Costa Rican coffee has a well-earned and well-deserved reputation as some of the best coffee in the world.
Costa Rica isn’t the largest producer of coffee, they come in around 12th in the world in annual production, but their focus on quality has earned them a niche in high-end world of specialty coffee.
Costa Rican Coffee is 100% Arabica coffee – the highest quality coffee beans. You can rest assured that this is true of your coffee supplier because it is literally illegal in Costa Rica to produce anything else!
That’s right! Costa Rica passed a law in 1989 prohibiting the cultivation of lower-quality Robusta coffee beans. It was a national strategy to pursue a premium coffee crop and ensure that any coffee sourcing coming to the country were only interested in a higher-value product.
Costa Rica Coffee Regions
Costa Rica is well suited geographically to pursue its strategy of specialty grade coffee production. High altitudes combined with heavy rainfall and volcanic soils are an ideal environment for coffee cultivation.
There are eight key coffee growing regions in Costa Rica – Guanacaste, Valle Occidental, Tres Rios, Valle Central, Turrialba, Brunca, Orosi, and Tarrazu.
Be transported the long lefts of Pavones with this excellent example of world renowned Costa Rican coffee from Martins Gamboa farms in the Santa Maria de Dota region.
Tasting notes of apple, caramel, milk chocolate, honey, sugar cane create a balanced cup, with medium acidity.
|Region||Santa Maria de Dota, Costa Rica|
|Tasting Notes||Sweet apple, raisin, honey|
|Process||Hand picked, fully washed, sun dried on covered patios|
|Certification||Strictly Hard Bean (SHB) / European Processed (EP)|
Costa Rican Coffee
Costa Rican coffee is known for its bright acidity, medium body, and clean taste.
The country’s mountainous terrain, volcanic soil, and consistent rainfall create ideal growing conditions for high-quality coffee beans.
Costa Rica is a major coffee producer and exporter, and its coffee industry is known for its commitment to sustainability and environmental protection.
There are several coffee growing regions in Costa Rica, each with its own unique flavor profile.
Some of the most well-known regions include Tarrazú, which produces coffee with a citrusy, fruity flavor, and a chocolatey finish; Tres Rios, which produces coffee with a bright acidity and floral notes; and Central Valley, which produces coffee with a balanced flavor and aroma.
Costa Rican coffee is typically harvested between December and March, and the beans are processed using a variety of methods, including washed, natural, and honey.
Washed coffee is known for its clean taste and bright acidity, while natural coffee has a fruitier, sweeter taste.
Honey coffee falls somewhere in between, with a medium body and a hint of sweetness.
Overall, Costa Rican coffee is highly regarded among coffee connoisseurs for its high quality and distinctive flavor.
How much coffee does Costa Rica produce?
According to the International Coffee Organization (ICO), Costa Rica produced approximately 1.5 million 60-kilogram bags of coffee in the 2020-2021 coffee year.
This represents a significant decrease from the previous year, which saw production levels of around 1.86 million bags.
Costa Rica is a relatively small coffee producer compared to other major coffee-producing countries, but its coffee is known for its high quality and premium prices.
The country’s coffee industry is also known for its commitment to sustainability and environmental protection, with many farmers using eco-friendly and organic farming practices.
Why is Costa Rican coffee considered high quality?
Costa Rican coffee is considered high quality for several reasons:
- Ideal growing conditions: The country’s mountainous terrain, rich volcanic soil, and consistent rainfall provide ideal growing conditions for coffee plants. These factors, along with the country’s tropical climate and high altitude, allow for the slow maturation of the coffee cherries, resulting in a denser and more flavorful bean.
- Commitment to quality: The Costa Rican coffee industry has a long-standing commitment to producing high-quality coffee. Coffee growers in the country are known for their attention to detail and rigorous quality control measures throughout the coffee production process.
- Strict regulations: The Costa Rican government has established strict regulations for the production and export of coffee, ensuring that only the highest quality beans are sold under the country’s internationally recognized coffee brands, such as Tarrazú and Tres Rios.
- Sustainable and eco-friendly practices: Many coffee growers in Costa Rica use sustainable and eco-friendly farming practices, such as organic farming, shade-grown coffee, and water conservation techniques. This not only helps to protect the environment but also results in better-tasting coffee beans.
Overall, the combination of ideal growing conditions, a commitment to quality, strict regulations, and sustainable practices has made Costa Rican coffee highly regarded for its flavor and quality.
What is the best Costa Rican coffee?
It’s difficult to determine the “best” Costa Rican coffee as taste preferences can vary widely depending on personal taste.
However, Costa Rica is known for producing high-quality coffee beans, and there are several regions within the country that are particularly renowned for their coffee.
Here are a few of the most well-known regions and their unique flavor profiles:
- Tarrazú: This region is known for producing coffee with a bright acidity, medium body, and flavors of citrus, berries, and chocolate. Tarrazú coffee is considered some of the best in the world and is often sought after by coffee connoisseurs.
- Tres Rios: Coffee from the Tres Rios region is characterized by its bright acidity, floral notes, and fruity flavor, with hints of chocolate and caramel.
- Central Valley: Coffee from the Central Valley region is well-balanced, with a medium body and mild acidity. It has a clean, smooth taste with hints of nuts, chocolate, and fruit.
Other regions known for producing high-quality Costa Rican coffee include Naranjo, West Valley, and Orosi.
Ultimately, the “best” Costa Rican coffee is the one that you enjoy the most and satisfies your personal taste preferences.
What is the Santa Maria de Dota Costa Rican coffee growing region?
Santa Maria de Dota is a coffee growing region in Costa Rica located in the province of San Jose. It is known for producing high-quality Arabica coffee beans with a distinctive flavor profile. The region is situated at an altitude of between 1,400 and 2,000 meters above sea level, and its coffee plants benefit from the area’s fertile volcanic soil and cool temperatures.
Santa Maria de Dota is a relatively small coffee producing region, but its coffee is highly regarded for its bright acidity, full body, and notes of fruit, caramel, and chocolate.
The region’s coffee is typically processed using the washed method, which results in a clean and crisp flavor profile.
Many of the coffee farmers in Santa Maria de Dota use sustainable and environmentally friendly farming practices, which further contribute to the high quality of the coffee produced in the region.
Santa Maria de Dota coffee is often sold under the Tarrazú designation, as it is located near the Tarrazú region and shares some similarities in terms of flavor profile.
What is the Tarrazu coffee growing region known for?
The Tarrazu coffee growing region in Costa Rica is known for producing some of the highest quality coffee in the world.
Located in the province of San Jose, Tarrazu is situated at an altitude of 1200-1900 meters above sea level, and its coffee plants benefit from the area’s rich volcanic soil, high altitude, and cool temperatures.
Tarrazu coffee is typically characterized by its bright acidity, full body, and complex flavor profile.
The region’s coffee beans are known for their citrusy and fruity notes, along with hints of chocolate and caramel.
Tarrazu coffee is often processed using the washed method, which results in a clean and crisp flavor profile that highlights the beans’ unique characteristics.
The Tarrazu region is also known for its commitment to sustainability and environmental protection, with many coffee farmers using organic and eco-friendly farming practices.
The region’s coffee is typically sold under the Tarrazu designation, which is a certification mark that ensures that the coffee meets strict quality standards established by the Costa Rican government.
Overall, Tarrazu coffee is highly regarded for its exceptional quality and unique flavor profile.
How much coffee does Costa Rica export?
According to data from the International Coffee Organization (ICO), Costa Rica exported approximately 1.22 million 60-kilogram bags of coffee in the 2020-2021 coffee year.
This represents a significant decrease from the previous year, which saw exports of around 1.46 million bags.
Coffee is one of Costa Rica’s most important export products, and it is a significant source of income for the country. Costa Rican coffee is known for its high quality and distinctive flavor, and it commands premium prices in international markets.
The United States is the largest market for Costa Rican coffee, followed by Germany and Japan.
Despite the challenges posed by climate change, pests, and other factors, the Costa Rican coffee industry remains a vital component of the country’s economy and cultural heritage.
The country’s coffee growers continue to innovate and adapt to changing conditions, and their commitment to quality and sustainability ensures that Costa Rican coffee will remain a sought-after commodity for years to come.
Where does Costa Rica rank among coffee growers?
Costa Rica is a relatively small coffee producer compared to other major coffee-growing countries.
According to data from the International Coffee Organization (ICO), Costa Rica ranked 18th in the world in terms of coffee production in the 2020-2021 coffee year, with an estimated production of approximately 1.5 million 60-kilogram bags of coffee.
Despite its relatively small size, Costa Rica is known for producing high-quality coffee beans, and its coffee industry is renowned for its commitment to sustainability and environmental protection.
Costa Rican coffee is often sold at premium prices in international markets due to its exceptional flavor and quality.
Some of the top coffee-producing countries in the world include Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, Indonesia, and Ethiopia.
These countries produce significantly larger volumes of coffee than Costa Rica, but the country’s reputation for high-quality coffee has helped to establish it as a key player in the specialty coffee industry.
When did coffee first begin cultivation in Costa Rica?
Coffee was first introduced to Costa Rica in the late 18th century, but it was not until the mid-19th century that coffee cultivation began in earnest.
Coffee quickly became one of the country’s most important crops, and by the late 1800s, it had become the country’s main export product.
The first coffee plants were brought to Costa Rica from Cuba in 1779 by a Spanish governor, but it was not until the 1800s that coffee began to be grown on a larger scale.
In the 1820s, the Costa Rican government began to actively promote coffee cultivation, offering incentives to farmers who planted coffee trees.
By the late 1800s, coffee had become the backbone of the Costa Rican economy, accounting for over 90% of the country’s exports.
Coffee production continued to grow throughout the 20th century, and today, it remains one of the country’s most important industries.
Costa Rican coffee is known for its exceptional quality and unique flavor profile, and it is one of the country’s most important cultural and economic assets.
The Costa Rican coffee industry has a long and rich history, and its commitment to quality and sustainability ensures that it will continue to thrive for generations to come.
Who is the largest producer of Costa Rican coffee?
In Costa Rica, coffee is primarily produced by small-scale farmers who cultivate coffee on family-owned farms. These farmers collectively produce the majority of the country’s coffee.
According to the Costa Rican Coffee Institute (ICAFE), approximately 90% of the country’s coffee farms are considered small farms, with less than 12 hectares of land.
There are also a number of large coffee estates in Costa Rica that produce significant amounts of coffee.
The largest of these estates is Doka Estate, which is located in the Alajuela Province and has a production capacity of around 120,000 kilograms of coffee per year.
Other notable coffee estates in Costa Rica include Hacienda La Minita and Finca Palmilera.
While these large estates produce a significant amount of coffee, they represent only a small portion of the country’s overall coffee production.
The vast majority of Costa Rican coffee is produced by small-scale farmers who cultivate coffee using traditional methods and techniques.
These farmers are the backbone of the Costa Rican coffee industry and play a vital role in maintaining the country’s reputation for high-quality coffee.
What is the Costa Rican Coffee Institute?
The Costa Rican Coffee Institute (ICAFE) is a government agency in Costa Rica that is responsible for regulating and promoting the country’s coffee industry.
ICAFE was established in 1933 to promote the development of the country’s coffee sector and to support coffee farmers through research, education, and marketing initiatives.
ICAFE’s main objectives are to ensure the quality and sustainability of Costa Rican coffee, to promote the country’s coffee industry both domestically and internationally, and to provide support to coffee farmers and other stakeholders in the industry.
ICAFE works closely with coffee growers, exporters, and other industry stakeholders to develop and implement policies and programs aimed at improving the quality and competitiveness of Costa Rican coffee.
The agency is also responsible for regulating and certifying coffee exports, ensuring that only high-quality beans are sold under the country’s internationally recognized coffee brands, such as Tarrazú and Tres Rios.
Overall, ICAFE plays a vital role in the development and promotion of the Costa Rican coffee industry, and its efforts have helped to establish Costa Rican coffee as one of the most highly regarded and sought-after coffees in the world.
When is coffee harvested in Costa Rica?
Coffee harvesting season in Costa Rica typically runs from November to February or March, depending on the region and altitude.
Coffee trees in Costa Rica typically have one major flowering period each year, which occurs in the dry season between December and February.
During the harvest season, coffee cherries are picked by hand and sorted according to ripeness. Only the ripest cherries are picked, as they have the highest sugar content and are most desirable for producing high-quality coffee.
After being picked, the coffee cherries are processed to remove the outer layers and extract the beans inside.
Coffee processing methods in Costa Rica vary depending on the region and the preferences of the individual coffee farmers.
The most common methods are washed, natural, and honey processing. Washed coffee is the most common processing method in Costa Rica, and it involves removing the outer layers of the coffee cherry before drying and fermenting the beans.
Natural coffee is dried with the fruit still intact, resulting in a sweeter and fruitier flavor profile, while honey coffee is dried with some of the fruit still attached, resulting in a medium-bodied coffee with a hint of sweetness.
Overall, the harvest season is a busy time for coffee farmers in Costa Rica, and it is a critical period for producing high-quality coffee beans that will command premium prices in international markets.
Can you tour coffee farms in Costa Rica?
Yes, there are many coffee farms in Costa Rica that offer tours to visitors.
These tours provide an opportunity to learn about the history and production of coffee in Costa Rica, as well as to see firsthand the different stages of coffee production, from harvesting to processing and roasting.
Many of the coffee farm tours in Costa Rica are located in the Central Valley and in the Tarrazu region, which are two of the country’s most well-known coffee growing areas.
Some of the popular coffee farms that offer tours include Doka Estate, Café Britt, and Don Juan Coffee Tour, among others.
During these tours, visitors can expect to see coffee trees in various stages of growth, learn about the different processing methods used to produce coffee, and sample some of the coffee produced on the farm.
Many tours also include visits to coffee roasting facilities, where visitors can see how coffee is roasted and packaged for sale.
Coffee farm tours in Costa Rica are a great way to learn about the country’s rich coffee culture and to support local farmers and producers.
Visitors are encouraged to book tours in advance and to check with the individual farms for specific details regarding tour schedules and pricing.