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What is a chorreador de cafe in Costa Rica?

What is a chorreador de cafe in Costa Rica?I’m pretty sure you don’t know what a chorreador de cafe in Costa Rica is. In simple English, it’s a Tico coffee maker.

The correct verb for using a chorreador is chorrear café = to pour coffee.

Ticos swear by a real cup of coffee. Why wouldn’t they, we have the best coffee in the world! And the best cup of coffee is poured the traditional way, manually, by using a chorreador de cafe.

When I moved to Costa Rica in 1980, coffee makers were really hard to find. Few appliance stores carried a coffee maker on inventory. The traditional and manual coffee maker could be purchased in any grocery store like Mas por Menos.

This traditional chorreador is a very simple coffee maker. It is made of a small wooden base and some steel wire. To make the “machine” complete, you also need a pouch or bag. The Spanish name for this bag is colador o bolsa.

Over the years, other designs were created, mainly for the tourism industry.  I have been able to find a nice assortment of them online, see the photos in this article.

What is a chorreador de cafe in Costa Rica?
Photo: 1888 Coffee Company


You can still find the fabric pouches for sale in some supermarkets. In case you can’t find the pouches anywhere, here’s a tip. It’s what we call a MacGyver in Costa Rica. It’s the way my mom used to do it.

Cut a pocket out of man’s pants that you are not using anymore. Use a piece of steel wire and sew it to the pocket. Wash it well before use.

What is a chorreador de cafe in Costa Rica?
Photo: Don Evelio

Where to buy one?

Would you like to drink your coffee the traditional way? Then check out Woodcraft, a local company that makes a handmade chorreador de cafe like I have not seen any other.

Any local central market sells chorreadores, try the markets of San Jose, Atenas or Grecia.

What is a chorreador de cafe in Costa Rica?
Photo: from Facebook


How to prepare a great cup of coffee by using a chorreador de cafe?

  1. Before you use the fabric filter or pouch, rinse it just with clean water (no soap please) and drain it.
  2. Place a heat resistant recipient under the chorreador and hang the pouch in the hole on top.
  3. Bring water to a boil.
  4. Place the ground coffee beans of your choice in the pouch.
  5. Pour boiling water slowly into the pouch. Don’t pour too fast, you’ll make a mess.
  6. The freshly brewed coffee will drip through the pouch into the recipient.
  7. If you like your coffee stronger, run the hot water through the filter twice.
  8. Y listo, buen provecho!
What is a chorreador de cafe in Costa Rica?
Photo: from Woodcraft

Are you looking for a chorreador de cafe that is nicely painted? They sell them in most souvenir stores.

For those who are learning Spanish, after reading this blog, you have learned at least 2 more words, supposing that you already knew the word de in Spanish.

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Ivo Henfling

If you are looking to buy a home in Costa Rica or invest in a condo anywhere in the central Valley, or looking for any property for sale in Escazu, you need to call me. I have been selling real estate in Escazu for over 20 years and can show you hundreds of happy buyers of real estate in Escazu and other areas. To me, a deal is not a good deal unless both buyer and seller are happy.

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