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Four Brewing Methods for Any Costa Rican Coffee Lover

Mon, Feb 17, 20

Costa Rica may not be one of the largest coffee exporters in the world, but it is certainly one of the best. Both commercial coffee and specialty coffee have managed to improve their various brewing methods to achieve a truly remarkable product. 

The average Costa Rican citizen consumes about 3.7 kilos of coffee per year - not a surprising fact if you compare it against the 12.2 kg per capita consumed in Finland, for instance. What makes Costa Rica coffee so particular is both the quality and the brewing methods used. Yes, because how the grain is brewed is incredibly important to the quality of the cup itself. 

Most coffee drinkers have tried their luck making coffee using a coffee maker or the more traditional chorreador. A coffee maker, though practical and ever-present in every single office, tends to burn the grain easily and produce a very bitter drink. It works to wake you up, but nothing else.

Yet have you ever walked into a specialty coffee shop, looked at the coffees they offer and wondered what does each brewing method imply? Do you feel incredibly confused every time someone talks about a Chemex or a v60? Did you know that there are many methods available that are adapted to the various characteristics of each bean and are designed to enhance its properties. 

costa rica coffee

Part of drinking a good cup of coffee is selecting the best coffee beans

Brewing Methods to Prepare Costa Rica Coffee

The 20 different preparation methods we spoke about a few paragraphs ago can be divided into 4 groups: the pressure methods, such as the espresso machine or the aeropress; the immersion methods, of which the French press and the siphon stand out; the filter or dripper methods, such as the chemex and v60; and the boiling method, as is the case of Turkish coffee. Here, we will recommend 4 methods that are easy to make and accessible to the pocket.

The French Press

The French press is the quintessential immersion method and is preferred by both experts and households. Within the community of baristas and coffee lovers, it also has a loyal group of followers. The reason why so many baristas prefer it is because it is a method that allows you to feel all the flavors that make up a bean.

Besides, the French press is very easy to use, it is excellent if you want to share and requires a minimum investment. However, to ensure a cup of coffee like few others, some experts recommend investing in a good quality press and using coffee from the right grind. 

An Introduction to Coffee Dripping Methods: v60

The v60 is part of the dripper family and is a very simple way to make coffee.  It is small, drinkable and can be taken almost anywhere, which ensures that we will have a good cup of coffee wherever we go. What distinguishes this method from all others is its conical filtering system. In this sense, it is very similar to one of the best methods of this family, the Chemex.

All you need is the filter and the ground coffee. Like many filtering methods, these require a certain technique to achieve the perfect cup. But don't worry, this can be mastered after a couple of attempts. Costa Ricans are great at brewing coffee via this method, since the dripper (a different version of the v60) has traditionally been the preferred way for making coffee. 

Thus, if you have a couple of minutes to make a good cup of coffee, the v60 is one of the best options to consider.

costa rica coffee

A stylish v60: The Segua coffee dripper.

No Time? Use the Aeropress

This method seems more like a failed experiment than a coffee machine. However, the Aeropress is the closest thing we can get to an espresso machine without having to pawn the couches in the house. Maybe having an aeropress requires a little more money, but we assure you that it is worth it.

The Aeropress does not beat around the bush. If the water is at the right temperature and you have the necessary air pressure, the result will be a very tasty cup of coffee in a matter of minutes. This method of preparation produces a clean cup - that is, with a minimum of residue - and allows it to be transported anywhere.

costa rica coffee

A beginner friendly coffee-brewing kit.

A Method Made in Costa Rica: The Vandola

Did you know that the vandola is a method of preparation created in Costa Rica? From a distance, the vandola seems to be more of a water pitcher than a new method. Vandola is a handmade drip-filtering method in a clay jug. The material allows the coffee to acquire different flavors because it adheres easily to the porosity of the clay. 

The vandola, which was created by master potter Minor Alfaro, is very similar to Chemex in terms of preparation. It is meant to be an experience to be shared by groups of friends. Unlike the Aeropress or the v60, the vandola is a social creature. It works best in social settings, where we take the time to enjoy coffee surrounded by good company.

Local Keeps is the best place to find the best Costa Rica coffee. Besides having the best coffee beans and a wide range of curated goods, you can navigate our categories or write to us at galit@localkeeps.com if you have any questions.

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