Costa Rican Coffee Maker Review

Once you get ahold of some great coffee beans, that are gently roasted, and super fresh, then what? How do you make great coffee? Well, that depends on what you like. If you like your coffee to be smooth as silk, with no bitterness, and tons of flavor, then you’re going to love this Costa Rican Coffee Maker Review.

Costa Rican Honeymoon Coffee Delight

Alisha and I were first introduced to the Chorreador Costa Rican Coffee Maker while on our Honeymoon in Costa Rica. On our first evening in San Jose, we took a harrowing taxi ride to a well-known restaurant for dinner.

Sitting on top of every table stood an elaborately carved and painted contraption with a white sock hanging from it. Americans seldom drink coffee after dinner, but apparently that’s not the case in Costa Rica, for I saw several of these contraptions dripping into a coffee pot.

For the life of me, I can’t tell you what I ate for dinner, but I sure as hell can tell you exactly what I drank after dinner. That coffee was some of the best that I’ve ever had.

Russell and Alisha Volz
Costa Rican Coffee Maker

Chorreador De Café

So what was the contraption on everyone’s dinner table? It’s what the Costa Rican’s call a “Chorreador”. It’s pretty simple really. As you can tell from the picture, it’s simply a stand that holds a cloth strainer over your coffee pot or mug.

The Chorreador stands are usually made of wood, many of which are hand carved or painted with traditional Costa Rican designs. A few, like the one I have, are simply made of metal wire. Heck, I think you could make one out of a coat hanger.

Best Coffee Strainer

What makes this brewing method unique is the use of a cloth strainer. It doesn’t take any kind of special cloth. Just use a cloth whose weave is small enough to filter all the grounds, but still allow all the water and coffee oils to pass through. Most Chorreadors come with at least one reusable cloth filter.

As you’re probably aware, most other brewing methods use paper or a fine metal mesh for the strainer. The paper strainers can filter out some of those precious coffee oils, leaving the coffee somewhat boring. As for the metal strainers, they can leave a very slight metallic taste to the coffee.

costa rican coffee maker strainer
Insulated coffee mugs made in usa

How To Make Coffee With A Chorreador

This is perhaps one the easiest ways to make coffee that you’re likely to find. Here’s how I do it.

  1. Buy fresh roasted Costa Rican coffee beans, preferably from the Tarrazu Region.
  2. Grind the beans on a medium setting. I have more details below on grinding.
  3. Put the grounds in the white sock.
  4. Put a coffee mug under the sock.
  5. Boil water.
  6. Pour boiling water over the grounds.
  7. When your cup is full, pull it out from under the sock.
  8. Drink and enjoy!

Great Coffee Is All About The Oils

There are over 100 compounds in coffee beans. Each of these compounds impart a different flavor and are suspended in the coffee bean’s oils. So understandably, the more of the right oils that you can extract, the better the coffee.

Best Beans For Costa Rican Coffee Maker 

Alisha and I prefer coffee beans that are super smooth with well-balanced notes of chocolate and fruit. In our opinion, we believe that the very best beans come from the Tarrazu Region of Costa Rica.

Each year, we taste test about two dozen different beans from that region. From those samples, we select the very best bean and then purchase enough of that specific bean to last us for a full year.

Good Coffee Blends vs. Bad Coffee Blends
Russell Roasting Decaf Coffee

Best Roast For Costa Rican Coffee Maker

Most industrial coffee companies, like Charbucks, Maxwell House, Costco, etc., roast the snot out of their beans. Their French Roast, Italian Roast, Vienna Roast, etc. is nothing more than different shades of burnt.

Unlike these industrial coffee companies, here at Lake City Coffee, we gently roast our beans low-n-slow. This unique method of roasting preserves much more of the coffee bean’s oils than would the hot-n-fast method used by Charbucks and the plethora of Charbucks-wantabes.

Fine or Course Ground Coffee

Generally speaking, the finer the grind, the more flavor, but also the more bitter the coffee. If you’re more interested in coffee that’s super smooth, i.e. non-bitter, then you’ll want to grind your beans a little more course. On the other hand, if you don’t mind a little bitterness in exchange for more flavor, then a finer grind will suffice.

One downside to a finer grind is that you often end up with a little sediment in the bottom of your coffee pot or coffee mug. We American’s are usually averse to any sediment in our coffee cup. The rest of the world doesn’t give that sediment a second thought. We don’t know what we’re missing. So, don’t worry about sediment in your cup of coffee, just don’t drink that last ¼ inch.

how to grind coffee without a grinder
Costa Rican Coffee Picker

The Fresher The Bean - The Better The Coffee

Here’s a little-known fact. All roasted coffee starts going stale and thus bitter in a matter of weeks. I have found only one secret method of keeping coffee beans relatively fresh. I highly recommend that you read my article “How To Keep Roasted Coffee Fresh For Months”.

Generally speaking you don’t want to buy beans that were roasted more than a week or two ago. That means you need to buy coffee beans that have the roast date stamped on the package. By the way, good luck with that. It’s very rare that I find coffee with a roast date on the package, except of course with our coffee, which always has a roast date.

Lake City Coffee

Alisha and I love our coffee to be smooth as silk with prominent notes of chocolate. We’re looking for a coffee experience that’s second to none. Through our business Lake City Coffee, we are blessed to be able to share that experience with other coffee lovers.

If you love really good coffee and want to buy from fun people, then do yourself a favor and take a look at our “Shop Beans” page.

Russell and Alisha Volz
Costa Rican Coffee Maker


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