Costa Rica is a small country that provides less than one percent of the world’s coffee market. However, coffee fans and fanatics seek out the best Costa Rican coffee beans for their moderate acidity and clean, sweet taste.
These beans grow at high altitudes in rich volcanic soil. As a result, Costa Rican coffee boasts an exotic flavor profile that includes mildly sweet tastes of chocolate, honey, citrus, almond, vanilla, and more.
We’ve searched through a wide assortment of brands, roasts, and flavors to recommend some of the best coffees that Costa Rica has to offer.
Our top pick is Volcanica Coffee’s Costa Rica Peaberry Coffee. This brand handpicks high-quality, shade-grown peaberry coffee beans. Then, SCA-trained Volcanica Coffee roastmasters bring out the best flavors.
Other favorites on our list include Costa Rican organic beans, rain-forest certified coffees, Strictly High Grown (SHG) coffee, and more. These six best Costa Rican coffees are freshly roasted and packed with flavor to delight your palate.
Take a look and see which coffee beans you want to try next
Our List of the Best Costa Rican Coffee at a Glance
- Best overall: Volcanica Coffee Costa Rican Peaberry Coffee
- Best gourmet: Café Britt Costa Rican Breakfast Blend Coffee
- Best low-acid: Java Planet Organic Costa Rica Single Origin
- Best dark roast: Fresh Roasted Coffee Costa Rican TarrazuDark Roast
- Best light roast: Café 1820 Premium Ground Coffee Light Roast Costa Rican Arabica
- Best unroasted green coffee beans: Morning Hills Coffee Costa Rica Naranjo La Rosa Unroasted Coffee Beans
The 6 best Costa Rican coffees to try
No doubt about it, Costa Rica grows and processes high-quality third-wave coffee beans. We’ve rated our top picks for Costa Rican coffee beans according to their flavor, freshness, and popularity.
1 Volcanica Coffee Costa Rica Peaberry Coffee
Volcanica Coffee’s Costa Rica Peaberry variety is our top pick for Costa Rican coffee beans. These single-origin peaberry coffee beans are shade-grown in the Tres Rios area near the Pacific coast. Peaberries represent roughly 5% of the crop and are handpicked from regular coffee beans. They are known for having extra flavor and slightly more caffeine than the average bean.
After the peaberries are harvested, they are washed and patio-dried. Then, SCA-trained roast masters bring out the best flavors of the peaberries by roasting them just before the second crack.
These medium-roast whole beans are richly flavored with notes of honey, lemon, and almond with a smooth mouthfeel.
Brew methods we recommend: Drip coffee maker, French press, or cold brew
2 Café Britt Costa Rican Breakfast Blend Coffee
Cafe Britt took coffee-lovers recommendations to heart and created a breakfast blend from two of the most popular coffee-growing regions in Costa Rico: Tarrazu and Tres Rios. These areas boast some of the finest flavors from Costa Rica with chocolate, caramel, and citrus tastes at the forefront.
The coffee beans are grown at high altitudes of up to 1,650 meters (5,413 feet) and roasted to a medium-dark color. Cafe Britt coffee is a favorite in Costa Rica and is sold on Amazon so others can enjoy this delightful gourmet blend.
Brew methods we recommend: Drip coffee maker, pour-over, French press
3 Java Planet Organic Costa Rica Single Origin Dark Roast
If you love the taste of coffee but have a sensitive stomach, Java Planet’s Organica Costa Rica coffee may be for you. This dark-roast coffee is lower in acid compared to other coffees and has a rich, full-bodied flavor with a smooth finish.
The beans are grown at high altitudes in organic, chemical-free soil. Small batches of coffee are evenly roasted to retain the flavor, and you can find the exact roast date on each bag to choose the freshest coffee.
Grind the whole beans in your burr grinder and choose your preferred brew method. Then, enjoy the chocolate, caramel, and nutty flavors of the rich-tasting low-acid brew.
Brew methods we recommend: Aeropress, cold brew, espresso
4 Fresh Roasted Coffee Dark Costa Rican Tarrazu Whole Bean
Fresh Roasted’s Costa Rican coffee has a bright, full-bodied flavor. The beans are grown at altitudes of 1,300-1,600 meters in the Tarrazu region. This area is known for producing some of the world’s finest-tasting coffees with clean flavors and a light mouthfeel.
The flavor of these beans goes a different direction than the chocolaty profile of most Costa Rican coffees. Instead, your tastebuds will tingle with the tastes of lemon and red honey before enjoying a lightly sweet aftertaste. This unique Costa Rican coffee is full of bold and bright flavors to impress the palate.
Brew methods we recommend: Espresso, iced coffee
5 Café 1820 Premium Ground Coffee Light Roast Costa Rican Arabica
This light roast premium ground coffee by Cafe 1820 is a treat for coffee connoisseurs. The coffee beans are grown in nutrient-rich volcanic soils and then lightly roasted so you can enjoy the delicate flavors. A Chemex or pour-over brewing method can give you the full effect of the light citrus notes and chocolatey after-taste.
The Cafe 1820 brand is popular in Costa Rican homes and served in authentic Costa Rican restaurants. This coffee is pre-ground so you can brew up a quick cuppa before you start your morning routine.
Brew methods we recommend: Chemex, pour-over, single-serve coffee maker
6 Morning Hills Coffee Costa Rica Naranjo La Rosa Unroasted Coffee Beans
Morning Hills Coffee lets you control the roast level of your coffee by offering green, unroasted Costa Rica coffee beans. The Strictly Hard Bean coffee is grown at high altitudes in the Naranjo region. The soil and climate in this area produce coffee beans with a dark chocolate and almond flavor profile with a lemon aroma. After they are harvested, the Arabica green coffee beans are fully washed and packaged.
Morning Hills recommends using a medium to medium-dark roast to extract the best flavor from the beans. When you roast coffee beans at home, you can enjoy the freshest-tasting cuppa.
Roast level recommendation: Medium to medium-dark (City+ – Full City)
What makes Costa Rican coffee so good?
The mountainous terrain, warm climate, and nutrient-rich volcanic soil in Costa Rica give their coffee beans the rich flavor that is so popular among coffee drinkers. The Costa Rican flavor profile often centers on citrus, chocolate, nuts, honey, vanilla, and caramel. Although, it can expand to include rarer flavors such as apricot, grape, and malt.
Costa Rica takes pride in its coffee growing processes and the government even steps in to regulate the quality of the beans. For example, Robusta beans, which are considered lesser quality by many coffee experts, have been legally banned from Costa Rican coffee fields for decades. Instead, Costa Rica chooses to grow 100% Arabica beans.
On average, Costa Rica exports around 90% of its coffee with the U.S. being the largest consumer, according to the OEC.
Buyer’s guide: How to choose the best Costa Rican coffee?
Drinking Costa Rican coffee is an experience you don’t want to miss. However, sifting through the hundreds of options on the market can be a daunting task. To find the highest quality coffee beans to satisfy your coffee cravings, you can narrow down your options with this checklist.
Weigh your options by comparing the bean type, roast, flavor profile, soil region, and processing techniques.
What type of coffee bean should you choose?
While there are four main types of coffee beans worldwide, Costa Rica makes the choice simple. They focus on growing only high-quality 100% Arabica beans. Arabica beans tend to be smooth, sweet, and packed with rich flavor.
However, you do have the option to choose between regular Costa Rican coffee beans and peaberries. Regular coffee beans grow as two seeds inside of a berry. However, peaberries grow alone inside the coffee berry and represent only about 5% of the coffee crop. These rare coffee beans are hand-selected and generally smaller, sweeter, and higher in caffeine than regular beans.
What roast best matches your brew method?
Medium or dark roasts are perfect if you like rich, bold brews. Medium roasts work well with drip coffee machines and French press, while darker roasts make excellent espressos.
However, if you prefer to taste all the intricate flavor notes inherent in Costa Rican beans, try a light roast. A Chemex, pour-over method, or drip machine gives you the purest flavors from light-roast coffees.
Where are the coffee beans grown?
Coffee beans can have different flavor profiles depending on the soil and climate where they grow. Higher altitudes tend to produce coffees that have richer flavors and more complex notes.
Strictly Hard Bean (SHB) and Strictly High Grown (SHG) certified coffee beans indicate that the coffee beans were grown at high altitudes and contain superior flavors.
Which flavor profile do you prefer?
Some coffees contain sweet floral or fruity flavors, while other coffee beans have rich nutty, chocolatey tastes. Blends often choose from compatible flavor profiles for exotic, full-bodied combinations. Most high-quality coffee brands will list the flavor profile next to the coffee’s name and origin.
How are the Costa Rican coffee beans processed?
Most Costa Rican coffee beans are fully washed and left to dry in the sun before roasting. This process tends to give coffee beans a clean, bright taste with citrus flavors.
Whether you choose a single-origin or a blend, Costa Rican coffee is a delight. Our overall favorite coffee for this category was the Volcanica Coffee Costa Rican Peaberry. These beans are handpicked and the quality shows when you take a sip full of rich flavor.
From chocolate to citrus flavors, Costa Rica has many options available.
Which of these six best Costa Rican coffees is your top pick?
Starbucks sells Costa Rica Naranjo coffee at Starbucks Reserve stores. This creamy coffee includes bright pomelo and citrus notes and sweet milk chocolate flavors. Also, Starbucks owns and runs a coffee farm in Costa Rica since 2013. This farm is located less than an hour outside the capital of San Jose and is open to visitors.