The 15 Best Costa Rican Coffee Beans: What Happens When You Make Bad Coffee Illegal?

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If you can’t have the most coffee, aim for the best! This approach has made Costa Rican coffee beans a favorite among picky coffee fans. They stand out for their quality and taste.

Costa Rica’s stunning mountains and lush rainforests create the ideal spots for growing amazing Arabica coffee, and they’ve mastered it. Coffee has deep roots in Costa Rican culture, dating back centuries. However, its role in Costa Rica’s economy has diminished slightly in recent years.

In this post, I’m excited to share with you the top-notch coffee beans from Costa Rica, where to find them, and why this country is a coffee lover’s dream. Costa Rica’s secret? Their unique way of making coffee and a law that makes growing bad coffee illegal! Get ready to explore the best of Costa Rican coffee.

Looking for the top Costa Rica coffee beans to buy now? Check out my quick picks.

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Overall best Costa Rican coffee beans

Artifx Cafe Deep...image Artifx Cafe Deep Cloud Forest, Monteverde Costa Rica Coffee - 12 oz, Whole Bean - Nature Friendly Check price

Best Costa Rican coffee variety pack

Café Britt® -...image Café Britt® - Costa Rican Origins Coffee Bundle (12 oz.) (3-Pack) (Coffee From: Tarrazú, Tres Ríos & Poás) - Whole Bean, Arabica Coffee, Kosher, Gluten Free, Gourmet & Medium Light & Dark Roast Check price

Best Costa Rican coffee k-cups

Fresh Roasted Coffee,...image Fresh Roasted Coffee, Costa Rican Tarrazu, Medium Roast, Kosher, K-Cup Compatible, 72 Pods Check price

Best Costa Rican Tres Rios coffee

Café Britt® -...image Café Britt® - Costa Rican Tres Rios Valdivia Coffee (12 oz.) (3-Pack) - Whole Bean, Arabica Coffee, Kosher, Gluten Free, 100% Gourmet & Medium Light Roast Check price

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Coffee Bean Direct...image Coffee Bean Direct Dark Costa Rican Tarrazu, Whole Bean Coffee, 5 Pound Bag Check price

Best Costa Rican peaberry coffee

Costa Rica Peaberry...image Costa Rica Peaberry Coffee, Whole Bean, Medium Roast, Fresh Roasted, 16-ounce Check price

What is Costa Rican coffee like?

Costa Rican coffee stands out for its top-notch quality. Soon, I’ll dive into how it gained such a stellar reputation. The taste and unique traits of the coffee vary based on where it’s from in Costa Rica and how the beans are processed.

Costa Rica may be small, with only about 5 million people, but it’s a giant when it comes to coffee. It offers an incredible variety and quality of coffee that few other countries can match.

Costa Rican Coffee Culture

History of Costa Rican coffee

Costa Rica’s coffee journey began in 1779, with the arrival of Ethiopian beans straight from their homeland.

Right from the start, the government played a big role in the coffee world. They really pushed for coffee to be grown in big amounts for selling abroad. They even gave land to farmers ready to grow coffee.

By 1829, Costa Rica’s coffee had zoomed past cacao, tobacco, and sugar, turning into a key player in its economy. This trend kept up until the mid-1900s. Then, shifting market prices and a big disease shook up both Costa Rica’s economy and the global coffee scene.

By the late 1900s, coffee wasn’t the giant it once was in Costa Rica’s economy, but it still played a key role.

The chorreador: Costa Rica’s unique coffee maker

Costa Rican coffee culture isn’t just about the beans; it’s also about how they brew it! They use a special coffee maker called a “chorreador,” which means “to drip” in Spanish. This traditional method is still popular in Costa Rica, giving their coffee a unique touch.

Actually, the process involves three pieces of equipment.

  1. The chorreador itself, which is a wooden stand that suspends the coffee filter.
  2. The bolsita (little bag) is the elongated cotton filter that holds the coffee grounds.
  3. A circular piece of wire or a wooden rim that attaches to the chorreador and is used to hold open the bolsita.

Just like using a drip coffee maker, you put your cup or pot under the bolsita. Scoop fine to medium coffee grounds into it, then pour hot water over them. The water filters through, filling your cup or pot with delicious coffee.

Costa Rican Coffee Production

Costa Rica ranks as the 15th biggest coffee maker globally, churning out 90,000 metric tons annually. Impressive for a tiny nation, right? This allows them to ship out 90% of their coffee to the world.

Once a giant in Costa Rica’s export scene, coffee has taken a backseat as the country shifts towards high-tech exports like pharmaceuticals and software. Today, coffee represents just 2.5% of Costa Rica’s export value.

Costa Rica might only make 1% of the world’s coffee, but there’s a big reason we’re discussing it. This small country has figured out how to shine among the giants. Costa Rica chose quality over quantity long ago, proving you don’t need to be the largest producer to be the best. Think of it this way: if you can’t be Toyota, aim to be Ferrari!

Growing the wrong coffee is illegal

A lot of coffee lovers around the world favor Arabica beans for their rich and complex flavors. If Robusta beans are used, they’re often mixed with Arabica. Beans like Liberica and Excelsa? They hardly get a mention. And it’s no surprise why—100% Arabica coffee offers a deeper, more flavorful cup. Who wouldn’t love that?

In Costa Rica, they take their coffee seriously. Since 1989, it’s been against the law to grow anything but Arabica beans. Why? Because they’re dedicated to only making and sharing the very best coffee with the world.

Costa Rica may not produce as much coffee as giants like Brazil, Guatemala, and Colombia, but it still offers some amazing brews. Don’t overlook its unique flavors!

By prioritizing quality over quantity, this brand sets itself apart. It doesn’t worry about the big coffee names but instead aims to rival Brazil’s finest coffee beans and other top-notch regional brands. Making just 1% of the world’s coffee, focusing on excellence seems like a smart move.

How does Costa Rica process their coffee?

Costa Rican coffee is lovingly hand-picked, a tradition from the start. Now, they’re blending in some cool tech to make the process even better.

Their coffee comes to life through three unique methods – washed, natural, or honey processed. Each technique infuses the beans with special flavors and qualities.

Washed

The most loved way to process coffee starts here. Coffee cherries go into a wet mill, stripping away the fruit to leave just the beans behind. This washed method gives coffee a smooth and light taste, often bursting with hints of honey, chocolate, or fruit.

Naturally processed

The washed method, which uses a lot of water, isn’t always the best choice for some places. That’s why many are switching to a different way called natural processing. Here, the entire coffee cherry dries under the sun, fermenting right around the bean. This method is loved for the amazing flavors it brings out in your coffee – think juicy berries, grapes, and a hint of citrus. Plus, it gives your coffee a wonderfully thick and rich texture. Pretty cool, right? 

Honey processed

Honey processing is a unique way to prepare coffee beans, sitting right between the washed and natural methods. In this process, the outer skin of the coffee cherry is removed, but a bit of the fruity layer is left on. The beans, still hugged by this sweet layer, are then dried under the sun, similar to how naturally processed beans are treated. This special technique makes the coffee beans sweet, with a touch of acidity and flavors that might remind you of honey or molasses.

Costa Rican coffee growing regions

Costa Rica is a small country with eight unique coffee-growing areas. Each region gives its coffee a special flavor. So, when you’re sipping on Costa Rican coffee, remember, the taste largely depends on where it’s grown.

  • Valle Occidental — Valle Occidental is famous for the hints of apricots and peach flavors in their coffee beans.
  • Valle Central — Valle Central (or Central Valley) is where Costa Rica’s first coffee was planted due to its near-perfect climate conditions. 
  • Tres Rios — Tres Rios is adjacent to the capital and is known as the ‘Bordeaux’ of Costa Rica because of the quality of their coffee. Coffee production here has been slowed due to urban expansion, which is resulting in some of the best coffee Costa Rica has to offer — and some of the best coffee in the world — becoming harder and harder to find. Tres Rios’s coffee has a balanced acidity and flavor notes of orange, plum, allspice, and honey nut. 
  • Tarrazu — The most famous coffee-growing region in Costa Rica, Tarrazu is beloved for the heavy aromas and distinct acidic taste of their coffee. The flavor notes are varied, including chocolate, vanilla, orange, and dried fruit.
  • Brunca — Brunca produces some of the most moderately-flavored coffees in the country, but the citrus notes do stand out.
  • Orosi — The very humid client of Orosi produces smooth and balanced flavors that are widely loved.
  • Turrialba — Mild is the word to describe Turrialba coffee. Their coffee has a subtle aroma, mild acidity, a light body, and an overall soft profile.
  • Guanacaste — Guanacaste is one of the most mountainous regions in the country, and their coffee is smooth-bodied, somewhat bitter, lightly salty, and mildly acidic. 

Best Costa Rican Coffee Beans

Overall best Costa Rican coffee beans: Artifx Cafe Deep Cloud Forest Monteverde

  • SINGLE-ORIGIN, MONTEVERDE, COSTA RICA Arabica coffee - Dual-Process, Dual-Roast.
  • GROWN IN HARMONY WITH NATURE on the edge of the Cloud Forest, using sustainable practices.
  • OUR CUSTOM BLEND OF WASHED AND NATURAL PROCESSES yields both full body and full-fruit notes.
  • WE USE DIRECT-TRADE TO DELIVER REAL INCOME to small farmers and real impact to their communities.
  • A PORTION OF OUR PROFITS directly funds development projects in our Artifx Origin Communities.

Here’s a fun fact: even though it’s called single-origin, this coffee is a blend of two different beans from the same farm. Artifx carefully selects beans that are dried in two unique ways – some naturally and others washed. Plus, they roast one bean lightly and the other to a medium-dark level. Pretty cool, right? 

This blend is rich and smooth, with a lively, fruity kick and a sweet hint of cedar.

The farm grows coffee sustainably, and Artifx helps the local community by funding projects with some of their earnings.

Best Costa Rican coffee variety pack: Cafe Britt Costa Rican Origins Coffee Bundle

  • SINGLE-ORIGIN COFFEES - Selection of medium roast coffees from Tarrazú, Tres Ríos, and Poás, each expertly roasted to highlight regional differences
  • OVER 30 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE - Founded in 1985, Café Britt is Costa Rica’s premier gourmet coffee company
  • 100% COSTA RICAN ARABICA - Single-origin coffees from three of Costa Rica's most renowned growing regions
  • THIRD-PARTY CERTIFIED - Certified kosher and gluten free; high-mountain grown, Strictly Hard Bean coffee
  • GUARANTEED FRESHNESS - Premium whole roasted coffee beans packaged in our triple-layer aluminum bag to lock in freshness

Explore Costa Rica’s coffee wonders with a variety pack. It’s a perfect start for beginners eager to taste different flavors!

Cafe Britt stands out as a beloved coffee brand from Costa Rica, truly local from its base to its roasting spots. They offer a variety pack featuring single-origin coffees from the lush regions of Tarrazu, Tres Rios, and Valle Central, where Poas is located. 

Best Costa Rican coffee k-cups: Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC, Costa Rican Tarrazu Coffee Pods

  • SINGLE ORIGIN COSTA RICAN TARRAZU COFFEE is Intensely Flavorful With Notes of Honey and Chocolate. The Body May be Considered Medium, but It Sure Doesn’t Lack Any Flavor and Produces an Incredibly Satisfying Cup!
  • CATURRA AND CATUAI VARIETALS. Grown at 1,300-1,600 meters. Fully Washed Processed.  Medium Roast.
  • ALL FRESH ROASTED COFFEE is OU Kosher Certified and Proudly Roasted, Blended, and Packaged in the USA. Our Coffee is Roasted on Loring (tm) Smart Roasters to Reduce Our Carbon Footprint and Provide Superior Flavor.
  • FRESH ROASTED COFFEE PODS ARE RECYCLABLE/COMPOSTABLE. Fresh Roasted Coffee Nitrogen Flushes Every Coffee Pod to Keep Your Coffee at its Freshest.
  • 100% ARABICA COFFEE AVAILABLE IN 18 Count or 72 Count Single-Serve Cups Compatible with K-Cup Brewers including 2.0 Machines.

Keurig lovers, rejoice! You can now enjoy top-notch Costa Rican coffee thanks to Fresh Roasted Coffee. They’ve packed their single-origin Tarrazu beans into convenient k-cups that fit any Keurig. This medium-roast coffee has a smooth texture and bursts with sweet honey and rich chocolate flavors. 

These eco-friendly coffee pods are both compostable and recyclable, perfect for eco-conscious coffee lovers. Plus, they’re roasted using a green method that’s kinder to our planet. Enjoy your coffee guilt-free!

Best Costa Rican Tres Rios coffee: Café Britt Costa Rican Tres Rios Valdivia

  • The tradition of growing, milling and sun drying these exceptional
  • beans has been passed down from father to son for generations
  • the result is a complex balanced cup that holds its flavor when served either hot or cold.
  • Weight: 12 Ounces (340 grams).

Let’s dive back into our beloved Costa Rican coffee adventure. Among the variety pack treasures, the Tres Rios shines brightest for me. It’s like the hidden gem of Costa Rica, often compared to the exquisite Bordeaux region. Sadly, it’s vanishing fast. So, I urge you to savor these unique beans before it’s too late. Trust me, it’s a coffee experience you don’t want to miss.

This medium roast coffee bursts with a lively plum taste, a special treat from this region. It also offers a gentle tanginess, mixed with hints of nuts, citrus, and sweet honey. Enjoy the unique blend! 

Best Costa Rican bulk bag coffee: Coffee Bean Direct Dark Costa Rican Tarrazu

  • Dark Costa Rican Tarrazu: This 100 percent Arabica coffee is a sweet, full-bodied dark roast with a tart finish. Features subtle notes of citrus, dark chocolate, and honey for a mouthwatering brew
  • Happiness is Brewing: We source coffee from Brazil, Costa Rica, Sumatra, Kenya and more to find the most flavorful beans for your next cup. Try iced, as cold brew, with a French press, AeroPress or pour over
  • So Many Choices: We're passionate about coffee; Try our product lines of Single Origin, Decaffeinated, Blends, and Tea; Also explore our light, medium and dark roasts
  • Expertly Roasted: Expect more from our beans than just a jolt of caffeine; We offer coarse, finely ground, and whole bean options; Enjoy peak flavor and aroma in your latte, mocha, espresso or drip
  • Coffee Bean Direct: Our dedication to roasting expertise, modern convenience, and fair pricing allows us to bring you the best coffees and teas imaginable in artisanal blends and flavors

Coffee Bean Direct proves you can have it all – great quality, plenty of coffee, and a good price. They pick top-notch beans from Costa Rica and beyond, then slow roast them right before sealing them in big 5-pound bags that get sent straight to your doorstep. For those of us who can’t seem to drink enough coffee, this is a game-changer (and yes, that pun was intended).

Dive into the bold world of Costa Rican coffee with this dark roast. It’s famous for its sharp acidity and rich texture. Love a deep, intricate brew? This one’s for you. Taste the mix of citrus, honey, and dark chocolate. And the cherry on top? A delightful smoky aftertaste that stays with you. Enjoy the journey!

Best Costa Rican peaberry coffee: Volcanica Costa Rica Peaberry

  • 100% Pure Costa Rican Peaberry that provides balance and intensity of flavor of fruit and citrus that is mild, sweet, and bright
  • Single Origin from La Isabela Estate located in the Tres Rios that is shade grown and rain forest certified to help the people and the earth
  • Medium roasted whole bean coffee allowing the true flavor characteristic to come through for a remarkable taste.
  • Fresh roasted then immediately packed and sealed to assure freshness.
  • 100% Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed

Dive into my blog, and you’ll find two favorites: Volcanica coffee and peaberry beans.

Volcanica stands out in the coffee world, offering freshly roasted, top-notch coffee from amazing and unique varieties worldwide. They’re famous for their single-origin peaberry roasts – and this one is no exception.

Peaberries are unique coffee beans that stand out from the rest. Normally, coffee cherries contain two beans. However, in about 5% of cherries, there’s just one bean. This lone bean gets all the nutrients for itself, making it denser, rounder, and even sweeter than regular coffee beans. It’s a special treat for coffee lovers!

This medium-roast stands out with its bright taste, thanks to the finest peaberries from Costa Rica. You’ll love the sweet citrus hints that perfectly balance the bold fruit flavors.

These beans come from La Isabela Estate in Tres Rios. They’re grown in the shade and are Rainforest Alliance Certified.

Little River Roasting Costa Rican La Amistad

Right by the Panama border, nestled in the Tarrazu region’s lush outskirts, lies the rainforest area of La Amistad. Here, a family has lovingly cultivated coffee beans on their estate for almost a century.

This estate blends tradition with eco-friendliness, achieving a zero carbon footprint with their green practices. Surrounded by stunning nature, they’re constantly reminded of the importance of preserving our planet.

Let’s dive back into the coffee talk. This delicious medium-roast comes from a single estate, giving it a unique flavor. It’s thick and syrupy, with a natural sweetness you’ll love. Plus, it has a gentle acidity and hints of fruit and milk chocolate, making each sip wonderfully complex.

Oren’s Costa Rica La Minita

Discover the magic of La Minita estate in Tarrazu, a treasure trove for top-notch coffee. They grow and process their beans with extra care, adding a unique twist to every cup. Enjoy the rich blend of honey sweetness and plum, with a touch of milk chocolate and lively acidity, all wrapped up in a smooth medium-roast. Perfect for any coffee enthusiast eager to explore new flavors!

Cooper’s Cask Wine Barrel-Aged Costa Rican Coffee

This choice stands out uniquely from everything else on the list.

Cooper’s Cask picks top-notch beans and uses a unique honey-processing technique to add a sweet twist. But the real surprise? That’s not even the most intriguing part.

After being processed, the beans get a unique twist by aging in Cabernet Sauvignon wine barrels, infusing them with delightful wine notes that beautifully complement their natural sweetness. Then, they’re carefully medium-roasted in small batches to ensure they’re perfectly fresh and flavorful.

This coffee offers a tasty mix with a slight tang and hints of fruit, honey, and dark chocolate. It might not be your classic Costa Rican cup, but it’s a delightful and interesting twist! 

Kirkland Costa Rica Whole Bean Coffee

Surprised to see a Costco brand mentioned here? It’s a first for me too! But, let’s talk about their Kirkland Signature coffee. If you’re on the hunt for an affordable dark roast that tastes great, even though it’s a blend, this one’s a fantastic pick. It offers great value for coffee lovers on a budget.

Some people worry these beans might not always be fresh. They say the beans aren’t shipped quickly after being roasted. However, this doesn’t seem to happen often.

Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC, Organic Costa Rican Coffee

  • ORGANIC COSTA RICAN COFFEE is Bright and Well-Rounded With Notes of Peach Blossom, Cherry, and Orange Zest. A mild and clean body with fruity notes make this a stellar option!
  • COFFEE FOR EVERYBODY - sustainably sourced and Proudly Roasted, Blended, and Packaged in USA.
  • ALL FRESH ROASTED COFFEE is OU Kosher Certified and Proudly Roasted, Blended, and Packaged in the USA. Our Coffee is Roasted on Loring (tm) Smart Roasters to Reduce Our Carbon Footprint and Provide Superior Flavor.
  • AVAILABLE IN WHOLE BEAN AS 12 OZ, 2 LB, and 5 LB Bags.

Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC isn’t just about fresh beans. Their coffee is also eco-friendly, certified organic by the USDA, and roasted in a way that’s kind to the planet. Dive into a cup that cares!

Their medium-roast coffee shines with a bright, smooth flavor, blending hints of peach blossom, orange peel, and a tangy sour cherry finish. 

Coffee Beanery Costa Rican La Minita

  • Our Costa Rican La Minita specialty coffee has a medium body with brilliant acidity and the sweet flavors of citrus, caramelized sugar, and creamy chocolate.
  • Impeccably balanced with a long and satisfying finish, this coffee is sure to be one of your favorites. This coffee has a sweet and highly acidic flavor, a smooth and rich body, and a chocolatey, clean aftertaste.
  • The Coffee Beanery has the highest standards in the industry when it comes to providing the finest specialty coffees in the world. We believe the real artistry in producing the perfect bean is in the right roast for each variety.
  • Our master roaster roasts each of our specialty coffees to the peak of its taste potential — choosing from a wide range of roasts. The result? Some of our specialty arabica coffees are slightly sweet. Others have a bit of snap.
  • But each one of our fine specialty coffees has its own distinctive flavor components that are enhanced by our roasting expertise.

I couldn’t resist adding another La Minita coffee to our list, especially because they’re sometimes hard to find in stock. This medium roast stands out with its lively citrus tang and delicious hints of sweet chocolate and caramel.

George Howelle Tarrazu

Discover a fantastic medium-roast coffee from the Tarrazu region! It’s sweet but balanced, tasting like milk chocolate and nuts. You’ll even catch a peachy hint and a bright finish that makes each sip delightful. 

Doka Estate Gourmet Coffee Tarrazu Peaberry

  • Single Origen: doka estate, costa Rica, 100% Arabica coffee kilo
  • Medium roast, peaberry beans offers a nice, bright and sweet cup, enjoy every sip
  • Fresh roasted coffee beans, with vacuum seal pack with one-way degassing valve
  • Aroma: lively and intense/acidity: bright/body: medium/flavor: sweet with lime notes
  • It happens in only 5% of the coffee production

Just when you thought one peaberry was enough, we’re giving you an extra treat. Dive into this unique coffee from a cherished Costa Rican estate, bursting with sweet, tangy lime, rich brown sugar, and juicy apricot flavors.

The Bean Coffee Company Organic El Grano Ricco

This coffee strikes a perfect balance with its medium roast, offering a smooth and even taste. It’s both CCOF and USDA certified organic, assuring you of its top-notch quality. Plus, the beans are roasted in small batches and shipped fresh, guaranteeing you’ll never sip on stale coffee again.

Final Verdict

Costa Rica is a paradise of rainforests, stunning mountains, and amazing coffee. It’s a top spot for these wonders, truly outshining most places. 

While many countries produce lots of coffee, Costa Rica shines for its quality. For a taste of the world’s most flavorful and fruity coffee, begin with Costa Rican brands. Their beans are celebrated for their exceptional taste.

The best Costa Rican coffee beans

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