San Ramon Coffee Variety: A Costa Rican Coffee
San Ramon, Costa Rica, is known for being “The City Of Presidents And Poets.” But perhaps it should be known as the city of excellent coffee! Costa Rica is widely recognized as one of the top places on Earth to grow specialty coffee. And the San Ramon variety, with its rich cocoa notes and gentle citrus acidity, is one of the country’s best.
Keep reading to learn more about the San Ramon Coffee Variety.
What Is San Ramon Coffee?
The San Ramon is an Arabica coffee bean related to the Typica variety. It takes its name from San Ramon, a city in Costa Rica and the country’s agricultural center, located just 27 miles from the Alajuela province in the Northeast. Coffee grows all around the city, which is famously known as “The Presidents and Poets’ City” due to its rich presidential history (1).
San Ramon beans grown in Costa Rica are recognizable for having dwarf-sized coffee plants with short branches and fewer berries.
These coffee plants are grown at high altitudes with little to no chemicals. They are impressively tolerant to wind and resistant to drought and disease, according to formal scientific studies (2).
San Ramon [was] determined to be resistant to coffee leaf rust . . . These results have important implications for the development of coffee white stem borer and leaf rust resistant high yielding coffee [varieties] in the future.
They may be small plants, but they sure are mighty resilient (3).
San Ramon Beans Flavors
San Ramon beans are sweet with a rich aroma, dark cocoa notes, and complimentary citrus acidity. The San Ramon variety is shade-grown at high elevations in Costa Rica. This slows the maturation of the cherries resulting in higher levels of natural sugar and more complex flavors. Every cup is full-bodied with faint hints of candied stone fruit and a ginger aftertaste.
For a cupping evaluation of a Speciality Coffee Association of Costa Rica Certified coffee from San Ramon, Tarrazù, check out this YouTube video.
San Ramon coffees are versatile crowd-pleasers due to their inherent sweetness and subtle acidity. Nearly every brewing method will yield a delicious cup. If you want to emphasize the brew’s complexity and more subtle flavors, Home Grounds suggests a pour over methods like a Chemex or V60. If you prefer to highlight the full-body and chocolate flavors of the bean, a French press, Moka pot, or espresso machine will yield rich and soothing cups.
This variety of coffee grows around “The City of Poets and Presidents” in Costa Rica. These dwarf-sized coffee plants are relatively low-yielding, but they are exceptionally resilient to whatever nature throws their way, including wind, drought, and disease. The resulting coffees are comfortingly cocoa in taste, intermingled with a pleasant citrus-like acidity.
The main coffee bean varieties are Arabica, Robusta, Liberica, and Excelsa. Only Arabica and Robusta are grown commercially. Specialty coffee is almost always the Arabica variety because it has sweeter and more complex flavors.
Criollo coffee is directly descended from the first Typica coffee beans. In 1860, it was brought by the Dutch to the Central and South Americas. This prized Ecuadorian coffee has been iterated on for decades by locals and the coffee powerhouse Nestle to strengthen its resistance to coffee leaf rust.
Red Bourbon coffee is an Arabica coffee variety. There is no bourbon or other alcohol in Bourbon coffee; it takes its name from Bourbon Island – present-day Reunion Island. There are also Yellow and Orange Bourbon coffee beans, which have similar tasting notes.
- Tourism In Costa Rica. (n.d.). San Ramón, Costa Rica. Retrieved December 16, 2022, from https://www.tourismincostarica.org/san-ramon
- Arr, J. (n.d.). Varieties of Arabica Coffee: An Encyclopedia. Retrieved December 16, 2022, from https://jayarrcoffee.com/blogs/news/arabica-coffee/
- Aryal, L., Basnet, S., & Aryal, S. (2022). Field Screening of Arabica Coffee Genotypes against Coffee White Stem Borer (Xylotrechus quadripes) and Leaf Rust (Hemileia vastatrix) Infestation in Kaski, Nepal. Retrieved December 16, 2022, from https://www.nepjol.info/index.php/AEJ/article/view/46924