffee, only the ripened berries are plucked and processed.

Rather than pulling every bean from a coffee tree at once, they treat each coffee bean individually, unique, and full of potential. Costa Rican farmers have been in the coffee industry for ages and take great pride in coffee farming methods. They guarantee that the best coffee flavors will be exported by Costa Rican by letting each coffee bean to mature 100%.

This fantastic tropical paradise is perfect for growing coffee

In Costa Rica, the mountainous areas and warm climate give the ideal environment for producing the highest quality of Arabica coffee beans.

This variety of coffee beans develop from sensitive coffee trees that require specific weather conditions to flourish. These conditions include mild temperature and high altitude areas. 

It is essential to mention that in Costa Rica you will find only two kinds of weather, rains and dry season. This kind of climate provides perfect conditions for coffee farming. The weather is mainly warm, and there is no cold weather at all. The range of temperature within the year is between 18 and 29 °C (63 to 80 °F). 

High altitude, rainfalls consist of perfect farmland for Costa Rican coffee trees. More than 72% of the Costa Rican coffee is cultivated on the country’s mountains. These conditions have a positive impact on the coffee flavor, body, acidity, aroma, and many more coffee qualities. The more vibrant character is a result of the volcanic ashes that the soil has to offer. 

costa-rica coffee areas

Coffee comes from 8 different coffee areas

These different farming locations create different coffee profiles for aficionados to taste. Costa Rica is known for its diverse environment that creates a significant variation in humidity and temperatures. The various microclimates are all ideal for farming high-quality coffee beans. 

Coffee farmers claim that coffee enthusiasts can enjoy coffee from Costa Rican in 8 different ways. And they are not wrong at all. One of the most popular areas is Tarrazú, renowned for its dense aromas and acidic aftertaste. Valle Occidental is known for the crafty hint of apricots and peaches in the coffee, while Brunca gives moderate coffee flavors. 

They say that Costa Rican can give the best coffee beans and satisfy all kind tastes. The reason is the different farming regions that give various aromas and flavors. If you are lucky and visit this beautiful land or enjoy their delicious coffee at home, you can feel confident that you will enjoy coffee at its best. Moreover, you will not contribute to planet waste or harmful cultivating methods. The local legislation protects more than 20% of the country’s land. Costa Rica is committed to protecting our environment.

It is essential to mention that Costa Rican culture promotes local people to protect the land and respect the fantastic habitat that we all have been given. Coffee farmers are committed to ethical and sustainable farming practices. The way Costa Ricans grow coffee beans is better for the planet, for the farming families, and gives the best tasting coffee in the world.

Quality of Costa Rican coffee and cultivation

Until February 2018, 100% of the coffee was Arabica, of the Caturra and Catuaí varieties. This coffee kind offers a higher-quality bean and a cup with better organoleptic characteristics: pleasant, aromatic, and smooth. Since 1989, the cultivation of Robusta coffee was prohibited by law due to lower coffee quality. Also, Costa Rican coffee farmers had to stop the farming of Catimores. This was also enforced by the law to maintain coffee quality.

In February 2018, the Costa Rican government changed the law to allow farming of Robusta coffee and in specific areas in Costa Rica, where Arabica was not growing steadily.

In Costa Rica, coffee is grown in fertile soils of volcanic origin and low acidity, ideal conditions for coffee farming. More than 80% of the coffee areas are located between 800 and 1,600 meters of altitude and at temperatures between 17º and 28º C., with an annual rainfall of between 1,900 and 3,000 millimeters.

Costa Rica is a country of Central America with an area of ​​51.100 sq. Km and a population of approximately 4.8 million people. It borders north with Nicaragua and southeast with Panama, east with the Caribbean and south and west with the Pacific Ocean. The capital of the country is the city of San Jose.

Costa Rica is one of the Central American countries that produce coffee

Costa Rican coffee is processed by various methods (Washed, honey, natural). It dominates the production process due to the flawless processing. Coffee from Costa Rica has a high reputation due to the coffee farmers’ dedication and passion for cultivation. It is characterized by a perfect balance, and its tasty characteristics are sweet with tones of flowers and fruits.

The first coffee beans arrived in America in 1720. At the end of the 18th century, the first Typica coffee seeds were planted in Costa Rica. At that time, agriculture in the country was focused on domestic production. In 1808, Governor Tomas de Acosta began to promote the cultivation of Costa Rican coffee.

Costa Rica was the first Central American country to introduce the coffee industry in the real sense. Priest Felix Velarde was the first coffee producer in the country. In 1821 the country’s independence from Spain was achieved, and the city councils prioritized the promotion of coffee cultivation. With a policy that included the offering of small coffee trees and concession of land to anyone who wanted to become a coffee farmer. That same year Costa Rica had 17,000 trees under production and made its first export to Panama. In 1832 marks the first export to Europe and production is increasing every year.

Today Costa Rican coffee represents 1% of the world’s total coffee production. The excellent quality of its coffee is due to a combination of elements, such as the ideal environment, the harvest from experienced growers, and environmentally friendly practices.

Just for fun you may see the following video – Climate-friendly coffee farming in Costa Rica

TARRAZU

This region accounts for 35% of the country’s total coffee production. Tarrazú cultivates almost entirely Arabica coffee, mainly Caturra. The area produces about 537,000 60kg bags in 22,000 hectares, most of them small farms with an average size of 2.5 hectares. The coffee produced here is 95% Strictly Hard Bean (SHB). The altitudes of 1000-1800 m offer coffees with refined and very high acidity, in combination with favorable soil and proper processing.

This area has some of the most impressive developments in the field of coffee processing in the country resulting in the production of exceptionally high quality, pure coffee. It is characterized by a strong body, complex, intense aroma, brown sugar, chocolate, and citrus notes, tropical fruits and apricots.

CENTRAL VALLEY

The central valley consists of the provinces of San Jose, Heredia, and Alajuela. Under the influence of the Pacific Basin, these privileged areas have well-defined wet and dry seasons, favoring the successful cultivation of cherries. The Central Valley extends between 900 and 1,600 meters above sea level. The soil of the area has a slight tropical acidity as a result of its enrichment by volcanic ash. An abundance of organic materials favors proper root distribution, moisture retention, and good oxygenation. This combination of conditions energizes the coffee tree. It is one of the many factors contributing to the excellent quality of Costa Rican coffee. The features of a Central Valley cup include a balanced body and fruit flavors, with subtle chocolate notes and a trace of honey in its aroma.

WEST VALLEY

Residents of San Ramón, Palmares, Naranjo, Grecia, Atenas, Valverde Vega, and Alfaro Ruiz, in the Alajuela Province, in the western valley, enjoy a pleasant climate all year long, with separate dry and wet seasons. The first inhabitants of the area brought coffee from the central valley, causing it to grow in the area. About 85% of coffee farmers here harvest from 1 to 100 cages (one cage is 46 kg), and the region’s average production is between 400,000 and 600,000 cages.

Of the Arabica species, the dominant varieties are Caturra and Catuaí, which cover an area of approximately 22,000 hectares (54,363 acres). In some cases, only a small amount of Villa Sarchí can be found.

The West Valley cup profile varies from pure, classic chocolate to the more sophisticated profiles. Sophisticated coffee profiles that delicate palates will detect, among other things, orange, peach, honey, and vanilla notes.

TRES RIOS

Tres Ríos is a few kilometers east of the capital of San Jose. Created in 1820 by the expansion of the Central Valley coffee industry in the provinces. As in the Central Valley region, the Irazu volcano enriches the territories of Tres Rios, an area east of San José. The mountainous area of Tres Rios produces some of the most sought after coffees in the world as it is cultivated in soil enriched with organic material from the nearby Irazu volcano.

Unlike other regions, Tres Rios has a dry and wet season producing ideal farming conditions for a high-quality coffee. Green coffee has typical blue tones.

The beverage has a perfect body that ensures, among other things, a long and pleasant aftertaste. It has a delicate and balanced acidity combined with the sweetest chocolate notes and fruity aromas.

BRUNCA

Located in the south of Costa Rica, it consists of the counties of Coto Brus, Buenos Aires, and Pérez Zeledón. The cultivation began in Perez Zeledón in the late 19th century, brought by the first settlers from the Central Valley.

Coffee grown in Pérez Zeledón takes place in a wide range of microclimate, with altitudes ranging from 800 to 1,700 meters above sea level and average temperatures of 22 ° C.

These conditions allow a coffee capable of satisfying more demanding palates. The area of cultivation is estimated at about 12,000 hectares (39,370 acres), consisting of 4,200 farms and represents about one-fifth of the country’s total production. The taste of the drink goes from very mild, to the crops in the lower and middle regions and to the sweet and sophisticated taste of the highland citrus fruits of Perez Zeledón and Coto Brus.

Costa Rican Coffee Tradition

Costa Rica’s coffee story began in the late 18th century when the first Arabica beans were planted in the Central Valley. An ideal area for growing due to fertile soil, altitude, and mild climate. The cultivation continued and expanded, and the Costa Rican government did not take long to realize the financial opportunities that existed in coffee. To encourage further production, the government offered free land to coffee growers in the 19th century. In the 1830s, coffee export revenues exceeded those of tobacco, sugar, and cocoa. The coffee was first exported to Panama and then to Chile, from where it was shipped to England. In the mid-19th century, English captain William Le Lacheur Lyon sent hundreds of bags of coffee from Costa Rica to Britain, sparking national interest in the product. 

Until the outbreak of World War II, England was the largest recipient of Costa Rica’s coffee exports. The coffee industry created a new wealthy upper class of growers and traders, many of whom had links with government officials and government officials. The integrity of the central position of coffee in Costa Rica’s economy. Although the balance of classes in the country became more uneven during this time, coffee revenue was such that it helped modernize Costa Rica by building a railroad on the Atlantic coast. Today, Costa Rican coffee is awarded as one of the best on the planet and exported to every corner of the Earth. 

Costa Rica is the 13th largest coffee producer in the world. Producing about 1.5 million bags a year. 90% of the country’s coffee is exported, with revenue accounting for 11% of Costa Rica’s export earnings. Most of the country’s coffee is grown in the provinces of San José, Alajuela, Puntarenas, Heredia and Cartago. These areas have an ideal climate for growing coffee. With the soil volcanic, slightly acidic, and extremely fertile. Higher altitudes – especially between 1,200 and 1,700 meters – have colder weather suitable for the needs of coffee plants. Most coffee beans are harvested from plants and then transported to treatment plants, where they are washed and then removed.

The beans are dried either in the sun or by a machine and are sorted according to their size and shape to be sealed then in bags. The most classic coffee varieties in Costa Rica are mild and mildly acidic. So it is all you need for the afternoon, accompanied by your favorite dessert. Farmers are always experimenting with new, more fruity flavors that are less traditional but rely on classic varieties and find an international market response. 

So I hope you enjoyed this blog post about best Costa Rican coffee brand and you feel confident about which one to choose. 

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