Many people don’t understand how great Costa Rican coffee is. Coffees from this quiet Central American country are grown at high altitudes and are some of the most flavorful on the planet.
I have not taken time to enjoy and contemplate coffee from Costa Rica, until my first bag of Volcanica Coffee Costa Rica Original Tarrazu. This exquisite medium-roast coffee is what dreams are made of.
Follow along with me as I share all you need to know about Costa Rican coffee, Volcanica Coffee’s Tarrazu, and how to pick a great Costa Rican coffee.
How To Choose the Best Costa Rican Coffee
If you have never considered Costa Rican coffee, you may not know what you are looking for. In the section below, we will tell you what you should look for in a good Costa Rican coffee.
Costa Rica is one of the many countries located in the “bean belt”, a strip of the globe that is bounded by the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer. This swath of the Earth is known for its consistent temperature, tropical climate, and high levels of precipitation.
Costa Rica has all of those plus, high altitude and volcanic soils, making it the ideal place to grow flavorful coffee beans.
The Tarrazu region of Costa Rica is the most well-known coffee-growing region in the country. Though, coffee is grown throughout Costa Rica. Beans in the Tarrazu region grow at an altitude of 4,000 to 6,000 feet above sea level, and account for only 35% of the beans that come from this small country.
It is hard to not place Costa Rican coffee on the level with other gourmet coffees. Beans from this country are light, flavorful, and have the most robust aromas. Costa Rican coffees are known to be full-bodied but clean and not bitter.
Tarrazu coffees tend to have a unique buttery smooth flavor that you won’t find from coffees grown in other parts of Costa Rica. Costa Rican law requires that all coffee grown in the country should be Arabica, so you know that the flavor and growing conditions are ideal.
The Tarrazu region of Costa Rica is one of the most unique and produces some of the most diverse coffee flavors in the world. The Tarrazu region has several features that make it ideal for growing coffee with bold flavors, fruity aromas, and low acidity.
While the high altitude is certainly the most important feature of this region of Costa Rica, coffee grown here also benefits from the cooler temperatures, high humidity, constant sunshine, and fertile volcanic soils.
Volcanica takes a great deal of care in selecting the farms where their coffees originate. Part of its values as a company is to support small farms instead of larger corporate farms. Their Costa Rica Tarrazu is no exception to their focus on small communities, small farms, and environmental sustainability.
Coffee grown in the Tarrazu region is almost entirely picked by hand. This is due to the high altitude and often steep slopes that coffee is grown in this region of the country. This hand harvesting also allows farmers to pick coffee cherries when they are at their prime, not before and not after.
When you are shopping for Costa Rican coffee beans, you will find that they often have several certifications on their bags. But what do these mean? When we shop for coffee we pay careful attention to three particular certifications.
- Fairtrade Certified: Farmers are given a fair price for their products. This means that communities flourish and can produce better products.
- Rainforest Alliance Certified: Because most coffee is produced in rainforests, this certification tells you that critical environments are protected while growing coffee.
- SHB Certified: SHB stands for Strictly Hard Bean, and tells you that the coffee you are buying comes from Costa Rica and is grown above 4,500 feet in elevation.
Volcanica Coffee Costa Rica Original Tarrazu Review
Volcanica Coffee’s Costa Rica Original Tarrazu is by far the best single-origin Costa Rican coffee I have drunk. When I took my first sip of this coffee, I was transported to my favorite beachside resort. Now, I can have my beachside coffee even in the dead of winter.
Normally, I would doctor up a medium roast coffee with a bit of cream or flavored creamer, to knock down the bitterness. This was one of the first medium roast coffees I have been able to enjoy without the “extras”.
When enjoying this coffee for the first time, I was impressed with the smoothness. There was no bitter aftertaste and it was bursting with mild fruit flavors. I was surprised by the sweetness and flavors of citrus, tropical fruits, and even apricots in this coffee. They are not flavors I would normally associate with coffee.
For me, this coffee was smooth and robust at the same time. It brought plenty of flavor without bitterness or a funky aftertaste. It was, in fact, my perfect everyday coffee.
As a point of reference, I prefer to try new coffees by pour-over. The slower and lower temperature brewing technique allows more of the natural coffee flavors to brew from the coffee. This coffee was exceptional in pour-over. It was also great brewed as drip coffee and French Press.
- The perfect example of a medium roast bean
- Light but robust flavor
- A low-acid coffee
- Comes in 3 grind sizes and whole bean
- More expensive
- 16-ounce bags are a bit large for some people
Volcanica Coffee Costa Rica Original Tarrazu Final Thoughts
The Volcanica Coffee Costa Rica Original Tarrazu is a coffee that I will certainly add to my normal coffee routine. It brings to mind luxury, beachside resorts, and vacations. This perfect medium-roast coffee doesn’t need to be dressed up to be delicious.
If you are searching for an everyday, medium roast coffee that is flavorful but bitter or too hard on your stomach, the Volcanica Coffee Costa Rica Original Tarrazu is a great option. Sure, you’ll pay more for this coffee than for similar products, but it is the perfect way to start every day, feeling like you’re on vacation.