Central America is rich in coffees that are full of character, described by experts as quite pungent.
Costa Rica is an island state with a long tradition of cultivating coffee. Exclusively high-quality arabica coffee is grown, and is processed using the so-called wet method of processing coffee. The fecund vulcanic soils in the Meseta Central together with the climatic influences of two oceans make Costa Rica a choice cultivation area.
The best growing region is in the southwest in Barahona. Other fine types of coffee come from Juncalito and Ocua. The coffees, also called Santa Domingo, are mild and full-bodied in taste, with a fine acidity and pleasant aromas.
Tarrazu, Tres Rios and Tournon are excellent sorts. These are dense, strongly aromatic coffees, well-balanced and lightly acidic.
A chain of vulcanos runs through the country, providing fertile soils in which coffee plants thrive. El Salvador produces a balanced coffee with a typical taste.
Exclusive arabicas combine Central America's typical coffee taste: they are gently aromatic, light-bodied and have low acidity. The best-known brand is Pipil.
Pacamara is an extraordinary coffee; the best growing region for it is at Santa Ana, close to the border to Guatemala. The powerful but not overly heavy depth and the mild aroma make Pacamara an extraordinary taste experience.
These days, coffee is mostly cultivated in the south of the country, where the mountain slopes of the Sierra Madre with their fertile soils offer ideal conditions.
A rich aroma and a full body typify this exquisite coffee. The harmonic mildness with light acidity peaks makes it pleasant and easy to digest. Antiqua is an outstanding cultivation area.
The Huehuetenangos and Coban sorts are excellent. They are called round, sometimes spicy or a bit chocolatey.
Coffee is cultivated on the slopes of the Mauna Loa, Hualalai and Mauna Kea in ideal climatic surroundings: tropical, with sun and shade and vulcanic soil that gives the coffee an intense fruity and spicy aroma.
The excellent coffee from the South Seas has a substantial, beautiful fruity body but not much acidity. Light, sweet hints of nut enhance the sweet taste.
The most sought after sort is called Kona and is practically unobtainable on a pure basis. They say that such ideal growing conditions for coffee plants are not available anywhere else in the world - only in Hawaii.
This area combines all the conditions to make Blue Mountain coffee one of the best coffees in the world: there is a mountain range with peaks over 2,200 metres high in the east of the island, which is pampered by damp warm winds.
For more than two centuries there have been neatly terraced cultivation areas on the slopes with the most fertile of soil, shaded by avocado and banana trees, irrigated by mountain streams and planted with arabicas introduced from Martinique in the 18th century.
By its very nature, Puerto Rican coffee is mild, with a heavy fullness and an impressive aroma. The best coffees are world-class; Yaouco Selecto and Grand Lares are among the finest.
Yauco Selecto grows on only three coffee farms in the southwest of the island and is characterised by a high density of taste, an intense aroma and a remarkable after-taste. This coffee may be expensive, but it has a matchless taste. Besides fertile loamy soil, the highlands provide a moderate climate and a long rainy period, lasting from October to February.
Yaouko Selecto remains in its husks until it is shipped to ensure optimum freshness. This means it is husked only after receiving an order. It is a wonderful coffee: fruity, substantial and not bitter. Its powerful body makes this coffee a real taste experience.