Our Love Affair with Costa Rican Coffee
We Love Coffee! We’re a little surprised actually that it has taken us this long to write about this love affair. At The Costa Group we are morning coffee drinkers. But however you enjoy your cuppa, you might also enjoy learning a bit about the exceptional coffee grown here in Costa Rica. With an ideal climate, rich, volcanic soil and a commitment to sustainable practices, Costa Rica has carved out a significant niche in the world of coffee production.
What Makes Costa Rican Coffee Exceptional?
Costa Rica has a long-standing history of coffee cultivation, dating back to the early 19th century. Today, coffee is an integral part of the country's economy, with small-scale farmers and large estates contributing to its production. Some of the most famous coffee-growing regions include Tarrazú, Tres Ríos, and West Valley. These regions benefit from high altitudes, fertile volcanic soil, and a combination of sunshine and rainfall, creating the perfect conditions for growing exquisite coffee beans.
Why does Costa Rican Coffee Taste so Good?
Coffee is one of Costa Rica's top agricultural exports. According to the Costa Rican Coffee Institute (ICAFE), in 2021, the country exported over 209 million pounds of coffee. The United States, Germany, Belgium, and Japan are among the major importers of our coffee, attracted by its quality, consistency, and unique flavor profile. What is a flavor profile anyway? A flavor profile seeks to differentiate between coffee bean characteristics. The World Coffee Research organization identifies 110 flavor, aroma, and texture characteristic of coffee. But the four qualities that rise to the top are aroma, acidity, body, and flavor. In general Costa Rica coffee is well balanced with bright acidity and hints of citrus, chocolate, and caramel. Yes, it sounds a bit like a wine tasting. True coffee connoisseurs take these things quite seriously! For the average coffee drink, it just tastes really good!
Sustainability Efforts Get High Marks
Costa Rica takes pride in its commitment to sustainable coffee production. Many farmers employ shade-grown methods, preserving biodiversity and providing habitats for birds and other wildlife. Some of the environmental implications of coffee production include deforestation, soil erosion, and water pollution. Costa Rica has taken steps to mitigate these impacts, such as reforestation programs, organic farming techniques, carbon offset programs, and investments in renewable energy sources. By implementing environmentally-friendly practices and preserving its rich biodiversity, Costa Rican coffee producers are striving to strike a delicate balance between quality, sustainability, and the preservation of their natural resources. Learn more about the ways Costa Rica is leading the way on sustainability in our blog post here.
Our Favorite Coffee House Gems
Visiting the Guanacaste area? Especially Tamarindo / Potrero / Flamingo? Here are some of our favorite coffee shops! In Tamarindo: Santa Rita Cafe, Pico Bistro, Noi Bistro, and Noridcó Coffee House. In Potrero / Flamingo: Nita Coffee, Surf Box, and Cafe Del Sol Bakery. Have we missed your favorite? Let us know in the comments and we’ll check it out!
Coffee Tours are a Great Way to Learn More
There are many coffee, chocolate, and sugar cane tours offered throughout Costa Rica, and can easily be found in the popular tourist destinations such as Arenal, Monteverde, and Manuel Antonio. We can help you add a great coffee and chocolate tour to your vacation. Helping people create memorable vacations is what we are all about. Check out our custom itinerary service for a bespoke vacation of your dreams. And many of our vacation packages include coffee tours. To browse our vacation packages, click here.
A Day in the Life of a Coffee Picker
Interested in what life is like working on a coffee finca (farm)? The Tico Times (Costa Rica’s leading English language newspaper) wrote a fascinating account of “Costa Rica Coffee Pickers: A Day in the Life.” It’s a great read!