At Tamarindo Coffee Roasters, ¢1,000 buys you a volcano in a cup.
That’s how co-owner Craig Bale debunked the exceptional cold brew we sipped on a recent Tamarindo trip. Bale called that silky and citrusy coffee Girasole, named for the lot in Tarrazú where it’s grown in mineral-rich volcanic soil for thousands of years.
Savoring the culture behind the cup is at the heart of Tamarindo Coffee Roasters, a specialty coffee producer, and cafe located a short drive from the town’s bustling beachfront. A year old, the business has emphasized transparency and care in the growing, selecting and serving of specialty brews, including specialty coffee grown in Guanacaste’s Blue Zone.
Kristoffer Layton from Copenhagen and Bale from California developed the company out of a friendship that blended Layton’s love of coffee with Bale’s business sense. Out of the five farms that grow coffee for the company, the Bale family owns one in Guanacaste’s highest mountain range, producing high-quality specialty coffee in Costa Rica’s Blue Zone (try the Pura Vida Blend or Blue Zone Honey coffee for a taste of the province).
Despite Costa Rica’s renown as a coffee destination, Costa Rica Coffee Institute (ICAFE) reports that the country exports around 82 percent of its coffee. Tamarindo Coffee Roasters aims to make a name for Guanacaste by offering beans that are produced and enjoyed close to home.
The cafe’s black and white decor is as crisp as the air conditioning — a perk on par with the caffeine. If you’re lucky, barista and all-around coffee guru David Navarro will roast beans a mere meter from your table. As the machine whirs to life, expect that earthy comfort smell to swallow the space whole.
The roasting operation will soon expand next door, doubling as an education center for tourists and baristas-in-training. Down at the beach, microbrewery Volcano Brewing Company is a partner in experimenting with alcoholic coffee brews.
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Location: Calle Central, 300 meters west of Automercado, Tamarindo