Great Coffee

A big plus for Costa Rican cuisine is the coffee. Some of the best coffee in the world grows on shaded mountain slopes in Costa Rica. These exceptionally rich-tasting beans are used by coffee merchants around the world to add flavor to otherwise bland Brazilian or African varieties. In Costa Rica, you can brew your coffee from 100 percent flavorful beans. I prefer to purchase coffee beans direct from the roaster, and take them home while they, are still hot. The use of instant coffee (a barbarous practice) hasn't caught on here. A cafe con leche with just a dash of sugar makes a wonderful starter for breakfast and something to wash down mouthfuls of gallo pinto.

costa rica coffee

Costa Ricans have an interesting way of making coffee here which gives characteristically rich flavor to the brew. Instead of using a percolator or an automatic coffee maker, Ticos use a wire or wooden stand holding a cloth strainer bag which hangs over a waiting cup. They place two teaspoons of coffee into the bag and pour boiling water over the grounds letting it drain into the coffee cup below. Then, for each cup of coffee, another teaspoon of ground coffee is added. The result is a flavorful, velvety drink that grows richer with each cup made. The grounds aren't discarded until the sack is full of grounds or until end of the day—whichever happens first. "The aroma and essence of the coffee is much better if it isn't boiled," explained a Tico. "We call our coffee-making system a chorreador. It brings out the flavor without acid bitterness. This method requires more coffee grounds, but since coffee is inexpensive here, we use nothing but the best."

chorreador costa rica

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