Costa Rica Coffee Terrain: Tarrazu

Costa Rica has a remarkably diverse landscape for such a small country. And that diversity translates into an excellent variety of high quality coffees, each unique according to the region of origin, and the particular farms within those regions. We have chosen twelve coffees from the regions that international tasting competitions have consistently prized the most, including four single estate coffees that stand out for their quality.

Mountains are the most prominent feature of Costa Rica’s terrain, and within that landscape volcanoes have an outsized impact the quality of the coffee. Volcanic ash is abundant in the topsoil across Costa Rica and the minerals in that ash are particularly beneficial for the healthy growth of coffee plants. Combine that favorable base condition with microclimates, growing techniques and other inputs, and the picture is more complete.

Of the other inputs, organization is our favorite. Coffee farms in Costa Rica are generally small holdings, spreading prosperity among agricultural households across the country, which explains the historical importance of coffee to Costa Rica’s democratic stability. Also, each region has cooperatives that provide those individual farmers shared knowhow and greater market power. And most important, ICAFE (Costa Rica Coffee Institute), aka Café de Costa Rica is the sector-wide governing body. They produced a series of scenic videos of each growing region. We will feature one each day, starting today with the most well-known region.

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