Discover the rich flavors and distinct profiles of Costa Rican coffee with our curated list of the 6 Best Costa Rican Coffee Brands.
From the lush mountains of this Central American paradise comes a selection of top-tier coffees that embody the country’s dedication to quality and sustainability.
Join us as we explore the finest offerings that capture the essence of Costa Rica’s coffee culture and elevate your coffee experience to new heights.
6 Best Costa Rican Coffee Brands: At A Glance
- Volcanica Costa Rican Peaberry Coffee: Best Overall
- Cooper’s Cask Wine Barrel Aged Costa Rican Coffee: Runner-Up
- Café Britt Costa Rican Tarrazu Montecielo: Best Ground Coffee
- Kirkland Signature Costa Rica Whole Bean Coffee
- Gevalia Special Reserve Costa Rica Ground Coffee
- Café 1820 Classic Costa Rican Dark Roast
Review Of The 5 Best Costa Rican Coffee Brands
Now that you know what our top picks are, let’s briefly go over each brand to help you decide which coffee beans are the most suitable choice for you.
Volcanica Costa Rican Peaberry Coffee: Best Overall
Volcanica Costa Rican Peaberry Coffee is a true gem hailing from the Tarrazu region near San Marcos.
Nestled at an elevation of approximately 5,200 feet, this single-estate peaberry coffee emerges as a rarity and a treasure.
Grown under the gentle shade of the rainforest and certified for its eco-friendly cultivation, it embodies a harmonious blend of flavors that include the enticing notes of honey, lemon, and almond.
What makes peaberry coffee beans stand out is their natural anomaly – a solo, well-rounded bean flourishing within the coffee cherry, as opposed to the usual two flat-faced beans.
This distinctive shape imbues the brew with an intense concentration of flavor, brimming with unparalleled sweetness.
With all the plant’s nourishment directed at one bean, the result is a sensory delight that stands apart.
A medium roast, Volcanica’s Costa Rican Peaberry Coffee boasts a vivacious character, delivering a vibrant cup with the subtle interplay of citrus and ripe, succulent fruit.
While it might bear a slightly heftier price tag compared to its counterparts, the reason is clear – each 16-ounce bag is a product of meticulous hand-picking and thorough sorting.
This labor of love is what sets this coffee apart, making every sip a journey through Costa Rica’s lush coffee landscapes.
- Ideal medium roast beans
- Delightfully light and bright flavor profile
- Hand-picked peaberry beans from a single-origin
- Revered by connoisseurs for its harmonious and intense flavors
- Grown in shade and rainforest certified at approximately 5,200 feet altitude
- Enjoyable even for those unaccustomed to fruity coffees
- Roasted and shipped when you order
- Relatively higher price point
- Lemon notes might occasionally carry a hint of bitterness
Cooper’s Cask Wine Barrel Aged Costa Rican Coffee: Runner-Up
Cooper’s Cask Wine Barrel Aged Costa Rican Coffee is a truly unique brew crafted through a 45-60 day maturation in wine barrels.
Starting with grade 1 single-origin Costa Rican beans, this coffee undergoes a honey processing method, infusing it with delightful sweetness and intricate layers.
The beans are then roasted, revealing rich dark fruit tones and the comforting embrace of chocolate.
Naturally sweet and brimming with flavor, this gourmet coffee may not be the most budget-friendly option out there.
However, you have the flexibility to choose between whole beans or four different grind sizes to suit your brewing preference.
It’s important to note that the flavors here venture into the extraordinary, which might not align with everyone’s taste preferences.
But if the idea of a combination between wine and chocolate intrigues you, there’s every reason to embark on this flavor adventure.
Why not give these enticing beans a chance to captivate your palate?
- Unique flavor profile from Cabernet Sauvignon wine barrel aging
- Sweet complexity infused by honey processing
- Aromatic qualities for an enhanced coffee experience
- Single-origin, micro-batch beans ensure exceptional quality
- Falls in the premium price range
- Flavors may diverge from the traditional coffee taste
Café Britt Costa Rican Tarrazu Montecielo: Best Ground Coffee
If you’re into the ease of ground coffee, you might just discover your new go-to with Cafe Britt’s Tarrazu Montecielo ground coffee.
This coffee comes straight from the Tarrazu region in Costa Rica, blending beans from a single origin.
Think of it as a medium-dark roast that delivers a symphony of dark cacao flavors and a touch of woody aromas.
Pour a cup, and you’re met with a full-bodied coffee that boasts a lively acidity, making it one of the most exotic brews in the world.
This particular corner of Costa Rica, known as the Tarrazu growing region, has earned global fame for producing some of the most delectable coffee around.
In fact, it’s hailed as the “Birthplace of Costa Rican Coffee,” which is quite a title to carry.
So, what makes this coffee so exceptional?
Well, the region’s elevated terrain, generous sunshine hours, and an impressive 2500 millimeters of annual rainfall all play a part in nurturing these beans.
Nestled within the sheltered valleys of the towering Talamanca mountain range, the coffee plants thrive under ample shade, which significantly bolsters the sustainability of the farms.
It’s a piece of Costa Rican coffee history, wrapped up in a single cup.
- Beans sourced from the single origin of Tarrazu region
- Flavor profile with dark cacao and fruity notes
- Ground coffee for hassle-free brewing
- Enjoyable medium-dark roast richness
- Certified SHB (Strictly Hard Bean) due to high altitude growth
- Affordable choice
- Pre-ground nature may slightly compromise freshness
Kirkland Signature Costa Rica Whole Bean Coffee
Kirkland Signature Costa Rica Whole Bean Coffee is a bold and flavorful dark roast that packs a punch.
These coffee beans hail from farms nestled at impressive heights, sheltered by the lush rainforest canopies of Palmares and San Ramon in Costa Rica.
A masterful dark roast awaits, specially crafted to a unique proprietary recipe.
This roast gives birth to a bold and rich flavor, where the roast’s natural sweetness and vibrant essence intertwine.
The result? A satisfyingly full-flavored bean that steers clear of bitterness, making it a champion when brewed strong.
But what about these beans makes them a standout? It’s all about the remarkable Primera Arabica coffee beans that form their core.
These beans possess a robustness that’s tailor-made for creating a remarkable dark roast experience.
Kirkland Signature Costa Rica Whole Bean Coffee is the coffee for aficionados of robust, deep flavors.
Freshly picked beans truly shine here, and though they might not originate from a single source, their value is undeniable.
While they might not grace your cup as freshly as beans from a roaster, the competitive price and excellent quality make them a worthwhile find.
Keep in mind, though, that as with any coffee not directly from a roaster, freshness can vary.
- Robust and flavorful dark roast
- Grown at high altitudes in protected rainforest canopies
- Unique proprietary dark roast process enhances sweetness and liveliness
- Full-flavored bean without bitterness, perfect for strong brews
- Crafted from exceptional Primera Arabica beans
- Offers excellent value for its quality and price
- Not single-origin beans
- Freshness can vary due to the distribution process
Gevalia Special Reserve Costa Rica Ground Coffee
Gevalia Special Reserve Costa Rica Ground Coffee is a medium roast delight crafted entirely from 100% Arabica beans.
These beans have an exclusive origin story, sourced straight from Costa Rica’s highland valleys where volcanic soil adds a touch of mineral magic.
What’s particularly impressive is that this coffee is Rainforest Alliance Certified.
It’s sourced from farms that have earned this certification, promoting sustainability through at least 40% shade coverage in naturally forested areas.
As for its flavor, the coffee’s roast leans toward the darker side of medium.
This balance brings out the delicate hints of fruit and citrus that lie beneath the surface.
You’ll find this special brew neatly packed in a 10-ounce bag of medium roast ground coffee.
- Medium roast from 100% Arabica beans
- Sourced exclusively from Costa Rica’s highland valleys
- Rainforest Alliance Certified, sourced from farms with sustainable practices
- Encourages at least 40% shade coverage in naturally forested areas
- Darker side of medium roast highlights delicate fruit and citrus undertones
- Convenient 10-ounce bag of ground coffee
- Complaints of grind not being coarse enough
- Flavor might not be rich enough for some
Café 1820 Classic Costa Rican Dark Roast
The Café 1820 Classic Costa Rican Dark Roast is a premium ground coffee that’s all about quality.
Crafted from 100% Arabica beans, these gems thrive in Costa Rica’s volcanic soils, more than 1000 meters above sea level.
Essentially, this is a dark roast that takes coffee to a whole new level.
As you sip, you’ll be met with a symphony of rich, sophisticated flavors intertwined with delightful fruity notes and subtle hints of chocolate.
But here’s the thing – it’s not just about the taste.
This coffee strikes the perfect balance between sweetness and acidity, treating your palate to a satisfying sensation, even if you prefer your coffee without sugar.
What sets Café 1820 Classic apart is its artful equilibrium.
A dash of mild acidity and a touch of characteristic bitterness complete the masterpiece, resulting in the quintessential cup of coffee.
Its distinctive dark roast, coupled with its inviting hue, aroma, and flavor, is a treat designed exclusively for enthusiasts of premium coffee.
- Premium ground coffee from 100% Arabica beans
- Dark roast with a rich and sophisticated flavor
- Fruity notes and subtle hints of chocolate add depth
- Balanced sweetness and acidity for a pleasant taste experience
- Characteristic mild acidity and bitterness create a harmonious cup
- Not as widely available as other coffee brands
- Coffee might taste bitter to some
- It’s pricey for those on a budget
What Coffee Beans Are Typically Used In Costa Rican Coffee?
In Costa Rica, the coffee you’ll find is primarily made from the Caturra (Coffea arabica var. caturra) and Catuai varieties – both of which fall under the Arabica bean umbrella.
These Arabica beans are celebrated as top-tier quality, yielding a brew that’s richer and more luxurious.
Interestingly, Costa Rica stands alone on a unique coffee landscape: it’s the only country worldwide where the exclusive rule is 100% Arabica coffee production.
This commitment to quality underscores the nation’s dedication to offering the best to coffee enthusiasts.
The beans themselves flourish at impressive altitudes, perched between 1200 to 1800 meters above sea level.
This elevated environment contributes to the beans’ distinctive character.
Spread across eight distinct coffee-growing regions, Costa Rican coffee showcases diverse flavor profiles, each as unique as the region it comes from.
How Much Coffee Does Costa Rica Produce?
As per the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, Costa Rica is set to produce around 1,365,000 60-kilogram bags of coffee during the 2022/23 marketing year.
This marks a recovery from a low point in the previous year, 2021/22, which saw a 50-year dip due to increased fungal disease and a gradual production decline.
Costa Rica’s coffee sector has been proactive in building the necessary structures to secure better prices for superior-quality smaller coffee batches.
This strategic approach helps shield the industry from the unpredictability of global coffee prices.
Does Costa Rica have the best coffee?
Costa Rica is celebrated for its top-notch Arabica coffee beans, recognized globally as some of the finest.
With eight distinct regions, each showcasing its own flavor profile, the country’s varied climate fosters an array of microclimates and humidity levels – a perfect match for cultivating diverse bean varieties.
While Costa Rican coffee enjoys its well-deserved reputation, labeling it the absolute best worldwide remains a matter of perspective.
Countries like Brazil, Vietnam, and Guatemala also make their mark with superb coffee beans.
The quest for the ultimate coffee ultimately boils down to personal preference.
So, it’s advised to venture into various coffee types from different corners of the world, savoring the journey to find that perfect cup that dances harmoniously with your taste buds.
Why is Costa Rica coffee so good?
Costa Rican coffee stands out as one of the finest in South and Central America cherished across the globe.
What’s behind this acclaim? A blend of factors that create its remarkable story.
Picture Costa Rica’s tropical haven with mild temperatures, lofty altitudes, clear wet and dry seasons, and fertile soils – the perfect recipe for nurturing coffee beans.
Over 70 percent of these beans thrive in the mountainous regions, each with its own altitude magic.
High elevations and the rainy season create a haven for coffee growth.
The volcanic ash-enriched soil partners with the beans, infusing them with rich flavors.
The wet method dominates coffee processing here.
Through washing, depulping, fermentation, and sun-drying, beans are meticulously nurtured for up to ten days. This care ensures beans reach their full potential.
Quality is paramount in Costa Rican coffee culture.
So much so that growing anything other than Arabica beans is against the law.
This commitment to excellence is woven into every cup, reflecting dedication and precision.
How is Costa Rican coffee produced?
Producing Costa Rican coffee is a journey that begins by cultivating coffee plants in high-altitude, volcanic soil regions.
The next step involves carefully hand-picking ripe coffee cherries.
Then, there are two ways to process the beans: the wet or dry method.
Once processed, the beans are roasted to perfection, drawing out their unique flavors.
Lastly, the coffee is packaged and sent across the globe to be enjoyed in countless countries.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Costa Rican Coffee
Costa Rican coffee is renowned for its exceptional quality and diverse flavors, making it a favorite among coffee enthusiasts.
However, finding the best Costa Rican coffee that suits your preferences requires considering several key factors.
Here’s a detailed guide to help you make an informed decision:
Varieties of Beans and Roasts
Costa Rican coffee offers a range of bean varieties and roast profiles.
The two main bean varieties are Caturra and Catuai, both belonging to the Arabica family.
Each has its unique flavor notes and characteristics.
Additionally, consider the roast level, which can vary from light to dark.
Light roasts emphasize the bean’s natural characteristics, while dark roasts bring out richer, bolder flavors.
Single-Origin vs. Blends
Single-origin coffee comes from a specific region, offering distinct flavors unique to that area’s climate and soil.
On the other hand, blends combine beans from different regions to create a balanced flavor profile.
Choosing between the two depends on whether you prefer the nuanced flavors of a single origin or the harmonious blend of a coffee blend.
Certifications and Sustainability
Look for certifications such as Rainforest Alliance or Fair Trade.
These certifications ensure ethical and sustainable practices in the coffee’s production, benefiting both the environment and the communities involved.
Costa Rica’s commitment to sustainability aligns well with these certifications.
Altitude and Growing Regions
Coffee grown at higher altitudes often yields more complex flavors.
Costa Rica’s diverse landscape provides various growing regions, each contributing unique taste profiles.
Investigate the specific region mentioned on the coffee label to gain insights into the potential flavors.
Freshness and Packaging
Freshness is key to a delicious cup of coffee.
Opt for coffee that is recently roasted and packaged in airtight bags with one-way valves.
This valve allows gases from the freshly roasted beans to escape while preventing air from entering, preserving freshness.
Flavor Notes and Aromas
Read the flavor notes provided on the packaging.
Costa Rican coffee often boasts fruity, floral, and chocolatey undertones.
Consider your preferred flavor profile and choose a coffee that aligns with your taste preferences.
Reviews and Recommendations
Read reviews from other coffee enthusiasts to get a sense of the coffee’s overall quality and taste.
Online platforms and coffee forums can provide valuable insights and recommendations from people who have already tried the coffee.
Costa Rican coffee comes in a range of prices.
Determine your budget and explore options within that range.
Keep in mind that higher-priced options often reflect higher-quality beans and more meticulous processing.
Verdict: Discovering the Finest Costa Rican Coffee
Our top pick is the Volcanica Costa Rican Peaberry Coffee.
Its rare peaberry beans, shade-grown excellence, and exceptional flavor profile encapsulate the essence of Costa Rican coffee culture.
The Cooper’s Cask Wine Barrel Aged Costa Rican Coffee has secured its place as our runner-up.
This coffee’s intriguing journey through wine barrels adds a unique layer of sophistication to the Costa Rican coffee experience.
For those who appreciate the convenience of ground coffee, we recommend the Café Britt Costa Rican Tarrazu Montecielo.
With its medium roast goodness and an array of flavor notes, it’s a delightful introduction to the world of Costa Rican coffee.