Costa Rica is known for producing some of the best coffee in the entire world. Characterized as being clean, mild, and balanced, Costa Rican coffee comes from over 130,000 small and large farms from all over the country. These farms, located in different growing regions, produce slight subtle differences in the taste of the coffee. The best Costa Rican coffee beans, are grown above 3,900 feet, are designated as "strictly hard bean". The "good hard bean" classification is given to coffees grown from 3,300 to 3,900 feet.
Costa Rican coffee sets the standards high for other coffee throughout Central and South America. Few people have found a way to criticize a cup of Costa Rican coffee—besides to say that it is too perfect!
Coffee first arrived in Costa Rica near the end of the eighteenth century. As coffee growing expanded throughout the country, it provided a base for coffee to become established as an industry in Costa Rica. It was the first Central American country to do so.
Costa Rica has come to thrive off of the economic benefits and elevated status that the coffee industry brought it. Today, Costa Rican coffee is considered a fine delicacy.
The export of coffee from Costa Rica expanded quickly; it began with the export of coffee to Colombia in 1820, but by 1923 Costa Rica was already exporting coffee to Chile as well. In turn, Chile repackaged the coffee and exported it to England. The first shipment of coffee directly to London occurred in 1854.
There are several different varieties of Costa Rican coffee. The variations depend mostly on the zone and altitude at which the coffee bean was grown.
Café La Carpintera is grown in the Tres Rios region, which is known for its fertile soil and pleasant climate. This coffee bean is grown at an altitude of 1200-1400 mts., and it produces a uniquely exquisite blend. Café Atarazu comes from the Terrazu region of Costa Rica, known for being rocky and mountainous. It is typically grown at 1200-1750 mts.
Café El Gran Vito is a relatively new blend, grown as a result of the experimentations of Italian immigrants. Grown in the region of Coto Brus, this blend of coffee was first attempted in 1941, and it continues to be heavily influenced by Italian elements. On the other hand, Café Zurqui is known for being one of the oldest blends of Costa Rican coffee. It is grown at 1200-1500 mts. in the Heredia region, which is known for having the oldest coffee plantations in the country.
Costa Rica was not the first country in Central America to grow coffee, nor was it the last. However, if you are looking for a delicious, quality cup of coffee, you can’t go wrong with one of the many Costa Rican blends!
The La Minita estate is the most sought after coffee in all of Costa Rica. The Tres Rios region near the pacific coast produces coffees that are mild, sweet, and bright. The Tarrazu region, which is located in the interior mountains of Costa Rica, produces a relatively heavy coffee with more aromatic complexity