Best Costa Rican Coffee

Our lives can be so draining sometimes, but a quick sip of your favorite grind has the ability to uplift you and completely shift your mindset from “I am not ready for today!” to a confident and well-assured “Bring it on!”

Nothing will jolt you awake more successfully than a piping hot cup of coffee first thing in the morning. Personally, just the act of brewing your own cup can be a signal to your brain to start the day. It can be an easy and even therapeutic way to begin your morning routine. In some ways, coffee can give you the mental stamina to keep you pushing onwards towards your goals instead of quitting to take a nap half-way through.

Even the smell alone can start to wake you up if you smell your roommate brewing some from the other room. Honestly, let’s get real and face it – most of us cannot get through the day without at least one cup. Nowadays, however, there are so many options it can be overwhelming! There are so many different roasts, different blends, different caffeine properties, and different ways to prepare coffee.

Some of us may not be concerned with our coffee and may trek down to the local deli to buy a quick pick-me-up cup but who knows how long that brew has been sitting on that hot plate? Sure, you may be content with Maxwell House or Kirkland brand blends, but if you really want a boost of energy and complex flavors to match? Costa Rican coffee is the way to go.

Some interesting facts about Costa Rican coffee are:

  • Coffee is the major cash crop from the region and is the 14th largest producer of coffee in the world.
  • The tropical region means the land has ideal growing conditions for coffee beans.
  • Costa Rican coffee is considered some of the best in the world despite being only 1% of the global coffee market.
  • The main type of coffee grown in Costa Rica is Arabica.
  • There are about 80,000 small-scale coffee farmers in this area.
  • Costa Rican’s are known to brew their coffee with a “chorreador” – or a “coffee sock.”
  • In 1989, a law was passed that banned farmers from planting low-quality coffee beans.

Taste is a unique experience, and everyone has their own preference. The flavors you start your morning with will shape the rest of your day, and possibly determine whether or not you will have a successful one. If you enjoy a smooth and silky dark roast packed full of flavor, or you enjoy a light roast with a higher caffeine content to energize you, we all want our taste buds to be satisfied.

Below we have listed here a few interesting options if you are trying to enhance your coffee game, in terms of both flavor and caffeine content. You should know before anything though, that you will only know which coffee is best for you by trying them out. We are all so different so the only way to truly decide what you enjoy is by experiencing something for yourself.

We weighed the options available online, as some are actually not available in American grocery stores, and have listed our options below. And to be honest, as of this past year, no one is going out shopping in person. It is so much easier to click a button and have your favorite brands delivered to your door!

Cafe Britt

Cafe Britt is a brand of Costa Rican coffee that proudly hosts a variety of flavors and roast options. For the sake of convenience and not having to list every single option this particular brand has, we are going to discuss their Tarrazu Montecielo variety.

Tarazu is a region in Costa Rica that is famous for the coffee products grown there. This region is sometimes referred to as “the birthplace of Costa Rican coffee.” That is certainly a title to live up to!

This coffee is 100% Arabica, with a wonderful flavor profile. It is a medium roast coffee with hints of chocolate and, surprisingly enough, grapefruit. This combination creates a full-bodied flavor with a lovely woodsy aroma, making the drink enjoyable to taste and to smell.

Fortunately for us, the coffee is already ground – which is not always the case with certain brands for those who enjoy a more physically involved experience surrounding their coffee-consuming process. The fact that it is also Kosher and gluten-free makes it an even more universal choice.

What We Liked:

  • Delightful flavor profile.
  • Beans are already ground.

What Could be Better:

  • Could be a stronger blend of coffee.
  • High price-point.
Café Britt® - Costa Rican Tarrazu Montecielo Coffee (12 oz.) (3-Pack) - Ground, Arabica Coffee,...
  • SINGLE-ORIGIN COFFEE FROM TARRAZÚ – Medium roast...
  • In- Country Roaster - Our coffee is picked, roasted,...
  • Carbon Neutrality - Café Britt has been certified...

Cafe 1820 Molido

Fun fact: this brand of coffee is named after the year Costa Ricans first began to grow and trade coffee with Panama! So for you history fanatics out there, this might be reason alone to try this specific type.

These coffee beans are allegedly grown in several different medium-altitude zones to ensure a balanced mix of flavors. They even have specialized tasters to ensure the quality of their product! Due to the way the coffee beans have been ground, however, this brand may not be the best option for those who enjoy using a french press to prepare their favorite morning drink.

As opposed to coffee found within the United States of America, this Costa Rican grown coffee is not acidic, although it is slightly bitter to the taste. This brand is truly a smooth and balanced medium roast that any coffee drinker will enjoy.

What We Liked:

  • Smooth taste due to varied grow-zones.
  • Beans are already ground.

What Could be Better:

  • Not the best option for a French press.
  • Slightly overpriced for the quality.
Cafe 1820 Molido - Costa Rica Gourmet Ground Premium Coffee - 17.6 oz (500 gr) 3 Pack
  • 100% Aromatic... inherent characteristic of Costa Rican...
  • The perfect color of ground coffee that stands out...
  • Perfect grain size to influence the infusion or...

Starbucks – Costa Rican Blend

Our next contender is a Costa Rican blend produced by coffeehouse giant, Starbucks. While they are not an authentic Costa Rican brand specifically, Starbucks does offer 100% Arabica beans in this medium roast sourced from premium locations. The package states that the beans are sourced not only from Costa Rica, but also other unspecified Latin American countries as well, so this option is not as authentic as some of the others mentioned.

The flavor profile is complex yet balanced, a combination of cocoa and sweet lemon. The vibrant citrus notes and smooth chocolate texture will transport you to your favorite vacation spot early in the morning. In fact, Starbucks indeed boasts that this flavor will “take you places.”

Unfortunately for those of us that are quickly moving from work to home, from home to our hobbies, this option is whole-bean only. You can bring your whole beans to a Starbucks to grind out in whatever preference you have or grind them at home if that is your thing, but for those of us always on the move, this can be a bit of a hassle.

What We Liked:

  • Enjoyable product design.
  • Interesting flavor combination.

What Could be Better:

  • Not authentically single-origin Costa Rican coffee.
  • Inconsistent quality when ordered online.
Starbucks Medium Roast Whole Bean Coffee — Costa Rica Latin American Blend Premium Select — 6...
  • A medium roast coffee that delivers an elegantly...
  • Exceptional whole bean coffee sourced from premier...
  • Contains only premium Arabica coffee beans

DOTA

Here we have a dark roast option, for those of us who enjoy a deeper, more robust flavor without the acidity. There are a variety of flavors for this brand as well, but we will stick to discussing the dark roast option today for the sake of conversation. DOTA is 100% Arabica, as are most if not all Costa Rican coffees.

DOTA boasts that their beans are grown at high elevations, ensuring that the soil provides the proper nutrients to their coffee that will create a superior taste. The flavor profile is a strong, dark chocolate note with a lovely cacao aroma. This creates a luxurious, almost dessert-like experience for our readers with a sweet tooth.

As stated on their product’s bag, DOTA was actually one of the first coffee companies in the entire world to become certified carbon neutral back in 2011, which was not required of the company but rather something the creators thought was important to institute. The way in which they produce their coffee leads to the minimization of harmful substances going into the environment.

This is great news to hear that a company can produce great-tasting products and care about their environmental impact as well! So far, DOTA is one of the cheapest options available for those of us on a tighter budget. The coffee is already ground and is Kosher as well.

What We Liked:

  • Variety of flavors sourced from Costa Rica.
  • Committed to environmental awareness.

What Could be Better:

  • Inconsistent quality when ordered online.
  • Light flavor in some versions.
DOTA Costa Rican Ground Coffee, 12oz, Kosher, 100% Arabica Bean (Dark Roast)
  • Extra- Superior Taste: Ground Gourmet Coffee with...
  • Roasted and packaged in Costa Rica: All of our whole...
  • 100% HIGH QUALITY: Our 100% Arabica gourmet coffee is...

Green Mountain

Green Mountain K-Cups are a great option for people who don’t have time to sit and boil an entire pot of coffee before work. The nice part about K-Cups is that you can just pop one into your Keurig and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee almost instantly, with little to clean up. The downside, of course, is that you would already have to own a Keurig.

Green Mountain’s Costa Rican blend has a sweet, medium-roast flavor profile. The main flavors are cacao and caramel, with underlying notes of graham crackers, honey, and white fruit. This blend is 100% Arabica and certified Kosher. Green Mountain claims to be committed to becoming 100% responsibly sourced, so this is a nice aspect for those of us who are trying to be environmentally aware of our impact.

The caffeine content in these cups is not as high as others that have been described here, so that can be an upside or a downside depending on what your desired caffeine intake is. If you are trying to decrease your caffeine intake but still want a nice kick, Green Mountain may be the best option for you without having to commit to a decaf blend.

What We Liked:

  • Less to clean up after preparation.
  • Lightly-caffeinated alternative rather.

What Could be Better:

  • Limited to Keurig users only.
  • Sometimes receive defective K-Cups in order.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Costa Rica Paraiso, Single-Serve Keurig K-Cup Pods, Medium Roast...
  • BRAND STORY: The mountains are a special place. It's...
  • TASTE: Experience the plush rainforests and beaches of...
  • ROAST: Medium roast, 100% Arabica caffeinated coffee...

Gevalia – Special Reserve

Here we have the coarsely ground Gevalia dark roast that is never bitter. The coarse grinding of the beans means that this is an excellent option for all of us out here who would rather prepare our coffee by using a french press or an automatic drip. This is also a good option for making cold brew due to the coarseness of the ground beans, as well.

This brand has a bold taste with delicate fruit and citrus undertones, which is a staple for Costa Rican coffee. It is also very reasonably priced.

This brand promises that it is Climate Pledge Friendly. Gevalia is a single-origin brand that is Rainforest Alliance certified. The beans are grown in volcanic soil at high elevation, which enriches the mineral content of the soil and ensures a more flavorful coffee bean.

This is also a decently priced option for those of us not trying to break the bank but who still want to enjoy a quality beverage with our breakfasts. Some coffees can be extremely expensive depending on their quality and dedication to ethical practices, but this brand seems to be committed to both.

What We Liked:

  • Economically priced.
  • Velvety taste.

What Could be Better:

  • Less caffeine in dark roast than lighter varieties.
  • Oily beans.
Gevalia Special Reserve Costa Rica Medium Roast Ground Coffee (10 oz Bag)
  • One 10 oz. bag of Gevalia Costa Rican Single Origin...
  • Gevalia Costa Rican Single Origin Coarse Ground Coffee...
  • Dark roast Costa Rican coffee features fruit and citrus...

Koffee Kult

Last but certainly not least, we have Koffee Kult brand coffee. Koffee Kult boasts that they only artisanally roast the top 2% of specialty coffees in the world, which is impressive. The flavor profile is delicate and unique – with notes of sweet cherry and orange, this medium roast will delight your sense. This brand also has a large variety of flavors

This is another 100% Arabica bean coffee, grown in the high altitude region of Costa Rica called Naranjo and roasted in Hollywood, Florida. As with the Starbucks Costa Rican blend, this is also a whole-bean variety, which can be time-consuming but perhaps well worth the investment if you enjoy the process of grinding your own blends. These beans are not oily.

Koffee Kult also claims to be environmentally conscious regarding their coffee-roasting and harvesting process, by gathering beans from organic farms from all around the world. They claim their farmers grow their coffee in safe, sustainable ways and promote fair wages for their employees. Perhaps most excitingly, this company is family-owned, and who doesn’t enjoy supporting ethical family-owned businesses when the chance arises.

Costa Rica Coffee - Naranjo La Rosa - Medium Roast Coffee Beans Koffee Kult (Whole Bean, 12oz)
  • Single Origin Costa Rican Coffee from Naranjo La Rosa...
  • 100% Arabica coffee beans Medium Roast
  • Coffee is high altitude grown in the west valley of the...

What We Liked:

  • Family-owned business.
  • Promotes sustainable farming practice.

What Could be Better:

  • The quality of beans can be dried out.
  • Flavors are not at the forefront.

FAQ

What types of coffee are there?

Truthfully, there are many different types of coffee out there. Primarily, there are four different types of coffee.

  • Arabica (coffee arabica)
  • Robusta (coffee canephora)
  • Liberica (coffee liberica)
  • Excelsa (coffee liberica var. dewevrei)

What is the difference between the various coffees?

Arabica is the most common coffee variety in North America. It is typically sweeter than the other versions of coffee that exist, and it is grown at higher altitudes. This is most likely why so many Costa Rican coffees are 100% Arabica. Countries like Brazil are also popular for their Arabica coffee.

Robusta is popular in Europe and Africa, and the second most popular coffee enjoyed by people all over the world. It has a harsh flavor and is high in caffeine content. Some people complain that it has a “burnt” taste,” but other people agree that it is delicious with milk or cream.

Liberica is a rare type of coffee that was first grown and sold in the Philippines. This coffee is considered to be so rare because of the specific conditions required to successfully grow this variation. Many people describe the coffee as having a fruit aroma and a “woodsy” taste. It is considered a treat to be able to enjoy Liberica coffee because it is so rare.

Excelsa is an even rarer variety of Liberica coffee. It is grown in South Asia and exists as both a light and a dark roast. This coffee, much like its mother-genus Liberica, is so rare because of the environmental conditions the plant requires to grow. This coffee’s flavor is typically described as being tart and fruity in its flavor profile.

What is the best way to prepare coffee?

There is no best way to prepare coffee – this is something that is all up to individual preference! The most popular way people drink coffee in the United States of America is with a drip coffee method.

Other ways to prepare coffee are:

  • Aeropress, which is a piston-like device that quickly brews coffee by forcing it through a filter.
  • Pour-over, which is when grinds are placed in a filter directly on top of the cup and boiling water is poured over.
  • Moka Pot, which is a device that brews small but strong coffee by boiling water in a two-sectioned metal pot.
  • French press, which is similar to an Aeropress but uses a physical plunger to force the grinds down.
  • Coffee bag, which is when coffee grinds are left in a large bag and left to soak in water.
  • Siphon pot, which is a two-chambered glass device that uses vapor pressure and gravity to produce coffee.

Some processes are longer and more time-consuming than others, but some people enjoy the hands-on aspect of the process. Some people just want to set it and forget it, but some people enjoy the stimulation that comes from being physically involved with the coffee preparation, from bean to stream.

All ways to prepare and enjoy your coffee are valid, so long as you enjoy it.

Does price always indicate quality?

No, not exactly. Many factors go into the pricing of coffee, and quality is not always one of them. Certainly, depending on the manner in which the coffee has been sourced and how the employees are treated is an aspect of pricing. However, sometimes coffee is priced expensively simply because the company believes that customers will pay for the product at that price point.

At the end of the day, which coffee you personally decide is best and most delicious becomes an individual decision.

Not every Costa Rican-sourced coffee has been listed here. Certainly, Costa Rica is home to some of the world’s best-tasting coffee options due to the commitment to high-quality products and legislation enforced to ensure quality control.

You have to go out and experience the coffees that interest you first-hand if you truly want to know and decide for yourself what you would enjoy the most. Obviously, not all of us can travel to Costa Rica and experience the coffee first hand, so ordering online and trying a variety is the best way to open your eyes (and your tastebuds).

Coffee is personal. It is what most of us experience first thing in the morning, and determines whether or not we will feel refreshed and ready for the day. There are so many ways to enjoy coffee and so many aspects to consider when deciding on what to purchase. A consumer needs to consider all the factors that go into your favorite beverage. For example:

  • Are you looking for simple bulk content, how many ounces of coffee can you get for a dollar?
  • Do you care about ethical and sustainability practices, such as where the coffee is sourced from, how the beans are processed, and how the employees are treated?
  • Do you want a high caffeine content or are you more interested in flavor alone?
  • Are you concerned with health risks associated with filtered vs. unfiltered coffee products?

These are all things to consider before dedicating yourself to a particular brand.

Whatever you decide to choose, know that you ultimately want to choose a coffee that will best suit your needs. It is important to listen to yourself and make your own decisions, especially regarding something that you will use as regularly as coffee. You want to make sure that you try different things before settling on one specific brand of coffee. Perhaps even try preparing your coffee in new ways that you haven’t tried before if the options are economically available to you!