Really Good Coffee in Costa Rica…

Looking for really good coffee in Costa Rica.

Recently we spent three months in Costa Rica and looked for really good coffee whereever we went. There were two better than average coffee experiences during that three months – once at a restuarant in San Jose and another at a small cafe in Parita where they serve and sell their own label of coffee.

The people are lovely in Costa Rica – there is an elegance and a natural grace that permeates the culture and the peoples’ attitude and demeanor. It is not contrived or put-on. It is authentic. There is a beauty in their smiles and in the twinkle in their eyes when they get that YOU are for real too.

Over the years I have had excellent Costa Rican coffee. When I had my own espresso shop, Costa Rican arabica was part of the 6 bean mix the roaster and I chose to create our Morning Shot Blend. It was an integral part of the overall flavor profile in that blend and a necessary one. I have always likened the flavor of a medium roast cup of Costa Rican to a glass of dry white wine, in contrast to a dark roast French or Italian blend or a rich burgundy. All good at the right time and with the right food.

I love the aftertaste of a dry white and a cup of Costa Rican coffee when properly roasted and brewed. I prefer the rich flavor of a dark roast blend as opposed to a single varietal because it is more interesting in the pallate and offers a greater variety of flavor experiences within the same cup.

Perhaps it was that we stayed in the same location most of our time in Costa Rica that limited the opportunity to properly experience the nuances of Costa Rican coffee. Perhaps it was the indigenous brewing methods available. We were unable to find a melita style system, for example – anywhere – to make one-off cups of coffee.

Coffee in Costa Rica is a matter of national pride like ice hockey in Canada and Vodka in Russia, or soccer in Brazil. Truly the country grows beautiful quality Arabica coffee beans in a beautiful country.

The next time we visit Costa Rica, we will seek far and wee for the best preparations and presentations Costa Rican coffee we can find. With our limited exposure to variations available during our three month stay, it may not be fair to conclude that the best Costa Rican coffee we have ever had was in the United States.

Be it fair or not, for now this is our conclusion.


One Response to “Really Good Coffee in Costa Rica…”

  • While I admire your diplomacy, Michael dear, I must say that the months we were in Costa Rica were my worst coffee months ever. There was a time when I was simply ignorant about really good coffee and would not have known the difference, I must say that the bitter and often biting flavor of most coffee in Costa Rica left me with a daily sense of disappointment and longing. I can walk into any major grocery store in the U.S. and find better coffee everyday. Costa Rican coffee is one thing I do not miss. Nor do I miss the arrogance of the coffee illiteracy in C.R. Just because they grow it does not mean it tastes good! I could not get used to it.

    Other than coffee, shopping, and food, I loved Costa Rica!

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