Costa Ricans take their coffee very seriously; in fact, the only varietal of coffee that can be grown legally is arabica – its lower-quality cousin, robusta, is strictly forbidden. You’ll find chorreadores, a wooden pour-over apparatus, in every home, and even the simplest bars and restaurants have properly maintained espresso machines. Taza Amarilla, an excellent local roaster and cafe that can be found at San Jose’s Feria Verde farmers’ market, serves shoppers organic coffee made from beans grown on small farms in some of the country’s best regions, like Terrazu and Alajuela.
There are plenty of places you can try coffee in Costa Rica, including but not limited to local soda restaurants and touristy restaurants; hotel lobbies and on-site restaurants; cafes and bakeries; and coffee roasteries and plantations. If you’re curious about the process of coffee production, consider reserving a Costa Rica coffee tour. Not only will you be treated to a cup (or more) of coffee, but you’ll learn where and how coffee is grown; how beans are picked and processed; how coffee types and flavors differ; and so much more.
Tea (té) in Costa Rica is largely overshadowed by the country’s love of coffee. But if you’re not a coffee drinker, tea is a decent fallback option. You won’t find a ton of tea variety there, but you can usually get te manzania (“chamomile tea”), te verde (“green tea”), te negro (“black tea”), and te de menta (“mint tea”) at grocery stores, restaurants, and hotels without problem.
If you prefer your tea served cold and sweet, there’s good news. Costa Rican restaurants serve iced tea (té frio). Like refrescos gaseosos (“gaseous refreshments”) / bebidas gaseosas (“gaseous drink”), most Costa Rican restaurants don’t prepare iced tea from syrup concentrates like fast food establishments do, so if you order a té frio, you’ll likely be given a bottle of the drink. Alternatively, the bottle may be poured into a glass for you. Several companies in Costa Rica produce iced tea drinks, but the most popular is Tropical. Its lineup includes regular té frio, té frio con melocoton (“peach flavored iced tea”), té frio con té verde manzana (“green apple flavored iced tea”), and té frio con limon (“lime flavored iced tea”).
If you’re a fan of Kombucha (fermented tea), you’ll find it at trendy and health-conscious restaurants at popular beach destinations like Tamarindo, Nosara, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Playas del Coco, Jaco, and Manuel Antonio, among others.