Costa Rica: What makes Costa Rican Coffee Special?

History of Costa Rican Coffee

Coffee was first introduced to Costa Rica in the late 1700s. By 1820 it was a major agricultural export with significant economic importance. Costa Rica became the first Central American country with an established coffee industry.

Despite producing less than 1% of the world's coffee, Costa Rica has a strong reputation for producing award-winning coffee. Within its growing regions lies an incredible amount of diversity in coffee profiles.

You may be familiar with some of the below regions that coffee comes from in Costa Rica.

Eight Growing Regions of Costa Rica:

  • Terrazu
  • Valle Central
  • Guanacaste
  • Tres Rios
  • Valle Occidental
  • Brunca
  • Orosi
  • Turrialba

Taste of the Terrain

The terrain of Costa Rica is mountainous and volcanic, covered by cloud forests and jungles. A perfect terra for growing coffee at elevation and in volcanic soil. The trees here provide a natural habitat to accommodate shade-grown coffee.

The cooler temperatures at higher altitudes slow the growth cycle of coffee. This allows more complex flavors to develop, and with volcanic soil, produces better coffee. For more info on how these conditions affect your coffee’s flavor, visit our Farming Practices Page.

The Talent on the Farm

The innovation of the farmers in Costa Rica also contributes to the quality of its coffee. The use of micro-mills gives full control of processing and lot separation, and allows coffee farmers to pool their resources. This paired with an investment in advanced machinery has driven down the cost of farming.

Micro-mills have been instrumental in advances with processing methods. Honey processing, for example, was developed in Costa Rica and is prevalent among specialty coffees. For more info on processing methods, visit our Coffee Processing Methods page.

Better quality coffee has brought coffee growers in Costa Rica individual recognition for their work. This has inspired more farms to seek improvement in picking, sorting, and processing. The result is more excellent coffee from Costa Rica in your cup!