There’s no better way to start your day than with a fresh up of coffee. Thanks to Tamarindo Coffee Roasters, you won’t be missing your favorite cup of joe from back home while vacationing in beautiful Costa Rica!
Craig Bale and Kristoffer Layton opened Tamarindo Coffee Roasters in 2017 with the goal of creating awareness and education around specialty coffees grown in Costa Rica. With distinct flavors, like Blue Zone Honey or Ocean Level Espresso, the essence of Costa Rica is captured in each cup!
Whether you enjoy it on-site or take it to go, the coffee at Tamarindo Coffee Roasters is always fresh, flavorful and delicious!
What is your background in coffee production? How did you get started in the coffee business?
Craig: Opening a specialty coffee roaster in Tamarindo was an idea that Kris had. We were friends with children the same age and enjoyed surfing and coffee. Being a coffee lover and seeing the coffee roaster movement develop around the world, I thought Kris had a great idea and it was good timing to start something in Costa Rica, where some of the best coffee in the world is grown. We began planning in January 2017 and officially opened our doors in June of that year. I have learned more about coffee and the industry more than I ever thought I would in my lifetime. I initially learned basics of coffee production, tasting, flavor profiles and roasting from Kris. He is the coffee guru. I have learned everything else along the way from farm to cup by working on all sides of the business, including sourcing beans to participating in creating flavor profiles for the finished coffees that we provide.
Kris: My wife, Stine, and I owned and operated a café in Tamarindo called Nordico Coffee House, bringing elements of Denmark and Latin America together while serving fresh organic foods and quality Costa Rican coffee. Coffee started as a drink to serve in a coffee shop. After learning more about the drink and about all the processes behind the coffee; we wanted to get more involved and learn more about the different aspects of coffee. We started out having a coffee shop, learning about the customer needs regarding coffee. Then we progressed to find out that the community could appreciate specialty Costa Rican coffee. That’s where the idea came from to open a coffee roastery, and as of now we couldn’t be more happy about the decision.
Tell us a little bit about the the opening of Tamarindo Coffee Roasters and working there?
Having a business in a remote surf town in Costa Rica is challenging no matter what industry you work in. Luckily Kris had already been a business owner in Tamarindo and knew how to navigate many of the everyday obstacles. Kris and his wife, Stine, did much of the leg-work in locating the equipment, identifying the initial farms and producers for the coffee we wanted to roast, and setting up the shop. We worked together in the branding, logo and overall operation to get the doors open. Our mission has been to create awareness and provide education on coffee and the processes involved. Being that close to 90% of the specialty coffee from Costa Rica is exported, we wanted to keep at least some in the country to roast fresh and local. TCR attracts people and brings interest from the tourist and local communities through providing amazing coffee and an artistic beach vibe. We believe this reflects on our dedicated staff and branding. It’s a cool place for a quick stop in to buy a bag of delicious Costa Rican coffee or to spend time surrounded by mellow music and creative art while enjoying a great cup made by certified baristas.
How often do you roast coffee in your shop?
We roast small batch coffees six days a week and package everything on site. People have the unique opportunity to purchase top quality specialty Costa Rican coffee roasted fresh. That's something hard to find anywhere in the world!
What is the process for growing coffee beans in Costa Rica? How is it unique or different from other places?
We currently source different coffees from five different farms from different coffee growing regions throughout Cost Rica. Our Blue Zone Honey coffee comes from a farm that I own and is located in the mountain in the southern part of the Guanacaste peninsula about two hours driving from the roastery in Tamarindo. It’s a special place with amazing views where we produce a honey-processed coffee that is absolutely delicious.
Are there any unique coffee flavors at Tamarindo Coffee Roasters?
All of the coffees we roast and carry at Tamarindo Coffee Roasters are unique from one another. We carry a honey-processed coffee from my farm in Nandayure, Guanacaste, with notes of sugar cane and caramel. We have a washed coffee from high elevations of Tarrazu from Beneficio Los Angeles with notes of citric acidity and a very well-balanced cup. We have a certified organic honey processed from the Central Valley of Costa Rica from Beneficio Las Lajas with creamy vanilla flavors and spicy aromas. We have a natural processed coffee from Hacienda Sonora located at the base of the Poas volcano that has notes of ripe fruits with a really nice finish. Finally, we have a blend that we make between a Guanacaste washed coffee and a coffee from either Tarrazu or West Valley depending on what’s available and on-hand with notes of chocolate and a creamy finish.
What traditional Costa Rican dish pairs best with a cup of coffee from Tamarindo Coffee Roasters?
Just like a fine wine, specialty coffee pairs well depending on the flavor profile and tasting notes. Your palate can change depending on the food you pair with the coffee. We have tried a number of things to present pairing options with foods while going through our cupping process of the different coffees. We bring in fresh fruit, chocolates, cookies, and even butter to bring out the different flavors in our coffees.
How has Tamarindo Coffee Shop influenced the community of Costa Rica?
We like to believe that we have brought a spotlight to specialty coffees grown in Costa Rica to tourists and locals alike and created more draw to small batch, specialty coffees grown in the country. We roast on-site and have educated other businesses and individuals about what goes into the cup of coffee they are enjoying. We will soon be offering more training courses to local coffee shops and businesses as well as a Costa Rica coffee experience course highlighting coffee processes, roasting, cupping and the history of coffee in Costa Rica.
Is Tamarindo Coffee Roasters involved in any charitable efforts?
We participate in charity events locally and donate coffee to local churches and schools. The events we support benefit CEPIA, which is a nationally accredited nonprofit organization that seeks to promote culture, health, sports and education for children and teenagers and their families from poor backgrounds in the communities of Guanacaste, Costa Rica.
What kind of experience can I expect when I visit Tamarindo Coffee Roasters?
You can expect a top-notch experience when coming to Tamarindo Coffee Roasters. Our staff is certified by the SCA (Specialty Coffee aAssociation) in Barismo and Roasting, which guarantees each and every guest a delicious cup of coffee made fresh from freshly roasted Costa Rican specialty coffee. You can smell the aromas of coffee roasting and have the ability to purchase coffee that can’t get any fresher. You can even witness coffee being roasted, and when ordering an espresso beverage, our baristas are talented in latte art, which provides not only a great cup, but also a great presentation.