6 Best Costa Rican Coffee Brands

The Reputation of Costa Rican Coffee 

Costa Rica holds a pristine reputation when it comes to coffee. Costa Rican beans are considered to be some of the best to come out of Central America. Coffee from the Tarrazu region is particularly esteemed, thought by many to be some of the best in the world. Despite being a relatively small country, Costa Rica has a variety of distinct coffee growing regions. The common denominator? High elevations. Costa Rica is home to extensive and widespread mountain ranges. 

There are dozens of options out there for coffee from Tarrazu alone! With such variety, it can be tricky to know which beans are worth your time. Not to worry, we’ve compiled a list of our 6 best Costa Rican coffee brands to help you decide!

Here's a quick summary of our best Costa Rican coffee brands!

The Coffee

Available As...

Cumbres del Poas Coffee

Costa Rica Cumbres del Poas

Roast: Medium

Taste: Balanced, notes of peach, cherry & orange


Costa Rica Tarrazu Coffee Ground

Roast: Medium-Dark

Taste: Complex, notes of cacao and grapefruit


Costa Rica Monteverde Coffee Whole Bean

Roast: Light

Taste: Complex, floral, cedar & fruity notes

La Minita

Best Costa Rican Coffee La Minita Coffee Whole Bean

Roast: Medium

Taste: Sweet, notes of citrus, caramel & chocolate

Tres Rios

Best Costa Rican Coffee Tres Rios Coffee Whole Bean

Roast: Medium

Taste: Rich, notes of citrus fruits, nuts & plum

Tarrazu Peaberry

Best Costa Rican Peaberry Coffee

Roast: Medium

Taste: Rich, notes of lime, apricot & brown sugar

If you're struggling to pick, give Cumbres del Poas Coffee a try! 

Central American Coffee

We said before that Costa Rica produces some of the best coffee to come out Central America. This is a fairly bold statement, as the rest of Central American offers some seriously stiff competition.

Guatemala and Nicaragua produce a wide range of high quality beans, and Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is very frequently placed atop connoisseurs best coffee lists.

So what makes Central American coffee so good? There are of course, a number of factors that contribute to great coffee. 

One of the most notable things that Central America has going for it is climate. Central America sits just north of the equator, which means it is situated well within the ideal latitude range for coffee growth.

Another major contributing factor is elevation. Vast mountainous ranges spread throughout Central America allow for the growth of coffee to occur at high altitudes. High grown coffee benefits from a longer maturation process, leading to a more developed taste profile.

Costa Rican Coffee Growing Regions

Following the Central American trend, Costa Rica is comprised of an extensive network of mountainous regions. The majority of Costa Rican specialty coffee is grown between 1200-1700 meters (4000 - 5600 feet).

Volcanoes offer a consistent source of nutrient rich soils. Factor in the healthy number of volcanoes in Costa Rica and you end up with some seriously top notch coffee growing conditions!

So we’ve established that Costa Rica is home to some ideal coffee growing conditions, it’s now time to take a look at some specific growing regions!

Tarrazu Coffee Region

Tarrazu is the most well known growing region in Costa Rica and is considered to produce some of the best coffee in the world. Tarrazu is nestled within a mountain range that is elevated 1200 meters (4600 feet) at its lowest point!

The name Tarrazu has come to be associated with a high quality bean. As there are many different estates and farms within Tarrazu, there exists a large variance in coffee taste profile. There are also numerous Tarrazu coffee products to choose from. We’ve included a few Tarrazu beans in our list below!

But wait, there's more!

Unfortunately, when it comes to Costa Rican coffee, the average consumer may only have heard of Tarrazu. Make no mistake, Tarrazu coffee is incredible and worthy of all of the praise that it receives. BUT there are a number of other regions that are very much worth your attention.

Some of these fine regions include Monteverde, Tres Rios and La Amistad. Each provides a distinct flavor profile that deserves to be given a chance to shine! Our 6 best Costa Rican Coffee brands list contains entries from several worthy areas beyond that of Tarrazu!

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Costa Rican Coffee Taste Profile

As previously mentioned, Costa Rican coffee taste profiles can be quite varied. That being said, you can expect at least a few of the following aspects to be present;

  • Rich, often sweet & complex
  • Notes of citrus, chocolate, nuts or tropical fruit  
  • Brown sugar or honey toned sweetness is frequent
  • Bright & lively acidity is common
  • Strong, sweet aroma

Costa Rican Coffee History

The history of coffee in Costa Rica is closely tied to the country's economic and social development. Coffee cultivation in Costa Rica began in the early 19th century and has played a significant role in shaping the nation's economy and culture.

Coffee was first introduced to Costa Rica in the late 18th century, but it was not until the early 19th century that commercial coffee production took off. The country's fertile volcanic soils, favorable climate, and suitable altitudes provided ideal conditions for coffee cultivation.

Coffee cultivation initially gained traction in the Central Valley region, particularly in areas such as Alajuela, Heredia, and Cartago. The coffee plantations thrived, and Costa Rica soon became known for producing high-quality Arabica coffee.

The government played a crucial role in promoting coffee production and supporting the industry's growth. In 1821, Costa Rica gained independence from Spain, and coffee became an essential export commodity. The government offered incentives to farmers, including land grants, tax exemptions, and subsidies, which encouraged the expansion of coffee plantations.

Costa Rica's coffee industry experienced rapid development and saw a shift towards small-scale coffee farming. Unlike other countries where large plantations dominated, Costa Rica embraced a model of small landholdings, with many farmers cultivating coffee on modest plots of land.

The 19th century was a prosperous period for Costa Rican coffee. Coffee exports brought significant wealth to the country, allowing for the development of infrastructure, such as roads and railways, which facilitated transportation and trade. Coffee became the main source of revenue and contributed to the growth of cities like San José.

During this time, Costa Rica gained a reputation for producing high-quality coffee. The country's commitment to coffee quality led to the establishment of the Coffee Institute of Costa Rica (ICAFE) in 1933. ICAFE focused on research, improving production techniques, and promoting sustainability within the coffee industry.

In the late 20th century, Costa Rica faced challenges such as declining international coffee prices and competition from other coffee-producing countries. However, the country's commitment to quality and sustainability allowed it to maintain its status as a respected coffee producer.

Today, Costa Rica is known for its specialty coffee production. The country's diverse microclimates and growing regions contribute to the production of unique coffee flavors and profiles. Costa Rica continues to prioritize sustainability and environmental stewardship in its coffee industry. Many farmers employ environmentally friendly practices, such as shade-grown coffee and organic farming methods.

Coffee tourism has also gained popularity in Costa Rica, with visitors having the opportunity to visit coffee farms, learn about the production process, and participate in coffee tastings. The country's coffee heritage remains an integral part of its culture, and coffee continues to be an important economic driver and source of pride for Costa Rica.

The Best Costa Rican Coffee Brands

As promised, here are our 6 best Costa Rican coffee brands. We’ve included a good variety of beans from a range of origins. We believe that our list has something for everyone, take a look!

1. Cumbres del Poas Coffee

Roasted By: Fresh Roasted Coffee

Roast: Medium

Taste: Balanced, notes of peach, cherry & orange

First up we have Cumbres del Poas coffee, roasted by Fresh Roasted Coffee! This one is available as whole bean, ground, or single serve, take your pick! These single origin, organic beans come from a small family owned farm. This coffee sports a nice fruity profile, with notes of peach, cherry & orange. A vibrant citrus-toned acidity adds some character to this cup. Fans of Costa Rican coffee that have already tried Tarrazu beans should definitely check this one out!

Coarse Grind, Drip Grind, Fine Grind & available!

2. Tarrazu Coffee

Roasted By: Cafe Britt

Roast: Medium-Dark

Taste: Complex, notes of cacao and grapefruit

Here's the first coffee in our list that comes from the esteemed region of Tarrazu. Cafe Britt is a great roaster that has a number of high quality Costa Rican coffees. This coffee has an aroma to die for that smells like dark chocolate. Distinct notes of grapefruit are the centerpiece of this coffee, while cacao & a mild acidity also contribute.  This one perfectly exemplifies why Tarrazu holds such a high reputation.

Not available as single serve

3. Monteverde Coffee

Roasted By: Artifx Cafe

Roast: Light

Taste: Complex, floral, cedar & fruity notes

Next up we have a representation of the Monteverde region. These beans are grown in pristine conditions within the famous Cloud Forests of Costa Rica. This coffee is defined by a bright fruity acidity and a cedar-toned sweetness. Artifx also contributes to local development projects in Costa Rica. This coffee is complex, you'll want multiple cups to appreciate it! If you're a light roast fan, you'll probably love Monteverde coffee.

Not available as single serve

4. La Minita Coffee

Roasted By: Coffee Beanery

Roast: Medium

Taste: Sweet, notes of citrus, caramel & chocolate

Okay we'll level with you, this is another Tarrazu coffee! La Minita is an estate within Tarrazu that produces some truly distinguished coffee. This one contains sweet notes of chocolate and caramel and sports a vibrant citrus-toned acidity. This is another example as to why Tarrazu coffee is held in such high regard. If you like some sweetness to your coffee, this is the one for you!

Not available as single serve

5. Tres Rios Coffee

Roasted By: Cafe Britt

Roast: Medium

Taste: Rich, notes of citrus fruits, nuts & plum

We mentioned before that Cafe Britt has multiple stellar Costa Rican products. Here's another one from a lesser known region! This coffee is rich, offering a distinct plum taste, as well as sweet hints of honey. This one has a mild acidity, so it's very easy on the stomach! Cafe Britt is truly at the top of the Costa Rican coffee game.

Not available as single serve

6. Tarrazu Peaberry Coffee

Roasted By: Doka Estate Gourmet Coffee

Roast: Medium

Taste: Rich, notes of lime, apricot & brown sugar

Peaberry coffee beans are thought to have a more developed and concentrated flavor profile than regular beans. This coffee is a testament to that sentiment.


This flavorful coffee offers distinct notes of lime, apricot and brown sugar. This is another naturally sweet coffee that is truly a treat. Any coffee drinker is sure to enjoy this one!

Not available as single serve

And there you have it. Hopefully one of these Costa Rican coffees has caught your interest!

What is your favorite Costa Rican coffee? Let us know!

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