Monday, June 8, 2009

Puerto Rican Coffee

Can you guess which are the top three coffee exporting countries in the world? Well, according to the U.S National Coffee Association, it's Brazil, Colombia and Indonesia. Unsurprisingly, Puerto Rico doesn't even make it to the top 10. The island's coffee growing region is located in the mountainous central region, the Cordillera Central, in the towns of Adjuntas, Ciales, Yauco, just to name a few. Coffee was introduced to the island back in the 18th Century and it was once a major coffee exporter, the sixth largest, during the late 19th Century. Nowadays, Puerto Rico actually has to import coffee since demand exceeds supply.

Shortage of labor and the general lack of interest in the agricultural sector are two of the main reasons why the island does not produce enough coffee. If you've never tried Puerto Rican coffee, you should. It's quite mild and smooth, and many coffee connoisseurs consider it to be of really good quality. Yaucono, Café Rico and Café Crema are the major brands, but there are also many smaller roasters, such as Finca Cialitos and Café Real. When visiting the island, unless you're at a Starbucks, don't expect to find flavored coffee. Puerto Ricans drink cortaditos and café con leche. FYI: the photo above was taken at Hacienda Buena Vista in Ponce, a former coffee plantation. Look closely and you'll actually see unripe coffee beans, which are green.


Cynthia said...

Hi Adrianna,
I enjoyed your Puerto Rican coffee information. I have also been to the Ponce coffee plantation. It's a common field trip destination. I live and work in Puerto Rico, too. If you would like to keep in touch feel free to click on my name and find my Oasis Writing Link(OWL)blog.

I live in the mountains...summer is lovely up here...when the semester begins in August, we will be driving down to the city every day. Thank goodness for holidays. I'm happy to find your informative and lovely blog. <3

adriana said...

Hello Cynthia,

Thanks so much for your comments. Will absolutely visit your blog!

karl said...

The real problem is they have to grow robusta beans which aren't so good -- the good kind of coffee is Arabica.

The Arabica bean only grows at high elevations.