The value in trying single-origin coffee is that each climate where coffee is grown, combined with soil conditions, local environmental factors, and even when berries are harvested impact the flavor of your coffee.
I recently enjoyed some delicious Volcanica Coffee Costa Rica Peaberry. Some of the best coffee in the world comes from Costa Rica and the Volcanica Peaberry is no exception.
In this article, I’ll share with you a bit about Volcanica Coffee, their Costa Rican single-origin coffees, and the unique peaberry bean.
How To Choose the Best Costa Rican Coffee
Costa Rica is known for producing some distinctly flavored coffee beans. However, there is such a variety of coffee types from Costa Rica, it can be hard to decide which you want to try first.
Costa Rica is located on the eastern coast of Central America. It is one of the countries located in what is called the “Bean Belt”. These countries are located between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.
The belt is marked by tropical climates with higher amounts of precipitation. Costa Rica’s tropical climate, high mountains, and volcanic soils are ideal for growing exceptional coffee.
While coffee is grown throughout the country, the most renowned coffee beans come from the Tarrazu region. Beans in this region grow at elevations between 4,000 and 6,000 feet above sea level. Tarrazu beans are highly sought after and makeup only about 35% of the coffee produced in Costa Rica.
Type of Bean
Most of us have heard of Arabica and Robusta beans. All coffee beans that are grown in Costa Rica are Arabica beans. Arabica coffee plants are slower growing, but produce a more flavorful, higher quality bean.
Peaberry coffee is the result of a rare mutation in how coffee berries grow. Normally, coffee beans are paired with the berry. Peaberries grow as a single bean inside the fruit. These beans grow smaller than regular coffee beans, but they are packed with nutrients and flavors.
Collecting peaberry coffee beans is intensive. Only about 5% of beans in the world are peaberries, and they must be sorted by hand. This time-intensive collection method and the rarity of the mutation make peaberry coffee expensive.
The variety of growing environments in Costa Rica allows for some of the most diverse flavor profiles in single-origin coffees. When roasted, you’ll find that coffees from Costa Rica are flavorful from light roasts to dark.
Certifications indicate coffee benefits the environment and local cultures. When looking at coffee labels the three certifications that are most telling for Costa Rican coffees are Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, and Strictly Hard Bean (SHB).
- Fairtrade certification tells you that small farmers have been paid fairly for their products. This is an attempt to help lift struggling communities out of poverty and support better living conditions.
- Rainforest Alliance certified says the farming practices used to produce the beans support and protect critical rainforest habitats.
- SHB certified says that your beans come from an altitude higher than 4,500 feet. This elevation causes coffee plants to grow slowly, creating a hard, dense, flavorful bean.
Kosher-certified coffees are those that follow Jewish dietary laws and do not contain additives. It is not an indication of the quality of the bean itself.
One certification that we don’t need to see on a bag of coffee is an organic certification.
Organically raised coffee can be deceiving, and not all organic farming practices are good for the environment. When buying organic coffee you should research the company and the farming practices before setting your cap on an organic coffee product.
Volcanica Coffee Costa Rica Peaberry Review
Volcanica Coffee’s Costa Rica Peaberry is my first experience with the peaberry style of bean. While I have enjoyed other single-origin Costa Rican coffees, this one was a unique and surprising experience.
This bean is a medium roast, and the bag is bursting with aroma. This is a spot-on medium roast. The beans are a pleasant brown color, and dry, telling me that they have been carefully roasted to the proper temperature.
I like to brew new coffees by pour-over, as the slower extraction process allows the beans to release more of their unique flavors. Volcanica’s Costa Rican Peaberry coffee was bright and mild. I enjoyed the light nutty flavor combined with citrus and a bit of sweetness at the finish. This coffee wasn’t bitter and didn’t give me any strange aftertaste.
If you are one for a bold, strong coffee. This is not a great option for your morning cup of joe. The delicate flavors of the peaberry are almost akin to a strong cup of black tea.
While I brewed my coffee by pour-over, I do believe that this is a great coffee bean for any brewing method. Some of the faster brewing methods may not extract all of the flavors of the peaberry bean.
Volcanica’s Costa Rica Peaberry coffee is a bit more expensive for a typical 16-ounce bag. This is not surprising, considering that these beans are hand-picked and sorted. The effort required to get a 16-ounce bag of beans is extensive, and worth the higher price.
- Perfect medium roast beans
- Light and bright flavored coffee
- Single-origin, hand-picked peaberry beans
- Peaberry beans are more expensive
- Brewed coffee may be too mild for some people
Volcanica Coffee Costa Rica Peaberry Final Thoughts
The Volcanica Coffee Costa Rica peaberry was my first experience with a peaberry bean. This small but mighty bean was a surprise from start to finish. This tiny bean was full of aroma and flavor.
The mild citrus flavors and sweet finish make this a perfect summer coffee. If, like me, you’ve never tried a peaberry coffee, Volcanica Coffee’s Costa Rica Peaberry is the perfect place to start.