Single origin Costa Rica coffee, from Van Houtte.

Van Houtte Costa Rica coffee.

In our last review we wrote about Van Houtte’s Sumatra Coffee. This time, we’re going to look at one of their other single-origin coffees, from Costa Rica.

Van Houtte is a Montreal based coffee roaster, founded in 1919.

Today, Van Houtte is the top brand of gourmet coffee in Canada, and the number one coffee services provider in North America.

Not bad, considering its modest beginnings almost 100 years ago.

Anyway, on to their Costa Rica coffee. This is a light-roasted, single origin coffee.

Whenever it comes to light-roasted coffees, we hold our collective breath. Some are wonderful, but others taste weak, bland and uninteresting.

We always hope for the best, because it is the light roast that brings out the true quality of a bean. The darker the roast, the more the subtleties of a coffee’s flavor are burned off.

As always, we ground the coffee beans fresh from the bag, brewed the coffee, and then let it sit for a few minutes to cool.

And we weren’t disappointed.

My partner in tasting, who has a much better nose for aroma, caught a hint of caramel before the first sip.

And that first sip was quite a surprise.

There is a bitterness there, but it isn’t harsh, and it seems to be woven together with a light and fruity sweetness.

We tasted a touch of fruit, caramel...and a hint of wood or nuts.

The key to this coffee, in our view, is that while it is quite smooth and mild, there is enough bitterness and character to make it interesting.

Funnily enough, our review doesn’t really match the one you will find on the Van Houtte website, where they claim this coffee is without bitterness.

Well, that wasn’t our experience, and we are glad. A coffee without any kind of bite really doesn’t do it for us.

With this Coast Rica coffee, the bite is there...but it’s mild, smooth and sweet.

You can learn more about this single origin Costa Rica at Van Houtte.

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About the author: Nick Usborne, aka Coffee Detective, is a writer and long-time coffee enthusiast. Read more…