Costa Rica's Coffee: A Single Origin, Multiple Flavors

  • 3 min read

There is something travelers love about Costa Rica: we have a wide variety of touristic options to offer; there are mountains, valleys, beaches, forests, towns, rain, cold, warmth, and sun. And there are many reasons why this is possible.

This tiny Central American country is in the middle of the tropic; we have two coastlines on the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Costa Rica is volcanic land, and its landscape is irregular, with several mountain ranges, valleys, and plains. Consequently, you can find sunny and dry weather at some point, and just a few miles away, you can walk into a wet rainforest.

What does this have to do with Coffee? Everything. All these factors define where the Coffee could be grown and what would its flavor profiles be.

First, Costa Rica's coffee producers decided to cultivate only arabica species. Coffea Arabica requires a minimum altitude (1000 meters above sea level), so you won't find coffee farms near the beaches or Caribbean plains. 

Costa Rican Coffee has a general characteristic profile: aromatic, high acidity, cacao, and medium body, but the microclimates in coffee regions influence the way coffee farmers grow their coffee, but they also bring differences in the cup.

Let us present Costa Rica's coffee regions (this is not the same as the country's seven provinces).

 

The Flavor of the Valleys

Central Valley and West Valley

The first coffee farms were created in the Central Valley of Costa Rica, developing the first farming techniques and traditions. The weather and medium-altitude lands produce a balanced cup (the harmony among sweetness, acidity, and body). For years, places like Tres Ríos and Heredia were the pioneers and best coffee producers.

At West Valley, we have the power of volcanic soils, more altitude, and other terroir characteristics. West Valley's Coffee is the winner of cup awards, constantly. This Coffee has intense chocolate and orange notes, crowned with a floral aroma.

 

The Famous One

Tarrazú or Los Santos Region

The mounts and slopes of this region are full of families dedicated to high-quality Coffee; they are passionate about their Coffee. And this passion and quality have brought them world-class fame.

Tarrazú Coffee is so famous that some farmers got the Tarrazú Denomination of Origin, so you can find us talking about Tarrazú or Los Santos Region to include Coffee from the three towns: Dota, San Marcos de Tarrazú, and León Cortés. 

At Tarrazú, you can find the highest altitude farms (over 2000 m.), clay soils, and weather that propitiates the coffee cherry's long development and maturation. Some micro-regions get the Pacific Ocean influence and extended daylight periods. All these factors collaborate into an exclusive cup of Coffee. The coffee awards in the international market come from Tarrazú, almost always.

From Tarrazú, you can expect a fine and juicy acidity (this is the seal of Tarrazú coffee), delicious and intense aroma, brown sugar, and cacao notes.

The coffee producers are continually innovating in their mill processes and new varieties, so there is always something new and exciting from this region.

 

Rainy lands

Turrialba and Orosi

You can find the Orosi and Turrialba regions near the northeast side of Costa Rica. The Caribbean Sea is the primary influence here. Turrialba and Orosi have more active pluvial activity than other coffee regions. As a result, coffee plants have more than one blooming phase. The coffee maturation comes early and is more prolonged than in other regions.

Coffee from Turrialba and Orosi has more dark chocolate, nutty notes, and mild acidity, which is helpful for a great espresso shot.    

 

Atypical and surprising

Brunca and Guanacaste

Suppose you are a coffee consumer who seeks something out of the box. In that case, the Brunca and Guanacaste coffee regions deserve your attention.

In the southern part of the territory, we have the highest mountain: Chirripó, and along with it appears the Brunca region. Brunca is the name of the native population there. Brunca coffee comes from high mountains, but the soils and climate give this medium coffee acidity and great caramel and nuts flavors.  

On the other extreme- in the north region- we have Guanacaste. The Guanacaste province is well known for its paradisiac beaches and dry lowlands. But it has some mountains where Coffee grows. 

These are small mountains (less than 1000 meters of altitude in some cases), so this Coffee's acidity is low, but the cup is exciting. It has a delicate body and similarities with tea, perfect for brewing on a tranquil afternoon.  

Every month, we have a selection of the best Costa Rica coffees in our online shop; as you can see, we have many options to share with you. We invite you to discover the coffee gem!

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