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Know More About Costa Rican Coffee

Posted by Meera Nair on

Recently, we explored what Indonesian coffees are like and what exactly it took for the country to rise to the forefront in the coffee industry.

This deep dive into coffee-producing countries reflects just how intricate their history of growing coffee has been and emphasises the need to pay due credit for what they’ve brought to the coffee market.

In this post, we will understand more about Costa Rican coffee.


History

Costa Rica is a small country in Central America. It has coastlines facing the Caribbean and Pacific oceans, which contributes to the good weather the country enjoys year-round.

It doesn’t really come across as a surprise that arabica coffee was the first to be grown in Costa Rica starting towards the end of the 1700s. In 1779, coffee beans were brought in from Cuba.

Soon, the government realised the vast economic potential of coffee production. Because of this, they were keen to encourage more farmers to take up producing coffee and contribute to the coffee movement that had just begun. To incentivise them, the government provided free land to coffee farmers in the 19th century.

By the mid-19th century, coffee export had boomed to such an extent that it far surpassed sugar, tobacco, and cacao in revenue. 

Through a series of events, Costa Rican coffee made its way to Britain where its demand quickly grew, kickstarting what was to be the spread of Costa Rican coffees across the globe.

Costa Rican coffee cherries

It is said that coffee revenue played a significant role in modernising the country and fueling its socio-cultural & economic spheres. 

However, World War 2 and the plant disease of the 1980s proved to be an impediment to the country's coffee production. Demand fell, and crops were ruined as a result of the same.

This continued for a while after which the production picked up speed. But the damage had been done, and the coffee business wasn’t as profitable as it had been once. 

Nevertheless, Costa Rican coffees still hold a special place on the global coffee map.


Trends

  • A lot of fair trade cooperatives are set up in provinces such as Buenavista, Pilangosta, Santa Elena, and Sarapiquí.

    Costa Rica is known to have a significant percentage of its coffee farmer population be a part of these cooperatives. They work to establish better standards of living for the farmers & their families and to ensure they are able to sell their produce at good prices.

  • Coffee growers in Costa Rica are renowned for their ability to grow rare coffee plants and experiment with coffee production. Some rare coffees they produce are geisha coffee and SL-28.
coffee farm in Costa Rica
  • The Costa Rican coffee community is known to have invented the honey processing method. In this technique, some mucilage remains on beans as they are dried. What this does is it unlocks sweetness and enhances certain flavour notes of the coffee.

Characteristics

Costa Rica is famous for its versatility in its coffee growing. Coffee plants can be found in rainforests as well as the highlands. Regardless, the good climate in plantation areas allows for optimum growing conditions for these coffee plants.

Due to the high altitude and volcanic soil that is common to the Costa Rican coffee plantations, their coffees have soft acidity.

While each coffee originating from this land can result in varying flavours based on its processing and roasts, on the whole, Costa Rican coffees are light-bodied with sweet and floral notes. They make for some of the smoothest and most aromatic coffees.

If you like smoky flavours in your coffee, you should look at purchasing coffees from Turrialba, a region situated near a volcano.

Whereas people who enjoy fruity flavours will certainly enjoy the honey and vanilla-tinted coffees of West Valley.



Costa Rican coffees offer a delectable experience that you can seldom find elsewhere. 

Are you considering a culinary trip to this Central American nation? 

Check out our single origin coffee from Costa Rica - Hacienda Pilas, which has a caramel taste with hints of peaches and apricots.

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