Frequently Asked Questions about our Gourmet Costa Rica Tarrazu
Coffees and other issues.
*Are all Tarrazu
brands the same?
Not at all. There are no regulators who require roasters to be legitimate
while branding coffees as Tarrazu. Usually, small amounts of actual
Tarrazu grown beans of any grades (usually low grades) are included
in these so called Tarrazu Coffee. Only coffees that are grown and
packaged in The Costa Rica Tarrazu Valley (area around the Town
of San Marcos) by the farmers themselves can be safely called "100%
Costa Rica Tarrazu Coffee."
* What activities
are available on the Tarrazu Valley?
Please visit our Costa Rica
Tarrazu gourmet coffee Tour section for more Info.
* Where is the Tarrazu
Maps of the Caribbean, Costa
Rica, and the Tarrazu Valley are available. Click here.
* How do I get there?
TarrazuCafe office is located at 25 O. MAG, San Marcos de Tarrazu,
Costa Rica 8055. Don Evelio Tarrazu Gourmet Coffee
Estate farm is located on the Central Pacific section of the Talamanca
mountain range, near the port of Quepos and world-famous Manuel
Antonio National Park.
Flights from mainland USA as well as South America and Europe flights
arrive often at Juan Santamaria International airport. Major Airlines
offer non-stop service from Miami and Los Angeles to Costa Rica.
This makes for easy connections from mainland flights, or allows
easy Latin American travel.
From the airport, drive southeast on Bernardo Soto highway to San
Jose and then to Cartago, at the foothills of the Irazu Volcano.
Turn south, up to the Talamanca Mountains via the Inter-American
highway. Once at "El Empalme" gas station, at almost 3000
meters above sea level, turn right to the narrow, paved road which
goes down through the heart of the Tarrazu Highlands. Keep driving
southwest throught the scenic hills for about 15 miles. You will
pass the towns of El Jardin, Quebradillas, Santa Maria, El Llano,
Guadalupe and finally San Marcos de Tarrazu. Don Evelio Estate farm is located further south
in the more remote lands up the Pirris river Basin, near El Rodeo.
* Do I need a rental
Probably. The airport is 50 miles north of San Marcos de Tarrazu.
There are taxis at the airport too. There is local bus service from
the Airport to San Jose. Once in San Jose, take a cab and go to
the "Barrio Lujan" San Jose neighbourhood and take the
"Los Santos" bus service which will get you the the highlands
in aprox. 1 hour and a half. Remember, although Costa Rica is small
compared to other countries, is large enough to get lost. Some of
the more interesting and fun things to do will require a car.
* How do I get Hotel
accommodations in the Tarrazu Valley?
There are 5 Hotels in San Marcos, and 2 bed and breakfast in Santa
Maria. We strongly recommend not to stay at those Hotels since most
are low rated. Unfortunately, we cannot suggest people to stay at
any of those given the circumstances. The closest 5 star hotels
are in the Quepos/Manuel Antonio beaches or San Jose, the capital
of Costa Rica, where Marriott, Holiday Inn and many other good Hotels
* Why is the town/village
called San Marcos de Tarrazu and why the coffee from this town is
called Genuine Tarrazu?
Tarrazu is an Indian Name and most likely refer to the mountain
that is located north of the valley which features a huge cross
at the top, built by Roman Catholics in the early 1920's. The town
was baptized San Marcos by a Guatemalan priest after observing striking
resemblance to the Guatemalan region of San Marcos. This town is
located in the Tarrazu county where the highest elevation, best
Costa Rica gourmet coffee farms of San Guillermo, San Pedro, La
Pastora, El Rodeo, Canet, and La Laguna are located. Early coffee
traders came to label and promote the coffee from this valley as
Tarrazu because of that.
*Is it the acid that makes my stomach
Definitely no! Stomach aches originates from drinking low grade,
poorly processed, lower elevation-grown coffees. Try our gourmet
coffees and you will notice the difference.
*Are coffee beans
that sell in the supermarket fresh?
When roasted coffee beans are exposed to oxygen the taste qualities
fade very quickly.
*How should I store
my coffee beans?
Do what you can to limit the amount of oxygen they are exposed to.
Use air-tight containers when possible and store in the refrigerator,
NOT the freezer.
*Do you sell Costa
Rica Tarrazu Blends?
A Strong and loud no. We only sell 100% Pure Primera Costa Rica
Tarrazu Specialty coffee.
*Is Don Evelio coffees high in acidity (do not confuse with acid
Costa Rica Tarrazu gourmet coffee is a high grown Arabica coffee.
Our Strictly hard bean coffees are grown in altitudes of 1,400 meters
or more and are naturally high in acidity compared to coffee grown
at lower altitudes. Expert tasters gives high grades to our coffees
not only because of that, but also because roasters profit from
roasting hard coffee beans. This high grown coffee is more flavorful
and gives a brightness to the flavor. It takes longer to roast a
Costa Rican Strictly hard bean Tarrazu than coffees grown in regions
close to the coast or located in lower elevations. However, weight
loss is less compared to other coffees.
* What is most important
to bring to the Tarrazu Valley?
Light-comfortable clothing, sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat, plus
a jacket for the cool highland evenings. Costa Rica is very casual
and you can go almost everywhere in shorts, t-shirts, or sundresses.
Bring good, closed-toed walking shoes if you plan to visit our Don Evelio Tarrazu farm or go hiking.
Don't worry if you forgot something. San Marcos has stores so you'll
be able to buy what you forgot.
* What's the weather
going to be like?
Warm and tropical, but not overly humid. The temperatures vary
only a little with the seasons. In January it might drop to 14 degrees
Celsius at night; in April, maybe it will be 30 Celsius; most of
the time the afternoon high is 20-25 Celsius. It can get pretty
warm in the sun so be sure to wear your sunblock and a hat, and
if you are visiting between May and November, the rainy season,
an umbrella is most recommended.
* What time is it
in San Marcos de Tarrazu, Costa Rica?
Costa Rica does not observe daylight savings time. During US daylight
savings time (April thru October)
Costa Rica is 2 hours behind Pacific,
Same hour as Mountain,
1 ahead Central
2 hours ahead Eastern,
7 hours ahead Greenwich.
This makes it easy to get to Costa Rica in a day.
* What about food?
There are several local restaurants in that area that are average.
However, places like Restaurante Tachos and Pizzeria Las Tejas are
most recommended. For groceries, there are several supermarkets
including Mega Super, and Super Tacho. Be prepared for prices that
are a bit lower than mainland US. Perishables will definitely cost
more, however. Breakfast cereal is also pricey, but look for sales.
You might even try "La Troja" for grocery items such as
cereal and sodas. The local Liquor Store seem to have the best Local
spirits selection in town. Do not expect the local grocery stores
and supermarkets to carry 100% Costa Rica Tarrazu coffee, especially
because most coffees for locals are cheap and most often mixed with
sugar. Please contact us at TarrazuCafe office in downtown if you
want the best coffee.
* Anything a "first-timer"
should know? What didn't you know the first time you visited?
It's not as hot or humid as expected. Slow your pace a little and
you'll be quite comfortable outdoors.
Most restaurants are not air-conditioned. It's OK, though, since
Costa Rica is so beautiful and the weather so pleasant, why would
you want to be inside in the artificial air?
There aren't smoking sections laws for restaurants. Don't forget
to ask for a non-smoking section if smoke bothers you.
* Where are the
Well, some folks would say there are no beaches near San Marcos
de Tarrazu, but that's not true. The
30-mile long road from San Marcos to Quepos and Manuel Antonio
National Park is not exactly the ideal road to get there. However,
from December to May, all kinds of vehicles can take the road back
and forth to Manuel Antonio with huge stretches of Jurassic Park-like
Tropical Rain forests both sides of the road. There are some very
nice ones on the Costa Rica Central Pacific coast. Our favorite
is Espadilla, Matapalo and Esterillos. Check out the guide books
for directions and recommendations.
There are some fabulous places to snorkel & scuba dive here
with excellent visibility and lots of underwater life to observe.
* Where can I get
the best information about Costa Rica before my trip?
We recommend you visit the following web pages beforehand
*What is Parchment
Coffee and Green Coffee?
Parchment coffee is just dried coffee with the seed covering still
Green Coffee is Coffee before it is Roasted.
* What is Café
Café de Primera Tarrazu (Green or Roasted) refers to a Grade
of coffee that has First Quality normal and peaberry gourmet Costa
Rica Tarrazu beans in it.
Peaberry is a coffee bean shaped like a football. It's one bean
and not a half bean like the majority of the harvest. Peaberry is
only 5% of the total harvest. Its flavor is an extra special one.
*What Medium Roast,
Full-City and Dark or Vienna roast refer to?
Medium Roast coffee is when the roasted coffee is roasted to the
first crack. It's a brown color with no oils showing, The highest
caffeine percentage. This is the favorite roast.
Full-city roast refers to coffee roasted to second crack. It's
brown in color with a few drops of oil showing. A little less caffeine
than medium roast.
Dark or Vienna roast is roasted to second crack and left in the
roaster a little longer than full-city. It's brown in color and
covered in oil. Dark Vienna is used for espresso. It has the least
amount of caffeine of all the roasts.
IIs Don Evelio Costa Rica coffee Farm a big processor?
No. We are small family farm that is in no rush to process like
the big roasteries. We roast one batch at a time with extra care.
What is the traditional Costa Rica method of processing coffee TarrazuCafe
farms use? Traditionally Costa Rica Coffee is slowly processed,
pulped the day it's picked, and soaked overnight in a tub of water.
Natural fermentation removes jelly like membrane around bean.
Coffee is then washed, and set out on drying decks or patios till
dry. It takes 3 to 7 days to dry depending on weather (Most big
processors dry on deck for 1 day then put their coffee into dryers
for 14 hours or whatever it takes to remove moisture. You can tell
the difference between sun dried and machine dried). Coffee is then
bagged and stored and we let it "rest" for at least 2
*How long does coffee
If the coffee is kept in a container that has a check valve, and
stored in a dark cool place, it will stay fresh for about a month.
For this reason we don't roast till we get a order. Then we roast
to order, and send priority mail that same day.
*Why is Don Evelio Costa Rica Tarrazu gourmet coffee more expensive
then the other "Tarrazu" coffees found in the market?
Why? Because the demand for our coffees are high. Truth in labelling,
origin and a sense of place is what put us above all other so-called
Tarrazus found in the market. Besides, we do all the processing
ourselves (family members) in an artisan way. We're family farms,
and you are purchasing farm direct.
*What makes Don Evelio specialty coffee different?
Estate grown: Our coffees are grown in small, family owned estate
farms located in the San Marcos de Tarrazu Valley, Costa Rica. An
active system of sustainable agriculture is practiced on each estate
farm ensuring quality in every cup.
*Is Don Evelio Tarrazu coffee a shade grown coffee?
Yes. The shading of the Arabica coffee trees is an important element
in the management of coffee farms. Many of the varieties of the
shade trees are legumes called "Poro" which help fix nitrogen
into the soil. The "Poros" are also beneficial to the
migratory patterns of many birds.
* Do you roast your
Yes, we roast and package Don Evelio Costa Rica
gourmet Coffee in Barrio Santa Cecilia, San Marcos de Tarrazu, Costa
* Are Don Evelio
gourmet coffees real coffees or made from something
Our coffees are 100% pure arabica Costa Rican Tarrazu specialty
coffee, grown in small farms located high in the mountains around
the town of San Marcos de Tarrazu.
* How long have
you been in business?
Our families started growing coffee and roasting for consumption
in the Tarrazu valley as early as 1895. We were the first families
who exported Tarrazu coffee to Europe. We were the first farms to
have independent third party recognition for the coffees we grow.
If you have any questions / suggestions about Don Evelio gourmet Costa Rica Coffees we would love to hear from you.
You can email or send us a note at
the addresses below.
Jorge Luis Umana
Fincas Tarrazu Cafe S.A.
Don Evelio Tarrazu Coffee Farm
San Marcos de Tarrazu 8055
Phone: SKYPE: JLUNCR
Mobile: SKYPE: jluncr