Costa Rica, a long-established specialty coffee production area

The Republic of Costa Rica, located in the southern part of Central America, is famous for producing specialty coffee.
Sandwiched between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, the country is home to more than 100 volcanoes, both large and small, and coffee plantations are spread out around the volcanic mountains in the center.
Tropical rainforest occupies more than 40% of the country, making it an extremely suitable environment for growing coffee trees.

The country has been producing high-quality coffee since ancient times, and is known as a country that prohibits the cultivation of coffee other than Arabica.

Of the approximately 76,000 tons produced annually, half is traded as specialty coffee.

History of coffee cultivation

Costa Rica was the first country in Central America to seriously industrialize coffee cultivation.
Coffee beans were introduced from Cuba in the 18th century, and in the first half of the 19th century, it became a major coffee producing region in Central and South America, along with Brazil.

Costa Rica, which cannot grow coffee on large plantations like Brazil, has been improving its quality and exporting it to Europe from an early stage, improving cultivation methods and varieties, and introducing washing methods, and has become an advanced coffee country.
The Costa Rican Coffee Association (CICAFE) was established in 1933 to provide guidance to producers and control quality.

Characteristics of the cultivation area

Costa Rican coffee production areas are characterized by high altitude, volcanic ash soil, and a climate with distinct rainy and dry seasons. It is commonly grown at high altitudes between 800 and 1,700 meters above sea level, which gives it its unique flavor. In addition, shade trees are used because there is a lot of sunlight.
As mentioned above, there are many volcanoes, and volcanic soil is rich in minerals and has good drainage, making it suitable for coffee cultivation.

The rainy season is from May to November, and the dry season is from December to April. Harvesting takes place from October at the end of the rainy season to February during the dry season.

There are seven main producing regions in Costa Rica: Taras, Tres Rios, Central Valley, West Valley, Orosi, Brunca, and Turrialba. You can enjoy different flavors depending on the region where it is produced.
One of the most famous is Taras, which has a sour taste with citrus and berry notes.

Unique selection method/honey process

Costa Rica's unique refining method is the ``Honey Process'' (Pulped Natural).

Traditional coffee refining methods include ``natural'', which involves drying the fruit with the pulp still attached, and ``washed'', which involves fermenting the mucilage in a water tank to remove it and drying it as parchment coffee. Washed was the mainstream until the 1990s.

However, around 2000, when the Water Quality Protection Act was enacted, a method of mechanically removing mucus and then drying it was developed and became popular in order to reduce the amount of wastewater.

The removal rate of mucus can be adjusted by changing the settings of the machine, and this process is now called the honey process. By changing the amount of mucus remaining, we can finely categorize variations and increase added value.

Honey process variations (removal rate)

Black Honey, Red Honey, Gold Honey: About 0% to 25% Yellow Honey: About 50% White Honey: About 90%

In this way, Costa Rican coffee has been improved in quality through careful selection methods.
Many small-scale farmers are working on micro-batch production, and in recent years, anaerobic fermentation processes are also increasingly being used.

Costa Rican coffee will continue to attract attention.
CROWD ROASTER also sells coffee from Ortiga Farm in Taras, Costa Rica.
Please enjoy this unique Costa Rican coffee.