Costa Rica sets the benchmark for farming excellence, matched perhaps only by Kenyan farmers in their care and attention to quality.
Historically, coffee has played a significant role in the building of the Costa Rican economy.
As such, the coffee industry in Costa Rica is respected and professional and remains highly motivated to constantly improveme it's qualty because it understands there needs to be a clear point of difference between Costa Rican coffees and those from from s neighbouring producers in Central America such as Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador that all have significantly lower cost advantages.
A key reason Costa Rican coffees continue to improve is due to a stabile and growing economy - now diverse with manufacturing and service industries that are less reliant upon coffee exports. This stability has allowed the coffee industry in Costa Rica to thrive without the threats of violence and poverty that afflict other Central American origins, specifically El Salvador and Guatemala.
Costa Rica was an early innovator in the segregation of quality lots. Whereas most origins would blend good and bad lots to reach minimum cup standards, Costa Rica graded their coffees by seperating and isolating the best qualities to enable the marketing of these superb, traceable estate coffees to a huge and growing demand from coffee roasters around the world.
Costa Rica also pioneered many different processing methods and one of these types "honeyed"' is now being used at other origins to produce cleaner, sweeter coffees.
In the cup, a good Costa Rican coffee will be sweet, clean and bright. It's this combination and specifically the brightness that many coffee roasters find desirable as an essential highlight in their premium quality blends - adding sparkle and zest to their coffees.
By far the largest segment of quality coffee is the milk-based espresso and the clean, lively acids from a great Costa Rican coffee match beautifully to the milk in a flat white, cappuccino or latte.
We source 4 different Costa Rican coffees each year.
Our latest showcase Costa Rican is from the Llano Bonito district within the department of San Pablo de Leon Cortes. Grown at elevations around 1,600 metres above sea leavel, this perfectly prepared Tarrazu has a delicious grape acidity, thick toffee and chocolate notes.
Prices for 2020 crop Costa Rican coffees has risen 20% due to a smaller harvest this year.
When you first think of grape acidity, it can be somewhat off-putting. However, don't be fooled into thinking it's sour or lemony or cheek-puckering.
This acid is ridiculously clean and refreshing - in fact it's what makes the cup sing.
Combined with wonderfully thick toffee and a hint of nut and chocolate, this surprising combination works remarkably well.
When I first tasted this lot, prior to committing to a few tons, we thought.....wow, really moor-ish. You just want another cup straight away.
The fruit element are subtle, yet offering enough complexity in the finish to round the cup off perfectly.
We enjoyed this coffee in milk-based espresso. It's immensely satisfying on just about every level.
Like a great Brazil or a PNG, this single origin has broad appeal.